Welcome to "Ialibu Gospel Fellowship" at Koromi

Praise God for the Revival in Ialibu

Earlier letters

with blessings from Papua New Guinea

19-Sept 2018

Dear friends,

We are now back in Denmark for a spell though I do not know for how long. Looking back it has been quite a trip. On the practical side - which is the easier aspect – there was the building of the addition to the fellowship hall, the building of the Kindergarten, the ablutions block and the various repairs around the place following the earthquakes etc. including the widows housing. Then there was the logistics for all the patients coming to the door for treatment and feeding the hungry children and of course the trips to the hospital for the various sick including Myron.

Looking back, it seems that the spiritual side of all this is far more rewarding. The teaching 3-5 times a week and then meetings and instruction regarding leadership and responsibility as a leading group. Working together and building trust and then teaching the practical living out of the life of the Scriptures. The Baptism class of 17 during the last few days was such a blessing to be a part of, especially after teaching the group and getting to know them for the

The blessing is in seeing the change in the lives of those we touched and then even more ourselves. It has been a bit difficult landing back in a materialistic ‘days of Noah civilisation’ and more, seeing how the believers are so caught up in the same also with the thinking and mostly unawares. However how to get off the mad train is not easy. We are too having to deal with the: “What now?” question.

An opening has come up for a job in PNG which would allow us to be in the area however how in practical terms this will work out with regards to our responsibilities on this side of the globe is yet to be worked out. Appreciate your prayers regarding this.

When we left Ialibu it was a difficult farewell as there are many questions especially regarding the future of the ministry and work and opportunities. So we are praying much for the next step and our role as leaders.

Thankyou for joining us.

Below is a letter from the director

Dear all,

I want to state my thank you to you all for sending Flemming and Ida Walsoe and Philip and Karin Sode for the 1+ 4 months they were here. Thank you to you both families for the unique ministry spiritually and physically.

I am waiting on the Lord for whats next as I have no idea- except seeing the shape of the Master all around me. But look at the capacity! Built by both family missions. Praise be to God for these sweet smelling offerings to Him.

The cement steps to the village.

 the iron posts replacement under the missionaries house,post earthquake.

 the wood stoves working. the main church extension.

the new Church wing and prayer room and kitchen.

the new Kindergarten building direction to retrieve GTM buildings now used by elementary school

 the church toilets construction

church leadership structures leadership training opportunities

Sunday school encouragement

 the widows house

 the feeding of hungry children

the treatment of the sick babies dedications

 the opportunity to walk normally -post operation

 (others I may have missed here)

Physically we now have wonderful facilities. The Lord will have to guide whats next...I have ideas for the facilities (plenty!!! on some and blank on others) it appears these developments are in the right direction- but I have no plans as the Lord will have to choose and bring what He chooses to pass. I head up to Ialibu for a long haul next week Friday after a few days in Australia to complete the physical projects and wait on the Lord for what is to happen to the facilities as He uses them. How I thank God that Faith is the substance of evidence of things no seen! (The substance of things hoped for) I'd rather live by Faith!

Thanks to you all (and the prayer and financial supporters, most of whom I don't know) and the Lord who weighs all things will reward and give the best and truest form of praise and thanks in this life and at the next one- Hallelujah!

Will keep in touch.

OHMS.

David Sode Director

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Dear friends and partners,

Most of you are enjoying summer and I hope that you have time for some good fellowship with other believers. We have been busy and also had to pop down to Australia to renew our visas. While we were there, Papua New Guinea was on a two-week winter break (we are south of the equator) and the fellowship at Ialibu went on a week’s retreat to Hagen – the nearby central town about 2½ hrs drive from here.

We returned on the same day as they did, so we picked up some of the group and on the way home we heard of the wonderful time they had had and how God had spoken to them regarding restoration, poverty and being rich in Christ, Worship and prayer. We got a special report on the drive home by at least one man, OJ, who has been transformed.

We came back to pretty much where we left off as there had also been a funeral while we were gone (The lady was one of the few remaining who remember anything from WWII). We started to recruit for the odd jobs around the station, some more of the dropouts from the village in order to try and get them out of their downward spiral and show them the other option with Christ and that there is a real hope.

