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Thursday, October 22, 2015

PNG End of the Year-Day 11: "Straddling the Countries!"

As we pack up and prepare to fly home...and as we prepare for the last-minute meetings lined up until we get on the plane, I feel like we have a leg in one country while attempting to step into the next. We still have things left undone here that we will try to do from New Zealand. 

Last night we had our farewell dinner with our little staff team.  Lillian couldn't make it because she just found out she has malaria and typhoid.  (Because of the drought here, I guess the water quality is becoming compromised in some places.)  We brought her chicken and a case of bottled water on the way home.  I was so glad to see her standing at her gate when we dropped off the stuff.  I was grateful to God for the medicine He provided   that enabled her to be standing there.  (Malaria and typhoid are not things I normally deal with in New Zealand and sound a bit scary to me.)  Bottom line?  I got my hug from Lily, and I saw God was in the process of healing her!

Let the record show:  We believe all three PNG banks are now on line!  (This is after 2 1/2 years of attempts!)  Although one bank is still untested, this has been a major step!

We still need to see 2 miraculous solutions:  storage for the extra office supplies stored in George Puipui's house as the family is in the process of selling the house; and housing for our staff between when the university year ends and before they go to Fiji next year for training.  We'll be working on finding God's solutions to these needs from New Zealand.

Thank you to all who have prayed for us!  Blessings upon you!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

PNG End of Year Celebration-Day 10: "Can You See the Stars?"

Staying at a place like a missionary guest house is a pretty humbling experience.  We meet all sorts of people doing some amazing things.  For instance, we had dinner with a couple who are involved in church-planting in the southern area of the Fly River just across the border from West Papua (Indonesia.)  It's a pretty isolated, hard area to work. Papua New Guinea is going through a drought at the moment and that particular area is really dry right now.  The couple have just returned from their furlough and are wondering if they'll have any drinking water when they get there.  The wife was telling me that she was teaching once in their village about creation.  She found out that the islanders there were afraid to look at the stars.  They believed something terrible would happen if they did.  Can you imagine?  "The heavens are telling the glory of God."  I'm glad God put that couple just where He did so that the people can now get a glimpse His glory!

I also get to hear stories about my husband who helps people when I'm not around.  Last trip he helped out this same woman who was having booking issues with the rooms here.  Her husband thanked Dan yesterday for coming to the rescue of his stranded wife.  (I'm married to a knight in shining armor!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

PNG End of the Year Celebration-Day 9: "Coxwain!"

It was only for the space of 3 minutes, but I saw Coxwain today!  He dropped by the Mapang Missionary Guest House.  How good it was to see this old friend from the Solomon Islands.  He was there when Laurie was just born.  He was there when she went into heart failure.  He was the one singing hymns with Dan during their devotion time together.  He's the one that had a contest with Dan about who saw the newest car on the road, evidenced by the license-plate number.  He was the one who supervised Norm Edney's emergency air-lift rescue after his bike accident.  He was in our house in New Zealand when he first told our CCC staff family about a special girl in his life:  Doreen.

Coxwain is now working with the Jesus Film project and travels all around.  He's on his way to Goroko, PNG as I write this.  His son, Norm, is 11 years old already.  

Christian family makes the world a smaller, much more appealing place!

Monday, October 19, 2015

PNG End of Year Celebration-Day 8: "More Pics!"

Here are some more photos of our celebration day!

Dan's challenge to hear God's voice this summer
A ministry partner & board members
I gave a devotion
2015 and 2016 student leaders


Sunday, October 18, 2015

PNG End of Year Celebration-Day 7: "Omega Celebration!"

What a day...from set up to clean up!  A day like this takes a lot out of a person, but there was so much to celebrate.  In spite of struggles and set-backs throughout the year, God changed lives.  Many came into the kingdom, many learned what it meant to step out in faith, and many discovered the joy of being with other like-minded students who want to follow God.  Some learned that even after mistakes, there's forgiveness.  The Christian life is certainly an adventure...full of excitement, scary bits, hard times, and triumph.  I wonder what next year will hold.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

PNG End of Year Celebration-Day 6: "My friend, Kindle!"

Waiting.  It's not an easy job for me, but required here in Papua New Guinea.  Waiting for a taxi, waiting for people to arrive, waiting for Dan to finish his work so that we can travel together to the next place, waiting, waiting waiting.  My culture is clock oriented, this culture is not. 

