Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our time in Saut

The village of Saut is located at around a 6,000ft. elevation and so even though we are in what is considered the coastal part of PNG it still has a Highlands feel. That means that it is cold at night. We all brought warm sleeping bags, wool socks and sweatshirts. During the day we would hike in shorts and t-shirts, but the nights brought out our cool weather gear.

Saut is where Ryan and Crystal have lived and worked for the last year. We stayed on their house, which is about the size of one of those canvas tents that men in North America using for elk hunting. It has two rooms. One with a little propane stove, a water filter, and a couple of cabinets with food. The other room is the bedroom/radio room. This room has plastic up against the grass roof to prevent the crud that falls out from getting all over their stuff and has linoleum on the floor to keep the cold breeze from coming in at night. The bed slept two people, so we took turns on different nights enjoying the comforts of a soft bed vs. sleeping on the floor. Their house is wrapped on the outside with Tyvek - a DuPont product used to wrap homes for moisture protection in first world countries, but we found that it works well in the bush too.

In Saut Ryan was able to meet with village leaders and discuss the problems that had arisen in earlier trips and the reason they had to evacuate when threats were made against them. This was a very positive time for both the village and Ryan and it ended with us all going around the village and praying for God’s protection of all those who will be working in the translation process.

This is Ryan and Crystal's house. Out back is their rain collection lean-to which has a tin roof and two 55 gallon drums for collecting rain water. On top are two solar panels that recharge the three big truck batteries that power their little home.

The center of the village is the sports area. This village is really into soccer. Of course it is all village rules which we never really understood, but every night a group of young men would play until dark. The silver roofed building is the Lutheran Church that is located in the village. All the materials to build it were hiked in on the trail you just saw on the earlier post. It even has a complete concrete floor under it!

Our personal chef Caleb looks into the supplies that Ryan had in the house. All our meals were pretty tasty as Caleb blended noodles, tinned meat, and sauce into an array of meals.

Taking a rest.

Here I am talking to Susan back in Ukarumpa. This radio also had the ability to pick up several AM stations that are broadcast across the Pacific. This included US radio for US service men and Australian radio. It is an interesting experience to listen to the financial report on the Dow Jones when you are out in the bush of PNG.

Another common scene in a village is sitting around talking. In this case I was taking a break and looking at the sky. You could seen the moon and someone asked about going to the moon, so I started telling stories about how rockets work and how astronauts wear special suits to enable them to walk on the moon. Who knows if they really got what I was saying, but I always think these types of conversations are interesting to have with Papua New Guineans.

Here we are trying again. We didn't really find that the antenna worked, but we did find that Nokia cell phones worked. One of the national men traveling with us had a Nokia and he started making calls to all his friends, but our phones never got a signal. I think Ryan might be buying a new phone soon.

The fish pond, which was also right next to the clothes washing and bathing area.

During one of our days in Saut we decided to try and go look for birds of paradise. These rare birds are found throughout PNG, but are very skittish and thus hard to see unless you hike into the bush and then are very quiet. While we were hiking to go look at some these boys decided to hike to the top of the hill and serinade us with Sunday School songs.

We did see a couple birds of paradise, but never close enough to get a good photo. So here is a photo of us trying to take a photo of the birds instead.

The biggest and most powerful thing that we were able to do during our time in Saut was to gather the people to pray over their village. We talked about how the devil didn't want this work of Bible translation to go forth, but if we prayed for God's protection that He would be faithful and watch over the work and the people involved. So these last photo's are of us gathering to pray at different spots in the village to claim the village for the Lord.

This blue/green building is the local Health Aid Post.

Finally this photo is for my Mom to show her the dahlias that are growing on the edge of the heli-pad in Saut. Can you name the variety?


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