Finally got the roof up on the church extension so below a few photos. Also we have started the foundation for the new Kindergarten room. This is another of our concerns as we cannot seem to get it up and running without us personally being present all the time. The importance of the centre has escaped most of the village and together with this spirit of hopelessness it really has been a battle to find helpers.

The baptism class has grown and now there are 20 in the next group though we have to set a date yet over the next week. Four young people came to the Lord and gave their testimonies last Sunday at the fellowship so we are celebrating. Well I have to go now as we are having the fellowship leaders and their wives over. This is their first time so is something to look forward to especially in this tough culture where everyone in order to survive, has their own work cut out for them.

Blessings in Him

Philip for us both

PS. We are planning to visit Myron (the boy with the bad leg) this coming week though it is a four and a half hours from here. Reports are that he is doing very well and improving much just with the therapy so we thank the Lord. Thursday he will have an operation.

Wednesday, 06 June 2018

Dear friends and partners,

It has been raining now for several days with maybe an hour or two break in-between. The challenges are growing it seems daily but we are encouraged as we see small changes as time goes. The sun was shining this morning but the clouds are rolling down Ialibu mountain in our direction and the electricity is off again for another day. So we work with generators however the communications stay off.

We have had a few hectic weeks and we are running, of course, too many projects at the same time.

- Establish a church leadership group that is accepted by the community.

 - Set up a library – opening on Thursday!

 - Build a 130m2 extension onto the church in the constant rain (Includes cutting the trees and carrying them into the station).

 - Teach Bible three times a week

 - Try and find teachers for a kindergarten three mornings a week - Getting supplies from town – a 2 ½ hour jeep ride from here

- Distributing Bibles after a year we finally managed to buy 100 Bibles and 25 audio Bibles.

- Getting a baptism class going - 12 candidates so far - there were 50+ for the classes - go figure.

- Hold meetings between the various active ‘activity leaders’ – Sunday School, Kids prayer warriors, music groups, teen fellowship etc.

- Maintain our own house which is sinking and needs major repairs and painting.

And the list goes on with the sick coming for help, the children and the Elementary school (1st – 3rd grade) etc. We haven’t the time to do all what we need to do but with what we have and the strength we have we try and get as much done as possible.

The long version is in the "Projects" page with photos.

We trust that the Lord will use us and we do what we can.

Our time here is a bit short but if things work out we might be able to stay on for a few more weeks and finish a few small tasks. God willing, we will be able to stay on a little longer after a stay in Australia. I thought I had a job when we returned but it seems that it fell through due to some ‘mis-communication’. We take this from the Lord and trust He will provide going forward.

Thankyou for praying with us.

Blessings in His name

Philip for us both.

15-5-18

Dear friends and partners

We are in full swing and it is ‘just’ a matter of choosing what and where to put ones efforts.

Karin has initiated discussions about how to restart the Kindergarten and with a good trained teacher. We are also discussing how to use some 100 kilos of Christian education books we managed, with the help of MAF, to get up to the station to start a reading place or ‘library’ of sorts. We have worked out a space and Karin has found some volunteers maybe so things are really rolling.

Karin is also teaching the ladies on Thursdays and teaches the Sunday school kids as well. I have the rest of the meetings Sat PM Sun AM and PM plus we are getting a baptism class together and I am trying Thursdays to teach a core group to take initiative and lead Bible studies and how to prepare.

We are also building a 120sq. meter addition to the church as there is no space. Especially during holidays when all the villagers are home. Logistics and financing are a bit of a challenge but many of the young folk are chipping in and helping as they can. It is a pleasure and huge encouragement to be part of.

       

first foundation layer

Karin is constantly in demand for her nursing skills and our supply of medication is rapidly dwindling especially as the bees are swarming and decided to build a hive in the school building. Several children have been stung and come here for help with swollen eyes and other bee sting wounds. Thank God so far no anaphylactic shock. I have been down to try and clear it out a bit but have still a ways to go they are very aggressive

.Karin with  arthritis  patient.