Today Dan gathered once again all the necessary information for applying for online banking for ...are you ready for it?...the 4th time. This involved waiting for Lillian to bring her passport picture, then waiting for Elton to bring his passport picture, then waiting for a board member to come and sign some pictures. At this point I begged off and let Dan wait in line at the bank on his own. Our application keeps getting lost somehow.  Each time we apply we are assured that THIS time the bank will make it happen.  We'll see.

I've found that with a Kindle in my bag, waiting is not such a hard job.  (I won't tell how many books I've read so far this trip because it's embarrassing.)  I'm so grateful to whoever invented the thing.  It's small, portable, and gives me access to many stories which entertain me while I wait.

Friday, October 16, 2015

PNG End of Year Celebration-Day 5: "Not What We Expect!"

Life doesn’t always look like we thought it would.

Lillian’s evangelistic talk is a good example.  As part of her new staff training, she was to prepare and give an evangelistic talk, covering her own testimony, the gospel, and offering to pray with those interested in receiving Christ.  Lillian invited the girls she was discipling and those her girls were discipling to attend the talk, each bringing a non-Christian friend with them.  All was set.  Then at the last minute the talk had to be rescheduled.  By being given at this later date, I was able to attend...but none of the non-Christian friends.  At the last minute, Lillian had to adapt her talk to girls who already were Christians and who already knew her, yet still covering the points needed in order to complete her training.

It was not what Lillian had envisioned.   

It reminded me of Mary laying baby Jesus in a feeding trough.  I’ll bet it was not what she had envisioned when she was praising God in Luke 1: 46-55.  But God had.  The manger was the clue the angel gave to the shepherds to find Jesus.  The heavenly host were glorifying God because of Jesus coming...and lying in a manger.  There was no heavenly, “Oops!”  Mary had done nothing wrong.  In fact, I reckon she was being creative in making a baby bed out of a manger.  A humble feeding trough turned out to be the baby bed for the Bread of Life.

After her talk I sent Lillian this text message: “The love and light of Jesus was shining out of your eyes.  You spoke from the heart, which is contagious.  If I was one of your girls, I’d want to be just like you!”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

PNG End of Year Celebration- Day 4: "Stories!"

While I was waiting with a bunch of Student Life girls for Lillian’s evangelistic talk to begin, Andrea asked if I had any stories for them.

I was racking my brain thinking of a quick story to tell, and I thought of 1 ½ -year-old Isla.  So I told how she loved her children’s book about the Lost Sheep parable.  I told them that when her mom got to the middle of the book, just before the page with the scary bear, Isla held up her finger and said, “Wait!” (just like her mom does to her sometimes), and when the page was turned she started crying because the bear was scary.  Yet in spite of all that, she took the book to bed with her and held it while she took her nap.

In trying to make conversation with the people here at the guest house last night at dinner, it was a little hard to get talk flowing until we started telling stories about culture.  We told reverse culture change for our children when Nathan and Julie were 4 and 2 years old:  After moving to Guam (which is fairly “American” compared to Palau where we had been living) we went to open a bank account.  We looked around for our kids at one point and found them rolling around on the ground.  (They had never seen wall-to-wall carpeting before.)  Water fountains, they called “waterfalls,” the escalator was thrilling, the bathtub (they had only experienced showers) they insisted be filled with cold water (like a swimming pool.)

We also talked about taking islanders to a sheep farm in New Zealand.  (We thought since the Bible has a lot of sheep stories and there are

At this point, the farmer glanced over and looked a little ashen-faced.  The Tongan also looked a little pale because he thought he’d killed the sheep because the sheep just hung still and limp, while the pigs he usually picked up would wriggle.  (The sheep probably would have looked a little scared as well if we could have seen under all that wool.)  Everything turned out happily ever after, however...but I bet that sheep farmer never asks a Tongan on stage again.

Conclusion: It’s always good to have a story in your back pocket.  (And it’s also good that your kids are not always around to be embarrassed by the same old stories time and again!)

no sheep in the islands, that this would be a good idea.)  The sheep farmer had a platform on which he was about to demonstrate shearing a sheep.  He asked for a volunteer from the audience and picked our Tongan friend.  He asked our friend to bring him a sheep from the pen on the stage, then turned to the audience and continued to talk (thinking all the while that our friend would have trouble with this task.)  What the farmer might not have been aware of is that Tongans roast whole pigs every Sunday.  Our friend approached to sheep as he would a pig.  He simply reached in, grabbed the sheep by the hind legs and held him up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

PNG End of Year Celebration-Day 3: "Missions?"

