Liberty, PNG, January 2023

The last two weeks of January meant that mission work looked mostly like pulling network cables through tight spots in an old ship.
I was aboard the YWAM Ships vessel “Liberty”, which was in dry dock. That meant she was out of the water, getting many systems serviced. One of them was an overhaul of the IT-network, which was my job. It looked nice and decent in 2019, according to the documentation that was available, but it took a while to get things back in that shape again, and then to build from that.

The Liberty normally sails in the waters of Papua New Guinea, bringing help and hope to many people who haven’t really seen a dentist in their life. The dry dock is here: (some 20 minutes away from Port Moresby), and it’s impressive to see ships this big sitting on land. No way to get sea sick for a while, for anyone on it.
Dry dock also means a minimal crew and many project workers, blasting, welding, grinding and banging at the many spots. I do my part and at the end of the day I’m as greasy as the next guy. Being a 50 y.o. means I’m a little bit more achy than those half my age though :)

My (very) first impression of PNG is that it is friendly. Many services are well-organised and many goods and foods are available. There’s some issues with the supply chain, so sometime you get what’s available, because it might not be there next week.
PNG is situated just below the equator, meaning it’s “quite hot” and a bit humid. It’s quite hot outside the ship and on the decks, but not so much inside the ship. Well, certain places at least. Sometimes I work in areas which are just above 20°C, and sometimes it’s far above 30°C.
In that environment, bugs thrive too, but the roaches aren’t of the scary type if I don’t think too much about it. They are just curious and superfast.

We were invited to visit a church on the first Sunday, and I shared a message about being accepted by God (who gave us a spirit by which we cry Abba! Father!), and about how it is our own responsibility to seek to start every day from that position – where I referred to the story in Matthew 25.
As I was – and still am – unfamiliair to the intricacies of PNG culture, I had asked my friend Chreoney to summarize. He did so, and spoke in Pidgin, explaining details that people needed to hear, from what I could understand; I was pleased with that cooperation and I think it was useful for the audience as well.

Living in a community for a while is fun, and this being a YWAM community means we start the day with a prayer, worship, and a message. So we can share and to learn how to share better. I shared (pun, yes) about sharing ( and made cards for the six categories. So far, it seems to be helping creating a tighter team where people can rely and lean on each other, a little more every day.

Monday the 13th, we were invited to visit a school with some 500 students. No precise details about age groups and unfortunately I was unable to do much in the weekend before, being sick; I had calculated to be in bed for a day or two, but didn’t think that would happen towards the end of my stay. Also, because of other events that happened, such as management arriving for a week, that visit didn’t happen then. Just postponed, that is. I would have liked to talk about formative evaluation, but that would be for the teachers anyway, and since my friends from Sierra Leone, Jeremiah and James, are still on the ship, that contact may still happen. We’ll see.