Land of the “Unexpected”

PNG is known as the “Land of the Unexpected,” when in fact life in general can be that way, especially on the mission field. What do you generally do in order to plan on a trip to the grocery store, the bank, to see a doctor, or to even pick up car parts? Well, here it means packing for a few days in preparation for a 4-5 hour drive to get to those places. That is what happened to us this week. On Wednesday night we packed up to head to Lae early on Thursday morning planning on staying through Sunday. Luther had been asked to preach at Liberty Baptist Church. We planned on heading back to Wau after services that afternoon. So at 7am we were on the road, venturing out for the long, bumpy road ahead where you rarely get out of second gear most of the trip. But remember this road to Lae is only about 50 miles total. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Bulolo, but it was a struggle to get there due to the Toyota not having much power. It seems that there was a problem with the fuel filter–water in the fuel maybe? Anyway, we arrive in Bulolo and the problem just seemed to get worse instead of better. Luther wanted to go somewhere safe to check it out, so we went back to the Bulolo airstrip and sat there about 1 1/2 hours while some men came over and helped him. They bled the lines and the car was a bit better, so we decided to return to Wau. Did The Lord direct us away from going to Lae for some reason we could not see? In Proverbs 16:9 it says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but The Lord directeth his steps.” Once we left Bulolo and got onto the back forestry road, the truck began running smoothly, but we continued home arriving safely. We unpacked and Luther decided he would return to Lae on Saturday for the Sunday service there.

Well, as planned, Luther left this morning at 6am and arrived in Bulolo to find a tree had fallen across the main road. Well, that happens some times, and he thought nothing about it. He turned the truck and decided to go through the back road to get into Bulolo and continue that way. About half way there the way was again blocked by another fallen tree. At that time he saw some church members of Bulolo Baptist Church and talked with them only to find out there was a big tribal fight going on between two clans. Luther saw men running past with their bush knives and other weapons. As he had no idea how long this would continue, he returned to Wau again knowing he would not make the services in Lae as planned. Life seems to be like this–we make plans and then we leave those plans in the Lord’s hands. If a door shuts, we wait for the timing to be right to try again. We thank God for His guidance in our day to day life.

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