We were talking with a missionary at the guest house about how perceptions of missions have changed over the generations.  He said that as his job is with linguistics, it's interesting which words Christians use when thinking about doing Christian work.  He said the generation before us talked of "sacrifice."  Our generation talks of "commitment."  The new generation talks of "passion."  Because passion runs out, it doesn't take a person as far as commitment.  Because commitment has boundaries, it doesn't take a person as far as sacrifice.

Conclusion:  I may be a wimp to my parents generation, but I'm a fanatic to my children.

I also learned about a poll taken at an Urbana missions conference of the new generation about what they see as the length of a short-term mission.  Answer:  1-2 weeks.  The length of a long-term mission: about 6-9 months.

 Times and perceptions are changing.  Technology makes time seem to rush by quickly.  But in the whirlwind, there's the Rock to hold onto that doesn't change.  (Yahoo!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

PNG End of year celebration-Day 2: "Clear Sailing?"

The good thing about leading office devotions is that you learn more about what you learned before, because you say it out loud.  Even if nobody else thinks the lesson is significant, I feel so enriched.

The story of Elizabeth and Zachariah in Luke 1 has really captured my attention.  Because Elizabeth couldn’t have children, she was shamed by society.  Even though this couple did everything right, society would say God wasn’t pleased with them because He didn’t bless them with children.

I wonder what they thought.  Did they think God didn’t love them or approve of them?  The fact was that God considered them righteous.  Hundreds of years before, He knew He’d bless them with baby John (the Baptist.)  (Mal. 3:1) This couple faithfully walked with God all their lives, but didn’t experience a baby until they were old.

In naming the baby John, they went against the approval of society and family.  People assumed the baby would be named after the father.  They didn’t accept Elizabeth’s declaration of the name John, so they went to Zachariah.  He wrote down the name John...then miraculously was able to speak again.

Because this couple did what they knew in their hearts God wanted them to do, everyone around them was amazed and able to see God had a special purpose for this baby.  Just as people were wondering what that purpose was, the Holy Spirit gave the baby’s dad words of prophesy that told the people what that purpose was to be.  If the parents had caved into the approval of friends and family, no one would be prepared for the significant ministry of this new baby boy.

Somehow I fall into the thinking that if I do everything right, I’ll have “clear sailing” in life.  God will make circumstances fall into place that will make everything EASY.  However, as I read the Bible, I can’t find easy circumstances anywhere.  Every person I read about has obstacles to overcome.  It seems that in the midst of life’s struggles...the battles and the victories, that’s where God’s glory shines.

The lie: Because God loves me I’ll have “clear sailing” in life.

The truth: Because God loves me, I’ll never be alone in hard circumstances, and His plan for me is has always been for my good since the beginning of time.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

PNG End of Year Celebration Day 1: "Getting Here!"

Yes.  Once again I find myself on a plane to Papua New Guinea, this time to hear from the staff and students what God has done this year.

When sitting on the plane, I enter the no-man's land of being between two worlds.  I leave behind family, church, friends, weekly commitments...and my house and pets to the care of our housesitter.   I think ahead to the world I'm about to enter and I wonder if I packed what was necessary for all possible situations.  (Probably not!)  Because we leave at 3:15 am, and all thinking tends to be fuzzy anyway, it's a good time to read a book and just exist in a suspended state for a while.  That's when life threw a new item my way.  The flight attendant brought a snack and a eating utensil I've never seen before!  I'd heard of a spork (a cross between a spoon and a fork,) but this...what could it be:  a spife? a knoon?  And  who designed this thing that a person has to hold the blade of a knife in order to use a spoon?  Such big thoughts for a sleepy brain.

All will be well in the morning, right God?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

PNG Sept. Day 3: "Training"

Today I sat in the training that our 2 STINT (Short Term INTernationals) girls are running for 2 PNG staff, Lillian and Elton.    

To start today's training, Danika & Emily (you can see pictures of them in the previous post), had Elton at one desk make as many paper dogs as possible while blindfolded (and given no instructions).

