Dear Family and Friends,
At long last we can write some news about the most precious of all cargos that has been on its way to Papua New Guinea. We received confirmation today that the ship with the container containing the revised Hamtai New Testaments arrived in Lae City port on the 5th of September. You, our dear family and friends, have been praying for us, and wondering how we fared in our journey to these parts.
After a restful stop in California with friends of a supporting church in Brentwood/Oakley we left from San Francisco for a daylight flight of 14 hours to Hong Kong. There, after a 5-hour layover, we boarded an Air Niugini 767 for overnight flight to Port Moresby. The Lord had looked after us in Hong Kong. After we left there we learned that on that same evening two planes landed roughly due to turbulence and many were injured. After obtaining our entry visas in Moresby and checking our bags in, we went to a hotel to wait for the flight in a small plane to Goroka. Our daughter Judy and Jim met us in our vehicle and took us to our headquarters called Sobega, 6 kilometers from Goroka.
At each stop there was a wheel chair waiting to transport Corinne over the yards and yards of area to connecting flights or transportation. The folks pushing her walked so fast that in trying to keep up with them it affected my own hip, so much that Corinne even suggested we trade places for a while. However, we survived. It was so convenient to have her in the wheel chairs because it meant that we boarded first!
We are soooo happy to be safe on solid ground again, but more importantly, we are once again in our adopted country, eager to get going on the goals set before us. Jim and Judy stayed on with us here on base for a week. Judy cooked for us while we sorted through our belongings so we can decide what things to take to the village, what to burn, what to give away or sell, and what few items we should take back to the U.S. Judy is still with us, but Jim returned to their village to continue preparing the books of Revelation and Philemon for checking with a consultant. These are the final two books he has to finalize before going to the next step of getting it ready for publication. Praise the Lord.
On Monday our co-worker who looks after shipping will inquire as to when the container will be landed and opened for inspection by the customs authorities. Meanwhile we are in touch with the Hamtai believers whose trucks will carry the New Testaments about 200 km’s to the site of the planned dedication. It looks now as though that will be held around the second week in October. Meanwhile, we are enjoying visits with Jim and Judy, our co-workers and yes, some believers who came all the way up here to see us.
Our co-translator, Malcolm, and a church leader came yesterday and we discussed the logistics of getting the New Testaments safely to their destination and stored for a month at the local government council chambers. They and we are not agreed on what price to charge for them. Please pray for us on that point as well. Then today an older man and his son came with some weird ideas – disappointing us greatly. We discerned cargo cult thinking. We don’t have time to share it all with you now, but it involved their belief still that there must be a quicker way to advance to a better standard of living, and that we missionaries are hiding from them the true, fast way of progress. None the less, it was good to get back into talking the language again and also to see their faith in spite of it all.
So, the news so far is good and we are thankful to our God for His care and direction. Sometimes I let Corinne continue going through all our 50 years of stuff here, while I work as much as I can on editing Old Testament portions so I can check them when we go to our village.
We will be here only for only 3 months, so the best way to stay in touch is via E-mail. Our capacity to receive mail is limited 100 kb’s, so please omit sending many pictures and other things. And when replying to our letters, please delete our letter from your reply. (Sending pictures in separate messages.)
Thanking you for your prayers,
Tom and Corinne Palmer