The elementary school seems to be slowly on the way up as now all the teachers are Believers and actively teach the children from the Bible the ABCs etc. Discipline is of course an issue but when they do eventually get started and the teachers show up it is a real joy to hear them every morning singing songs from the bible just outside our window.

Blessings

below are some recent photos

Ladies helping with the church-work – (the one on the left with her machete is only pointing her child to the camera)

  

Myron with dislocated hip from smallpox infection

1-5-18

Dear Friends

We have just arrived back in Ialibu and are trying to settle in to the home again after nearly a year. Things are a bit run-down and though the house is in a bit of a sad condition but the church is growing and we are already looking at options for expanding again – While Flemming and Ida were visiting from Denmark, the dividing wall was taken down which makes space for some 80 more, who at present are sitting on the floor. Will look into timber and chair frames.

As for the fighting – (we drove through two ‘war zones’ yesterday - in Hagen and Ialibu) this past week-end the fellowship addressed the issue of fear and how much of our lives are driven by fear. The practical consequences in the western world is that the insurance companies and other financial institutions make money off of the fear of being out of fashion, of being sick or even dying. Here in Papua New Guinea it means the difference between sleeping in the bush or in hiding and walking around, armed and afraid of the next attack, murder or robbery.

The Christians have chosen not to follow the ways of the world and adopt the scriptures which teach that perfect Love casts out all fear, and that we have not the spirit of fear but of power and a sound mind and that there is no fear for him who is in Christ. (2Tim 1:7, 1John 4:18) So they are back in church and prayer-meetings. They are a real light in these dark times.

Yes we are blessed with opportunities and will see what we will be permitted of the Lord to do. We are not so energetic as we have been and, just as the old homestead, a little creaky at the joints-especially during the earthquakes. Thankyou for your prayers of support. We are finding just strength for the day is sometimes a bit of a challenge but we trust that God will provide.

Blessings in Him


Philip for us both.




2-4-18

Dear Friends

Finally we have managed to find some tickets we can afford and are in the right timing. Yes we are going out to Ialibu again though the tribal fighting has not yet settled. There are still threats from the tribe whose son was murdered so the villagers are hiding in the jungle as the police have threatened to burn the whole place down if they do not give up the murderer. This is no idle threat in PNG.

We are not too clear as to what we will be doing except a lot of teaching. The recent earthquakes have caused a lot of damage and maybe there will be some practical issues.

So we do appreciate your prayers as we do what we can. Recently we listened to a video called the pineapple story. The true story is of an early missionary to the same area and culture and how it took some 7 years to learn that it is God’s church that He is building and we need labour as He knows and if we give it all to Him then much of the responsibility and worry dissipates because, namely, it is His.

Blessings

Philip and Karin

to the right are a few recent photos




7-4-18

Dear friends - just a quick update

We have had to delay out departure a little due to some disturbances in Ialibu. The last week of March brought to a head some major conflicts in the area which ruptured in the High School at Ialibu.

A bit of Background: The culture is still very clan and village oriented and loyalty to the tribe is still important because of the violence. Safety is found only in the family, not in the law and order system. Corruption is the rule of the day and he who has, buys/steals or lies his way through to whatever he wishes, using family and village connections. Police are paid by those who need them first, and then by the government. This creates a very unstable society – hence the mantra: Papua New Guinea, land of the unexpected.

A fight developed over who should be the headmaster/mistress of the High-school. One is a local and another is from another region. The local students supported the local headmaster while the boarding students supported the outside candidate. The violence resulted in the burning down of all the residence buildings and the death of one or two students. Until this is resolved there will be this constant fear of retaliation and who is next.

With this in the background Easter celebrations continued and several committed their lives to the Lord. We have to continue to pray that the new and younger Christians do not yield to the tribal customs and get involved in the violence. Many of the new believers are from the school so we do appreciate your prayers at this time.

These disturbances have made travel in the area a little shaky so we have been asked to wait a couple of weeks till things settle down a bit. Our role as part of the tribe and yet from abroad can be crucial at times so we are trusting the Lord for this one. Please pray for us to have wisdom stepping into our role as community leaders and emissaries of the Bible. Thanks.

