THE CROCODILE AND THE COMIC BOOK
Over the years, I have shared these stories many times. People have encouraged me to write them down to provide a glimpse into the “lighter side” of missionary service in Papua New Guinea. They are shared for information and encouragement to pray for the Assemblies of God of Papua New Guinea – many have sown the seed, watered it with their prayers – and God has given the increase! Memories of driving the Field Superintendent’s Land Rover over a Maprik cliff (Contact Andrew Evans on this one – he embellishes it well); rescuing Billie Scott’s jeep which had crashed over a Wingei cliff; malarial fever bouts; our house helper trying on Gwen’s high heel shoes; Jack Easton driving with no brakes on his jeep; Bob Spence driving on three wheels when a wheel fell off his jeep; rescuing a missionary’s daughter who fell in the Sepik River off Pagwi wharf; communion almost served from a baby’s potty (Contact Fred and Betty Evans); and when Cyril and Evelyn Westbrook gave their baby to us (Contact Lyndon Westbrook for this story ?) will all have to remain in the archives of my fading memories. I hope you will enjoy these! Denis
JACK & HAZEL EASTON
Jack and Hazel Easton had no biological children. Although, it must be said at the outset that they have thousands of children and grandchildren – only heaven’s records hold the reality of those numbers. Gwen and I had the privilege to become two of those children to Jack and Hazel. Although Gwen was their niece, she was looked on as a ‘daughter’ and myself the nephew that God brought into their lives through marriage to Gwen.
When it comes to important cultural ceremonies, there is often a greater bond in the New Guinea culture between uncle and nephew than father and son. We respect that relationship, and hold dear the many memories of this incredible couple, who had beautiful hearts and beautiful feet.
In a nation where, oral tradition was the foundation for keeping memories alive, this is our tribute, to ensure that their story is not forgotten, and that those who read it will understand the legacy they left around the world.
DIARY OF A PIONEER
Pastor Don Westbrook felt that God was speaking to him to offer his abilities to make the Papua New Guinea venture a success. He had been a builder for many years before following the call of God into full time ministry.
Pastor Cyril Westbrook asked his step-mother, Winnie Westbrook, in her later years, to relate the story of his father’s going to New Guinea.
She said that one day he came from his study and said “Let’s have a cuppa and a chat together.” She said “I told him there is no need as God has already talked to me, and it is okay.” She released him to make himself available to be Pastor Hugh Davidson’s helper and companion in launching the New Guinea Mission.
On the 22nd October 1948, Don sailed with Hugh Davidson on the Malekula to take the first bold steps to pioneer the Assemblies of God in Papua New Guinea …..
Kevin Hovey i bin raitim dispela story bilong givim tok save long ol manmeri i ken save Assembli ov God long Papua Niu Gini i kamap olsem wanem. Emi i stori long man na meri, tasol em i stori stret bilong God i singaut long samplela manmeri long Australia i mas go long ol ples nabaut na autim Gutnius bilong Jisas Kraist. Jisas em i as bilong dispela stori – “Yu mas bihainim lek bilong Mi.” Ol misinari i go paslain i bin bihainim lek bilong Jisas, na bihain, ol manmeri i kamap Kritsen ol i mekim olsem. Na yu tu, i mas mekim olsem.
I have translated the story written by Kevin Hovey. A language is never static – each generation brings its own words and phrases from their contemporary environment. I have attempted to capture both the original content, nuances and phrase meanings and expressed them in today’s English. I trust this is so and I accept the responsibility for any errors I may have made. I have tried my best to bring the reader into the beginnings of those exciting days of the work of the Assemblies of God in Australia and now the Assemblies of God Church in Papua New Guinea. Denis