Lillian, on the other hand, was not blindfolded and she had a book with word instructions and diagrams to show her how to make them.  The point was that if we want to do an excellent job (and not frustrate ourselves & others in the process), we need to have instruction that's easy to follow (training).  As you can imagine, Lillian's were very nice... but Elton's were actually very creative (and he made more). 

Sometimes, without training we can do very nice ministry - but if we want excellence, we need training - instructions, teaching, and modeling (MAWLing). 

Thanks for helping to make this ministry possible through your finances & prayers!

Monday, September 7, 2015

PNG Sept. Day 1: "Happy Birthday!"

I arrived in PNG on Sunday afternoon.  The Saturday was my birthday and I had a great party with the family on that night.  When I arrived in Port Moresby I was hoping to meet up with our staff, but no one was available - which I thought was a bit odd, but I did have lots to do.  Then I received this message from Elton: "Hi Dan, On Monday, I want you to be at the office by 10am sharp and not earlier than this.  That's when everyone arrives".  Now, I didn't know they used that word "sharp" in a time context here and I thought it strange that he said not earlier, but I didn't think much more about it.

On Monday, they wanted to know when I was arriving and I sent them texts as I got close because I wanted them to help me carry the 3 heavy bags I had for them.  And it was a great reunion in the parking lot and and we all walked to the office, but the girls slammed the door in my face before I got to it (Elton smiled kind of funny like).  Then they opened the door and the whole room was decorated.  I wondered at first what the occasion was, but then they all said "Happy Birthday!".  I was very surprised!  They took a picture of my surprised face and later compared it to photos of themselves that they had taken earlier with their facial expression predictions of what they thought I'd look like - very funny (see final picture below)!

They sat me down in a fancy chair (my "throne"), gave me a crown, a necklace, a sceptre (which I used to poke them for the next 2 days), and a PNG carry bag and 2 cans of Bu (like Red Bull).  It was great fun and I felt so appreciated.  

I'll be here 5 more days.

What a great team to work with!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PNG May Day 3: "An old very good friend"

Today was another action day - of meeting people.  This time I had a couple good hours with Greg (PNG missionary), talking about how God was working in his life.  

After that, and an hour and a half of waiting for taxis (2 failed, one succeeded), I caught up with Lillian (PNG missionary) and we talked about the staff team and the stinters and how everyone was getting along.  It was very encouraging.. but since you don't know them, I won't go into details.

But the surprise of my life came at dinner tonight.  During dinner, I thought I saw
out of the corner of my eye an old friend from the Solomon Islands (from when we lived there in the 90s) walk past me, but I looked up & saw no one and thought it must have been my imagination.  Then, after dinner, when I was talking with someone, Coxwain, our former Solomon Islands Director, snuck up behind me!
My good friend, Coxwain from the Solomon Islands!
During dinner, he was sitting at the opposite end of the dining room (with about 25 people in it).  He said "all of a sudden I heard someone talking about the Solomon Islands and Palau and thought that sounds like Dan"!  He stood up and saw me at the other end of the room.  After dinner, we spent over an hour talking.  It was great! When we left the Solomons, Nathan (our oldest) was 10 – now Coxwain's little boy is 10 and Nathan had 3 children of his own.  I showed him pictures of Kaylynn and the kids and the kid’s kids - He was surprised to hear that we have 6 grandchildren.   He is doing so well, and it was so encouraging to see him again!

Monday, May 18, 2015

PNG May Day 2: "16 hours"

This morning I had breakfast @ 5:45am (I try to stay on NZ time 2 hours ahead).  I then went to the office and had a great time with Elton (PNG), Lillian (PNG), Danika (Aust), & Emily (USA).  We had a good devotion and it was fun to see how they all interacted.  This is new - our team in a new office, running "office meetings" by themselves with a highly interactive team of 4 - they're figuring it out - it's very encouraging!  

And Emily & Danika add a lot!  Danika is great at thinking creatively, outside the box, and Emily is good at the practical and figuring out how to make things work.  They work amazingly together!  It's hard to believe that they didn't know each other just a few months ago!  And they work amazingly well with Elton & Lillian.

After our team meeting, I was to meet someone for lunch, but they couldn't make it - and I had scheduled to meet Elton at 3 pm, so I didn't have time to go out and get lunch.