Blessings

Karin and Philip




30-3-18

Dear Friends

As always, along with the blessings come the attacks.Two days before the celebration of easter holiday a conflict concerning the nearby Highschool flared up. The police along with the local magistrate refused to adress a complaint concerning the position of Headmaster of the school. The role goes along with many 'fringe benefits' so quickly became an issue between the local students and those on a boarding school status. The violent reaction resulted in the burning down of several buildings, two violent deaths and many injured.

The situation is volatile as revenge and payback are the order of the day in PNG. Many of the some 150 new believers are attendees at the school, so this will already be a challenge dealing with forgivness and the presssures from the rest of the tribe.

Pray that Gods peace may be restored and that the testimony of His forgivness may take precedence.

Pray for these poor people so bound in darkness and hopelessness.

Thankyou,
Philip

27-3-18

Good news friends!

A good friend (a builder) from Denmark and his wife (a doctor) have given a month of their time to help with the work of repairs from the earthquake and teaching.

There are another 60+ new believers who need teaching

Another baptism class on the way.

As soon as health permits Karin and I will be going up to Ialibu again.

Appreciate your prayers

Blessings

Philip


                

19th March

Dear Friends

we have a bit of good news - as the photos below indicate the damage is able to be fixed and we have two friends here helping replace the foundation.

                                        
 

and also with the meetings.

God bless

Karin and Philip





9th March 2018

Dear friends

For those of you who are following the news, even in Denmark you will have heard of the earthquakes that have hit the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Earthquakes and after-shocks ranging from 7.6- 6.4 on the Richter scale have been causing much damage especially along the main supply lines going into the deep highland region. Many have been stranded and there are reports of major landslides and upwards of 100 people so far have been killed.

The Ialibu area has also been shaken and our home has suffered some major damage, which we are assessing right now to decide if it can be saved as well as the need for a new home. The main structure is intact but much of the building has moved off of the foundation which also needs replacing.

Karin and I are planning on going out to assist David in the work. Meantime another six people have given their lives to the Lord (total of some 60 now) so the village is changing its face and we are now looking forward to what God has in store for us also with the school, the kindergarten and Bible studies.

Please pray with us as we prepare for the future so we can go out and help.

Blessings

Karin and Philip



 

Jan 15th 2018

Dear Friends

     I feel that it would be unfair to not write about all the wonderful things God has been doing in the village and surrounding areas.

     In following local tradition, memorial services often run for several days and the home-going of Sophia Sode was no different. A procession, from where the Sode family with the MAF plane landed in 1961, up to the mission station and around the various significant projects was spontaneously arranged. Along the way many speeches were made recalling the first days and the first 25 years. The speakers were of the older generation who used the opportunity to testify to what God has done through His servants and the blessings brought to the village through the message of the Bible and dedication of the first missionaries. Many songs and testimonies also reminded those who had left the way that God is still faithful. Some 2000 were in attendance.


Sophia Sode

      Throughout the week following the funeral the annual outreach campaign took place on the mission station grounds. The meetings were attended by many from surrounding villages who had to be bussed in for the services. About 25 young people came to the Lord accepting His gift of salvation. This has created ‘good problems’ such as who will teach the Bible classes for new believers. Several of the new Christians expressed how the memorial services had helped them to see the way and understand God’s grace.

      Following the campaign the fellowship agreed to set aside two weeks for prayer and fasting with no regular services but just meeting every day to seek God’s guidance. On the agenda to focus upon was what to do in the future regarding several pending issues. If you feel so led please join us all in prayer for guidance regarding:

 

- The future of the Elementary school hosted on the GTM station 
-The ground crops failing
- The unity of the brethren
- Raising current member's spiritual gifts and ministries
- Prayer for leadership of tribe-elected and non-elected
- New converts
-Annualising the current New Years Crusades hosted at the mission station
- How to share effectivly what God is saying and doing here with the older people and other attendees

Another subject that has just recently come up is whether Karin and Philip can go again and assist with the several other projects at the station.

Thankyou very much for joining with us in prayer on these ongoing issues.

blessings in Him

Karin and Philip



 

 

Earlier letters

30th December 2017

Dear Friends

     During this season of celebration it is important to recall that our first and primary, and really only response, to the Gospel is to Worship and accept this great gift of God. The poor shepherds and rich wise men came only for that – to worship, not to receive anything. They understood that mankind had just received the greatest gift of all in The Messiah – Life.

