Here are a few pictures of our house. As you can see, we still have a lot to do. And a lot is still put together temporarily, but we still wanted to share with you the progress on our house. Tomorrow night we will go back to Bali and will probably be there for the next 3 -4 months before coming out to Hoskins again. Till then you can contact us via email.
While most people were preparing for Christmas, we were busy with other things out on Bali – we went to Bali in late November to build our house. During our first week there, Chad (from the USA) and Andy and David (from Northern Ireland) were a HUGE help and an amazing blessing to us in building. By the end of the first week, when Chad had to leave, the floor joists, posts, rafters, and part of the roof was already finished. In the second week Andy and David helped us with laying the floor and putting up the framing for the external walls preparing for windows and doors and out of love for me (fear of heights) they even set up the stairs (which turned out to be slightly larger than we had planned :-)).
In the following 2 weeks, Philip, Benjamin’s brother, designed and built the verandah, including the railing for the stairs. He also began putting up framing for the internal walls but had to stop because of an injury. He’s doing fine, but will probably have a lasting scar above one of his eyes.
Also, during this whole time, many men from the village helped us diligently with building. This has been a huge blessing to us and it’s been really encouraging to see how positive and supportive the people are that we should live there in the village with them. Some of the women even come almost daily to bring us food from their gardens or even fish for us.
At the beginning Noah had a hard time trying to get used to everything new – everyone wanted to touch him and many tried to grab him and hold him and that didn’t make him happy at all. But after 2 weeks he was gaining more and more courage to go and play with the local children. He also took it upon himself to chase every chicken, pig, and dog in the village :-)!
Shortly before Christmas we returned here to Hoskins with Philip to celebrate Christmas here together and to relax for a few days. Also, our kitchen cupboards, furniture, and all our household items are still here and so we still need to get them shipped out to the island. We also need to purchase food to last us for the next 3 months as we may not be coming back this way before the end of March, at which time there is the yearly missionary conference here in Hoskins.
It seems like we’ve had things to do ever since we arrived here a week ago and to add to that, Noah and I (Wina) were sick for a few days just after Christmas but nonetheless, we had a very special Christmas and feel truly blessed as we look at how God provides for us and takes care of us and that in spite of all the stress we can simply find rest in Him.
We wish all of you a good start to the New Year and are excited about what God has for us all this coming year and look forward to whenever our paths may cross with yours again.
Many greetings from us Hansens!!
Well, it sure has been a long time since we’ve written anything here! A lot has happened in the last months and now we’re just about to move to Bali (not Indonesia). If you want to know more about what has happened since our last entry here, you can write to us and we will be happy to fill you in.
We have often experienced that here in Papua New Guinea things don’t always go according to plan. This was again the case with our planned move to Bali. First, the captain whose ship we had planned to use for transporting things to the island had a stroke. Then we couldn’t reach the men who were cutting our wood because either the phone connection was very poor or non-existant, phone batteries were dead, or there just wasn’t any credit on the phone(s). At other times we were able to contact the guys, but then there was rain so either they couldn’t mill the timber or they couldn’t deliver it because the roads were too slippery. Then there were times when timber had already been cut and the weather was good, but their truck wasn’t working and the mission truck wasn’t working either! And the difficulty with contacting people via mobile phone was an ever recurring one. We now know why PNG is called “The Land of the Unexpected” 🙂 .
We’re now far enough along that we should have everything together by Monday. We did end up having to purchase some wood at a company, which was more expensive, but didn’t require so much work for us then. Now we just need to find a boat to transport the rest of our wood (the one that had been transporting things for our team is at a dry dock for repairs!) and then we’ll be away to Bali!
Already more than 5 weeks have gone by since the first load was shipped to Bali and we can now report that Josh and Faye’s house is basically finished. (Benjamin was on Bali for the first two weeks and then came back here to Hoskins to finish gathering / preparing the last of our timber.) Because Josh & Faye got their house from other missionaries it went relatively quickly to put it back together as some things were able to be assembled beforehand. Our house and the Martins’ house will be framed a little different so it may take a bit longer to build ours. Nonetheless, Stephen & Helen’s house already has the roof on and now the walls are coming up.
Here follow several pictures of the building process for the Butlers’ and Martins’ houses so far.
Three men representing NTM leadership here along with two believing PNG citizens from other tribes went to Bali on a survey beginning of May. After 6½ hours in a small boat (about 23 ft. long) they arrived in Bali and received a warm welcome. They went specifically to visit 3 villages which had already been recommended to us and their purpose was to determine whether or not the people were still open to missionaries coming to their island to learn their language, teach them to read and write in their own language, and teach and translate the Bible in their own language so they can understand clearly. After making known publicly our intentions and after much conversation with leaders in the villages, the men were very encouraged at how eager the people were that we should come and do this work. Once the men had returned, they advised our team to wait a few weeks and then go ourselves to visit a few villages and settle on a place to build our houses. In the meantime, news of us will be spreading on the island and people will be talking things through. In the culture here it is practice that people will say whatever they think you want to hear to your face, but when you are gone, then behind your back they will say what they really think. So when we go in June some things may come to light which weren’t said on this trip.
Here are a couple interesting facts about Bali:
- The island is actually called Uneapa (or Unea for short). Bali is only the name of the copra plantation on the island, but is commonly used for the island itself anyway.
- There are no mosquitoes and so no malaria either!
- In a village with about 1,000 people there are about 170 children in school in grades 1-8 (in the trade language – Pidgin)
- The island is about 4.4 miles in diameter with about 10 – 12,000 people.
Through the pictures you can get a little glimpse about the island: the people, their houses, the Catholic school and church, nature, their canoes, watersupply…There is still a lot that is unknown or new to us but we hope to keep you updated.
My (Wina’s) parents came all the way from Germany to visit us here in Papua New Guinea. Their last flight was cancelled so they had to spend a night in the capital (Port Moresby) and arrived here with us on Friday. It is so nice to finally see my parents again! Noah is getting used to them being here too now and enjoys the attention, but he is a lot more clingy to us these days.
On Saturday we drove together to a beach where there is a reef and got to do a bit of snorkeling. God’s creativity and knowledge and wisdom in creating this world truly are limitless!
After the Sunday service we went out for a walk and on the way back we met a group of men dressed in their traditional party/dance outfits who were just returning from greeting some member of the government at the airport. They were only too happy to get a picture with my parents and even to beat their drums and dance for us too.
That afternoon a storm cooled us down – even if only for a little while. (Already at 8am it is normally so warm and humid that without having a fan on, sweating is pretty much inevitable.)
Benjamin and my dad drove to town today (Monday) to get some wood for building our kitchen cupboards and drawers – a project they want to do together now over the next couple weeks.
Just now my mom is out for a walk with Noah so I’m able to get a bit done for our blog again. 🙂