I had a great time with Elton talking about so many things in his life and the ministry, and asking his opinion about things.  In fact it went so well that I didn't have time to go back to the guesthouse for dinner before the weekly meeting (called Splash) started on campus (UPNG) - so I went straight to campus.

To make a long story short, I didn't make it to the guest house to eat my dinner until 9:45 pm (hence the title of this post, 16 hours between my 2 food "book ends") - but I never really felt hungry being in the midst of seeing God work :-)

Here are a few photos of Splash tonight.  Thanks for helping to make this ministry possible!
Lillian, Emily & Danika planning
Beautlyn & Tanya finding their name
 on the Discipleship Chart

Emily teaching

Danika teaching

Lillian teaching 
Girls finding their names on the
discipleship Spider chart

Sunday, May 17, 2015

PNG May Day 1: "Eat and Greet"

I'm off to PNG again!  It's always hard to leave Auckland - my home, my family, my familiar, my comfort...  I know God will work everything out, but for some reason I'm more troubled this trip.  I cried out to the Lord and said, "what's wrong", and He said, "You're not trusting me to give you the words to say".  It's funny how I KNOW He promises to show me what to say, and I've seen Him be faithful hundreds of times when I open my mouth - But I still forget and run on my old fears.  So... here's my next adventure when I KNOW God will work!

This trip is different than most trips in that there is no event or occasion for me to lead.  My goals this trip are almost all people.  I have 12 people or groups that I will be having time alone with to discuss different things.  Our 2 girls (from Australian & USA) have arrived and I will spend time with them to make sure they're settling in okay.  I will also spend time with each of our PNG missionaries to make sure that they have a good plan for the middle of the university year (which runs from March to November).  Also, because Kaylynn & I are going to the States for 2 1/2 months in June, we're handing the oversight of the ministry to our colleagues Matthew & Tammy Anderson and I'll explain this to the group.  We also have to sort out a difficult situation with one of our missionaries - so a few of the conversations I'll be having will be difficult (please pray).  So, this could be why I'm more worried about knowing what to say :-)

First breakfast
Okay , on to the fun stuff: I had 3 breakfasts today!  My reward for having to get up at 2:45 in the morning (night?) is a Massive McMuffin at McDonalds. If I had a heart doctor, he'd probably be upset, but it's the only place I can get America breakfast sausage - 2 patties :-).  
Second breakfast (it's still dark)
Then because I fly a lot, I was allowed to go into the Air New Zealand lounge in auckland - which had lots of food - so I had a second breakfast (this one a little bit more healthy).  Then after my 3 hour flight to Brisbane, I went again into the Air NZ lounge, but because of the 2 hour time difference, it was still breakfast time.   So I had to get "my money's" worth" :-)

This afternoon, after I arrived in Port Moresby and settled into the guest house, I went to find the 2 STINT (Short Term INTernationals) girls.  What a great time we had!  I'm thrilled!  They are doing so well.  They are approaching their time here as learners and discovering this rich culture.  A few things they learned were that it usually takes about twice as long to accomplish any task, and that even when they're expecting a good group of people to show up, even more people will show up.  And social outings seem to take much more of their time (not a bad thing just different).  They're discovering many things about the ministry and culture that I didn't know because they are sitting down with the students and asking lots of questions.  I'll share more this week.  Their main goal this year is to help show the PNG students what a vibrant growing movement looks like.  Thanks for praying for them! 

Emily (L, from USA) & Danika (R, from Aust) - our help has arrived! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter Conference Day 10: "Pacific Games Are A'Comin'!"

Driving around town in Port Moresby, it's evident that the Pacific Games are going to be hosted here.  Stadiums, swimming pools, volleyball courts, etc., are all being constructed.  Billboards are up, flags are waving...

My favourite things are the statues at some of the roundabouts.  They are of various sports figures in action.  One statue is half a body swimming (as if the ground hides the rest of the body under water.)  Sorry, we didn't get a photo of that!

The games begin 4 July hopefully all the buildings being constructed will be completed!  Port Moresby will be an exciting place.  We met a guy staying here at the Mapang Guest House who is trying to be invited to act as a referee.  He is an American pastor who is more passionate about sports than anyone I've ever met!  (He's big into University of Oregon sports and referees various high school and other games.  I didn't tell him I attended Oregon State.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

PNG Easter Conference Day 9: "Gail!"