    First of all a big thank you to all of you who are close and have been helping us in so many ways for us to get through this time of change. If I should write in order of significance or by the calendar then there perhaps would be a different arrangement.

     In Papua New Guinea the church has been again going through some growing pains. The building is becoming too small and often the meetings are moved outside. We are having a new years campaign so there are services outside and major outreach efforts and tent meetings in the area.

     At Koromi station it is now Summer holiday so we are in the process of reassessing the elementary school arrangement with the ACE program and the Kindergarten started a few months ago. We would appreciate your prayers also for this, as new beginnings are always difficult. Over the years we have found it a challenge to turn projects such as the Bible classes, Elementary School, church, kindergarten, Sewing group, building etc, over to local initiative and leadership. Various reasons can be perhaps offered but it is always the next generation and the weaker sectors of the community who suffer.

      Also, we are dealing with some still on-going issues as to what a fellowship of believers is. For many it is an issue of position, class order and economics. For a poorer society, with sporadic incomes and perhaps a small plot of land for subsistence, this new social structure has a major significance. In PNG, as a developing country, often these issues blend and conflict with the life of those walking the path taught by the Scriptures. As opposed to just 25 years ago, many have lost the know-how for subsisting off the land and jungle and are dependent on small jobs which often are sponsored by external sources. As a result, also in the mission work, the line between ministry and service is not clear. Cultural issues which conflict with the Scriptures have to be understood and reapplied.

     Further, many issues that should have been dealt with in the beginning have been neglected. Issues such as authority, land ownership and residency etc. have to be re-established with the new generation. So we are praying and finding that by focusing on worship many of these issues disappear and the ‘new order’ has room for everyone.

      Though any growing and learning process has its pains, we thank God for his grace and guidance. If you are interested in further information please write.

      On the 6th Dec. Sophia Sode, 97, after a slow long deterioration passed to glory. It has been a time of many mixed feelings and emotions for all of us. A petite lady with a huge heart. The memorial service was transmitted live, to four communities around the world with some 2500 in attendance just at Ialibu. The influence of just one life committed to serving others is a testimony of the greatest gift when God gave His own son who gave His life.

     The following day Jacob Sode took ill and was hospitalised until the 22nd but thank God, now after two operations, is home and on the mend as much as is possible. They would have celebrated their 65th anniversary this spring so it will be some time before things will settle down to the new norm. Your prayers and support are much appreciated.

Blesings for the New Year

Karin and Philip

 

dear Friends

We have been back now a few very busy months with some ups and downs and quite honestly no clear direction so appreciate your intercession for us.

The last day before we left Ialibu we had a baptism service and that was a real celebration. Some photos below and there are many stories of each of the young men and women who have committed their lives.

We then passed through Port Moresby and had some discussions as to how we could continue to assist from a distance. Several have asked us to come and remain as there lacks a sense of direction and leadership. It is the Lords work and we believe that if it is the way He will provide

There is much need for teaching and also for materials. The need for real Bible teaching and learning how to apply the scriptural principles in real life is difficult for the many who are on the weaker side. The poor have little education and just scrape by to make a living and many fall by the way simply because they cannot find a way out or just need encouragement and guidance. Reading and studying on their own is not an option. We have found audio Tok Pisin Bibles for 20$ that work on solar batteries, so we are working on obtaining some of those.

This has been a hectic time in Papua New Guinea as there have been general elections for the government and the democratic process in PNG is not clear. There is no clear registrar and bribery is rife which leads to mistrust and violence. The process is long and takes about 2-3 months which is why we felt it best to be out of the region.

Meantime there has been another minister from PNG taking the services together with some help from MAF and the church has continued to grow which means that there is a need to expand the building in some form.

For those of you who have given for the childrens work:The kindergarten program continues though some thieves broke in and stole the cooking utensils and toys so the ‘hiccups’ continue.

If you would like us to come and share a bit please feel free to write or call - or even better, come by and have a cup of coffee and we will do our best.

