Now, the whole strip is soaked through and the rain is washing it away in places. The crazy thing is that we have really rocky porous ground that does not normally hold water, but we have just had SO MUCH RAIN that it can't take it anymore. And every night we listen to other missionaries talk over the short wave radio about how dry it is in their areas and how little rain they have been getting. I think all the rain in PNG is being dumped right on our village.
Our best hope now, is that when the chopper brings the pilot in to inspect the strip, he can tell us that he will open it, but won't be able to land a plane until things dry out significantly. We can't put off the chopper flight because it has now been 9 weeks since we had a flight and we are running out of food and supplies. I think I have just enough toilet paper to last us until the 30th. If the strip is not considered "open" on the 30th, then we will have to pay another $5,000 to fly the helicopter in again.
Needless to say we are discouraged. We have been working so long and so hard for this, and the longer it takes for the airstrip to be opened the longer it will be before we can move on to what we really came here for. We need to learn the Hewa language so we can minister to the people, and during that process we will periodically have consultants come in to check to see how we are progressing and give us advice to help us move forward. Until this airstrip is finished those consultants can't come in and we are coming up on a year in the tribe without a language check.
On top of all this, the Creation to Christ teaching is going on. We are not sure exactly how it is going because the dynamics are very different with a core group of believers sitting in the audience answering all the questions. But there are definitely people hearing for the first time, so all we can do at this point is pray and hope they are understanding.
My co-worker, Abby sat next to a young mother two nights ago and listened to the story of Adam and Eve. When the meeting ended she told Abby that it was the first time she ever heard that story. It was great reminder of why we are here, because we know there are many more Hewa men, women, and children out there just like her.
As I sit here typing more rain is pouring on our tin roof just as it has done all night long, I know we are here for a purpose even though things might not be going as we planned. We desire with all our hearts to keep going even through these days where we feel like we are at best going nowhere…and maybe even going backward. So keep praying. Your prayers are felt and are truly helping to carry us through to the end.