Gail Puipui, after returning to her highschool today, shared Christ (along side of the guy who attended the Easter conference with her) with her classmates.  When we saw her this afternoon she was flying high with joy and bubbling over with what God was teaching her and how He was using her.  The head girl (like a class president) had just prayed to receive Christ into her heart.

We went to Gail's highschool to deliver some sports jerseys sent from the USA.  Gail had gathered the Scripture Union club members to a place on campus to meet with us.  We told them about Student Life at the university and invited them to join us upon their graduation from high school.  Gail's friends were thrilled with the gift of the jerseys, and a couple of guys asked Roman (Gail's friend from the Easter conference) a question...and the next thing I knew he was explaining the gospel to them. 

George and Eva would have been so proud of their little girl.  I know I am.

Monday, April 6, 2015

PNG Easter Conference Day 8: "Brain Freeze!"

Today is a day off.  Good thing.  Yesterday, someone asked me what one of my grandbabies' name was and my mind went blank.  I could picture the baby, but my brain couldn't come up with a name to match.  I quickly called to Dan, got the name and my sanity back...but it's definately time to decompress!

While faithful Dan is working through conference evaluations, I've been sitting in a chair all day doing suduku, researching birthday presents (!), catching up on facebook, and talking about all my impressions of people and problems and insights from the conference.  (Dan is good at listening, too!)

I'm beginning to feel my equilibrium return.  Hopefully I can hang in there a couple of more days before returning to Auckland.  (Sometimes I wonder at God's insistence in using ME!  I'm trusting that He knows best.)

Speaking of "brain freeze," l now have corrections to the numbers attending the conference posted earlier:  Around 80 students came to the conference, around 67 were new to our ministry, and Gail brought 2 high school friends.  There.  I don't think I'll try reporting numbers again anytime soon.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

PNG Easter Conference Day 7: "Conference End!"

Happy Easter!  

Celebration time!  Certificates were given out to those who completed their two-day level of training. (There were four different levels going on throughout the conference.) Jesus Film DVDs were distributed to the people we met along the way to the park where we eat our lunch. "Items" were prepared and performed (kinda like X-Factor.)  Challenges were given, thank yous were said...and small chocolate Easter eggs were eaten!

Hopefully, though, the lasting result of the conference will be a new determination to focus on Jesus and to walk with Him.

Several students were interested in starting a discipleship group.  (We could sure use the help of those two girls from Australia who are waiting on their work visas.)

Materials are packed up, the church truck is loaded with boxes and instruments and students...and we bid another Easter Conference at the Grand Papua Hotel farewell.  (Where's my bed?)


PNG Easter Conference Day 6: "Sea of Orange!"

Today was our day of taking the students on the beach to share their faith.  This was SCARY stuff, especially for all those newbees who just learned how to share the Knowing God Personally booklet.  We've been talking about walking with God and taking steps of faith...But this was sort of a giant leap for most of the students.

Me sharing a devo to my fellow orange peeps!
Everyone was wearing their orange T-shirts.  (They look pretty good filled with real live human bodies...although slightly reminiscent of orange road cones or "high vis vests!")

When everyone returned after lunch and shared their experiences...

that's my favourite part!  God brought 87 new people into the kingdom today!  Students couldn't wait for a turn at the microphone to tell their stories!

Some new things happened this year in addition to new baby Christians being born...things that our staff may need to be work through when we do this next year.  Two students were given money, one student was given a mango, and one man heard the gospel while stealing a student's camera out of his bag.

Another new thing was the behavior of the police.  While three of the uni students I was with were going over the booklet with some girls about 12 years old, three policemen came by.  One looked slightly intoxicated and carried a stick which he waved around.  Another policeman reached into one of the young girl's string bag, pulled out her half drunk Coke bottle, undid the lid, sniffed it and put it back.  All this took place without a word spoken.  They moved on to an old man at a nearby tree, reached into his bag and pulled out betelnut, and sniffed his Coke bottle.  The guy with the stick wacked it on the tree by the old man a couple of times.  Our taxi driver said this behavior by the police is new in the last two years.  Sigh.

I think the image that will stay with me is one of an older lady, sitting under a tree.  While going through the booklet, it seemed she was reminded that God loved her.  She knew the truth of the gospel, but I think she forgot how much she was loved.  She didn't speak hardly a word, but there was a light in her eyes when we left.