Blessings

Karin and Philip

24th May 2017

dear Friends

We have now been away for a few months and feel that it is right to return to Denmark to take care of family matters for a spell.

We have had a wonderful time with the climax last Sunday (21st May) celebrating the baptism of 28 new believers and there are another 20 - 30 on the waiting list for the next round.

I will put some photos and write a short summary of our time and what God has done as best as we  can discern on this page and on the site in general I will update.

If you would like us to come and share a bit please feel free to write as I am not sure that the phone numbers are the same when we are in Denmark - or come by and have a cup of coffee and we will do our best.

Blessings

Karin and Philip

 

 

 

7th May 2017

Dear friends and partners

I just thought that it would be good for you to see what has been happening here so here are a few photos. the first project is regarding the kindergarten.

from last monday there is a small kindergarten or day care centre for the toddlers. As I mentioned there is a need for some one to look after the small children while their parents are at work or in many cases the mothers are alone with children. The first day some 25 single mothers and siblings showed up with children and immediatly we saw that what we had prepared for is a little crowded so that is another project we need to consider.

We also managed to start renovating the old fellowship hall as the walls are rotting and there is some work around the foundation and painting etc so we have a crew on that as well.

PTL - We finally managed to get a chimney and some piping so now we have - at long last some hot water for a shower and the house is a bit more than the chily 15 degrees celcius - only problem is that it is the start of the dry season so not much water... So it goes but we manage fine.

on the way back from Hagen
Elementary school morning assembly
  Opening day Kindergarten
opening day Kindergarten renovations PNG style

Well now I am off to speak at the morning service. So I had better get going. Thankyou for your prayers
Karin and Philip



20th  April 2017

Dear friends

this is a long one - apologies
 
It has been a few hectic weeks since we wrote so I am having a little difficulty keeping up. Perhaps a good sign. We have been extremely busy since returning from a work week in Cairns. There is much to do and we hope to get started a few small initiatives and fix a few things around the station.

I will start with the praise items and then if you have patience, read on into the prayer points...
First of all we have been blessed to now have a baptism planned for som 25+ in about two weeks. This is a great celebration though not without its hitches.

The wonderful worship is hard to describe and there is a 24hr prayer campaign going as the country enters into government election campaigns. The lies and bribery, violence and theft that accompany this period is sad and the Christians have seen it important to pray against this.

As a regular part of the meetings and services there is a time for testimony to share what the Lord has done and is doing in the individual lives and there are always several who have a word or personal witness to what God is doing in the individual and the collective.

We are also personally very blessed and often have to acknowledge our own shortcomings. We are encouraged to see that there are many that have started to take initiative despite the difficulties and opposition but we need to pray that they will be able to continue if we are not here to provide leadership.

Classes and lessons have been well attended and the interest in God's word has grown as well as the numbers that have seen the testimonies of the new believers. We pray that they may continue to grow and focus on the essentials. Even out here minor irrelevant theological interpretations has destroyed and is destroying many fellowships and the testimony and life of the church as a whole.

    Then of course there is the prayer side for our concerns for the future. Following is the short list:

Karin has been teaching the ladies and that has been a great help and encouragement for everyone. It seems that the Biblical foundation is there but often neglected or perhaps it would be better to say that many do not know how to apply these principles to their own set of circumstances. So there is a big ministry in this area. The leaders also need encouragement as they stand often alone against the traditions and habits of their own culture and clans.

 We are trying to start a pre–kindergarten service for the single mothers who often leave their toddlers to roam in the village while they go to the gardens or to the markets to sell their wares. This means buying supplies and setting up a location for the kids to play and also needs ‘paid volunteers’ as it is a full-time 3 days a week.

The Bible studies and teaching are extremely compact and limited but I am trying to make them aware of and focus on issues, so that the group of young leaders and believers can become aware of issues and then deal with these concerns and find suitable solutions themselves. This includes, worship leading, counselling, supervision and taking initiatives both practical and spiritual. Much of this they already know but just lack a bit of structure. I say this carefully as oft times in the west we “structure” God completely out and then He cannot help us grow and develop or correct us.

