These were the type of people we would love to visit but I was not fit enough to make such a trek. "Was there a road to the village?" we asked.
"Yes but nothing has travelled it for almost 12 months, since the last coffee truck went up to collect the beans."
But it was now harvest time again so we would give it a try. The sun had shone for the previous three weeks but the day we were to make the trip it was cloudy. We had discussed our plans with the Lord, so why wasn't there sunshine? We headed along the road to Omaura School of Ministry, then into the mountains. The red clay track was steep and overgrown. We knew that if the clouds dropped any moisture, this road would be very slippery. We needed the Lord with us. Stopping at four villages for permission to travel through their areas, we climbed higher into the clouds--still no sunshine to be seen. We finally arrived, parking on a red clay mound. Our thoughts were, "If it rains, this is where we stay until . . ." What a welcome, with such excitement by inquisitive children and adults. We were the first "white skins" to visit since the war. We walked down to the main section of the village with the local people all around. A big woman threw her arms around me, continually pounding my back--I was sure there must have been handprints left behind. What a joy to see the small, neat, bush Seventh-day Adventist church. Reg stayed and talked as I walked down through the village to find the Adventist church members. While walking among the bush-material houses and shabbily dressed people, I looked ahead to huge tree-covered mountains peeking through clouds. What memories--such pictures were shown by missionaries at campmeetings years ago.
The four male church members came--unfortunately, the wives were at their gardens, quite a distance away. I explained who we were and why we had made the visit, then headed back to Reg. Only a few steps and my heart skipped a beat. I felt mist.
Oh no, Lord, where are you? My mind whirred with the thought of the vehicle and our travelling back. With a pounding heart I prayed, Please, Lord, you know our situation--please stop this mist. It stopped immediately.
Thank you, Lord! I prayed but I also had another request. Lord, I need reassurance. Please show me in another way that you are with us.
Immediately, with dark clouds all around, I was walking in a "circle" of sunlight. What reassurance! My heart was now really pounding. Thank you, thank you Lord.
As we continued to walk, the light disappeared but I had my promise.
On reaching Reg, he motioned that we really should hurry, pointing to the clouds. "Don't worry, it will be OK," I replied.
We walked back up to the vehicle, giving the people boxes of clothing. The Adventist men were so sorry they had nothing to give in return--as if we needed anything more! After another short talk and prayer, we said our goodbyes.
Our hearts overflowed with joy as we drove back, commenting over and over again how the Lord had been with us. I excitedly told of my "communication" with the Lord.
What a surprise the following morning when three of the Adventist men came to visit us. Again, they were apologetic they had not given us anything the previous day but they had brought something with them. With big smiles, they gave us three cucumbers--they had walked up and down mountains for five hours carrying three cucumbers just for us, to show their appreciation of our visit.
I has to ask if any rain had fallen. "Yes," they said. It had started as soon as we had left the village and was still falling when they had left that morning. Since then, a volunteer worker has been welcomed into the village, resulting in many baptisms and others in "class ready." They also have a larger church to glorify our God. The Lord is good. When trouble comes, he is a strong refuge. And he knows everyone who trusts in him. Nahum 1:7. Margaret Davis lives in Lae, where her husband, Reg, is building supervisor for the Papua New Guinea Union Mission.