We are glad 2020 is in our rear-view mirror and we hope 2021 will be a year of new hope and a chance to travel to Hauna again. Peter was able to finish his treatment in Wewak for Tuberculous and returned to Hauna to his office duties and his family. However, while he was gone something happened to our satellite up-link that allows us to communicate via email. We’re not sure if it was hit by lightning or something else. We are working on a solution to fix this from the other side of the world. In the meantime, currently the only way for us to contact Hauna is through Zech in Wewak who can communicate once per day on the ham radio system that all the missionaries use to coordinate flights and emergencies medical evacuations.
January and February are the quietest months in the village with school on summer break. A lot of people use this time and the extra labor to rebuild their houses, put on new thatched roofs, or expand their gardens on the river banks. One challenge we’re having in Hauna right now is with the airstrip mower. This walk-behind mower was generously supplied and shipped to Hauna by a US donor several years ago. The problem is that you can only get belts from the USA and carry them over. Right now, parcels aren’t going through and no one can travel there. The “mowing” of the airstrip is done by having a bunch of boys with machetes to do it by hand. The boys cut and the girls rake the clippings off of the strip. It’s a big party, but exhausting work.
In February, the leaders of the Bible school came to Wewak to get all their supplies for the upcoming session. While there, they had access to email and good cell phone service and it was good to catch up. They are looking forward to a good session starting in March. They were just ready to go back to Hauna when the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea passed away. This was a massive shock to the country – imagine our president dying while in office. They called him the Supreme Chief since “Chief” is the name given to the leader of the village clans. The entire country went into a two-week shutdown. They call it the “house cry”. There was no public transportation or bank service. The country was on hold for a while. Look for an active March update as school will be starting again and the Bible School will start their next session with a whole new crop of students.