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Les Lights up Bush Bible School


They say the world is now one global village. It is true! From a score of phone calls, some SMSs, and a mail box full of emails, Les Loader, one-time Christian Brethren Church (CBC) missionary in Papua New Guinea (PNG), now living 1500 km away in Cairns Australia, can order and organise the components for a solar light system for a bush Bible School in the Hela Province of PNG. With internet banking the bills can quickly be paid from any place, although it is not that easy within PNG.

When it comes to taking delivery and transporting the solar panels, batteries, cable and controlboards from suppliers to the place of need, digital technology has no substitute for reliable, trustworthy people who serve. That was when Les called on MAF.

Les and Kay Loader came to PNG in 1969. Going first to Green River in the West Sepik they were involved in village evangelism and teaching. They then moved to Amanab and taught in the 'West Sepik Bible School'.

The Loader's abilities took them to Wewak in 1975 where they commenced the publishing ministry of Christian Books Melanesia Inc (CBM), and coordinated two existing bookshops. Meanwhile, Les also worked in urban settlements establishing a new Church on the outskirts of Wewak.

After returning to Christchurch, New Zealand for three . years in 1987, Les and Kay finally moved to Cairns , Australia. Their hearts are still strong for mission, so Les makes regular trips back to PNG for Bible teaching, facilitating small bush Bible Schools and mentoring Bible teachers and pastors. He supports several mission groups in PNG by purchasing Australian products and sending them there.

 

At Guala, in the Southern Highlands, there is a small English Bible School (left) that was started as an initiative of the CBC church from the surrounding areas. The school targets young adults who have dropped out of the education system. Its purpose is to teach the Bible, disciple, and improve the educational level of the students. The school had limited 240 volt
generator power, but with the local cost of diesel at AUD$3.00 per litre for the generator, electric lighting at night was a rare luxury. Les's project focussed on installing basic solar powered lighting.

Given the unreliability of communication and transport in PNG, parcels can disappear and never seen again. As they say in PNG, "Em i sistem ya" or translated, "It's just the way things are". However, this time the unexpected happened.

Cable and electronic switching panels were specifically designed by technical staff from the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) in Ukarumpa. A friend, Jonathan Zureo from Christian Leaders Training College (CLTC), Banz, went to Mt Hagen to pay and collect a phoned order.

"Sorry", but the Esco shop only had one 40 Kg battery and two solar panels; half the order. Fortunately Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship, (CRMF) staff in Goroka, were able to make up the shortages of a 30Kg battery and two more solar panels. Les also brought up a range of tools, switches, connectors, and light fittings obtained wholesale in Australia.

So, how did it all come together in MAF's Hagen base ready for the Tari flight ? The SIL order was put on a MAF flight from Ukarumpa as was the CRMF order from Goroka, and then the Esco order was delivered by the CBM staff in Hagen town. MAF staff collated, checked and consigned it all to Tari where all the items arrived safelyH.on the morning that Les arrived
from Australia. Sharlene Coker, programmer at MAF made sure of that!

"It was only because of the diligence and service of MAF staff in Mt Hagen and Tari," insists Les. "Thank you Lord," and "Thank you MAF," were his expressions of prayer and thanksgiving when he knew nothing was lost! In fact it included staff from SIL, CRMF and CBM!

There was much excitement on 29th January when the cargo arrived at Guala. Next day while discussing the requirements for installation with local Christian leaders, it was realised that a tall gum tree would shade the solar panels.

No problem! With a burst of energetic enthusiasm, the Huli axes were drawn and within the hour the tree was on the ground
(above). By then a crowd had gathered and Les had a ready crew of capable assistants willing to help get the equipment in place on the roof.

The supply of solar power now gives good lighting in both the Bible School classroom and the guesthouse used by visitors. This also means that laptops and other 12 volt equipment can be used. Most importantly, the students and the teachers can extend their study hours and have good light for night reading.

A significant side benefit is that the Principal, Ronald Muna, and other teachers can keep their mobile phones charged. It is common in remote parts in PNG that within two days of having no power, all the mobile phones are dead. But for Les it meant that he was able to install a 12 volt water pump to supply the guesthouse with water and so he could enjoy a warm shower.

Les has been the recipient of MAF's service for many years. Each year he travels to remote bush Bible Schools doing Bible teaching in the Sandaun (West Sepik) Province near the Indonesian border. Les testifies, "Praise God for MAF! Without MAF's help I could not do the work in PNG that God has given me."

But it's mutual! MAF counts it an honour to partner with those who extend God's Kingdom in PNG and Les is one of the many international and national workers doing remarkable Kingdom work.

MAF International Asia Pacific
Papua New Guinea

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