I have been teaching 4-5 times a week on 4 main series and also run a baptism and communion seminar; We have focused on ‘the Bible as a whole plan, and historical overview’; another aspect is ‘Foundational Discipleship’ ; on Sundays I have been going through Mark and then dealt with some other issues as they came up. In addition we have had a few ‘relax’ evenings with a hymn/chorus DVD program – they have some great musicians.

 A major need is the lack of reading skills and this means that there needs to be literature to read and practice. We have procured a small collection of books however getting it to this small corner of the world is proving a bit of a challenge. Also we are looking into creating a library and perhaps getting a volunteer to teach. For those who cannot read we have managed to procure audio Bibles and they use mobile phones that they can use to listen to the Word. There are few computers and they are only in the offices.

On the practical side:

The church needs some major renovation so I am working on that end – this includes replacing the outer walls which have rotted after some 50 years and some of the main frame. The outer edge of the foundation needs major repair so that is alot of stone and cement work - all manual labour. So we are getting a work crew together but there still needs to be professional supervision which I hope we can manage to set up.

There are some practical and bureaucratic issues that have to be taken care of as the area is developing. There is a university being built just across the creek from us. (Yes, a university out here in the middle of the jungle. It is mostly a political move as we are in the throes of national elections -there are over 4000 registered candidates for the some 111 seats in the parliament.) Nevertheless it provides jobs and also a number of opportunities as well as challenges - initially while it is being built and then, if it comes to fruition, with the staff and student body.

The house in which we live needs some major repairs from the foundation, the plumbing and a major paint-job both exterior and internal. So there too we are trying to make a little bit of headway. So with all this (plus the few extras) going on we are trying to maintain some order and focus.

 So we do very much appreciate your prayers that this may all be the glory of God.

Blessings
Karin and Philip

Earlier letters

 

See new pics >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>---->

  28 March 2017

 Dear friends

      It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote and things have settled down to a fairly manageable “crazy routine”. The rainy season is in full swing so it rains most days in the afternoon as the clouds roll down the mountain but sometimes it goes all night and into the mornings as well. We are due to our forced ‘vacation’ as our visas are only for 60 days – yes we have already been here two months – and renewals have to be done from outside the country.

 This means a quick turnaround trip to Cairns. This will give us an opportunity to have normal internet so we can download much needed material for the school and fellowship such Audio Bibles and lessons that they can use, visit a good book-shop etc. We have been teaching on Discipleship (Sunday PM), Bible history (Sat. PM) and also have a group ready for baptism (Wed. PM) when we return. I have been speaking also from Mark’s (Peter’s) gospel (Sun AM) and it has brought to light much of the superstition and sorcery going on in the village. We have decided, as a result, to focus a while on the subject from a Biblical perspective. This of course shakes the very foundation of their culture and traditional world but we feel it is essential that one chooses whom we will serve. We enter this realm with much prayer. There is no in-between path. Karin has taken on the ladies who have expressed much appreciation for her teaching also on other topics and I do the general fellowship.

 In addition to all of that, we have the practical issues of building and repairs. The church building is in dire need of major repair as some of the other buildings. We are looking into how to manage all this because I am finding it a bit strenuous having to teach mechanics, building, ethics and teach Bible, counsel, etc. all the time on all fronts as well as deal with village issues and politics etc.

 In addition to this we have an elementary School running though it is supposed to be managed locally there is great need for ‘external’ assistance. A recent occult related murder has made many fearful sending their children to school so enrolment has dropped by half and there are various financial and management issues that need to be cleared up in order to continue the Advanced Christian Education (ACE) program.

 Another major issue is employment and education. Many of the young men who have left their past life and are struggling to rebuild a life in Christ find it extremely difficult to find jobs and many need a trade or basic education. We are looking into various options as often these need to be tailored according to ability and need. Annual cost for a two year program is about 100$ so it is manageable but initiative and even knowing how to get enrolled and then of course managing a family on the side can be a bit of a challenge though most have land and gardens.

The last issue that we are looking into is getting adult reading classes in place as there are few who have any literary ability sufficient to lead in reading and studying the scriptures.

Yes there are many challenges here and we cannot fix anything except that the Lord shows us how and provides. On the other hand there is a constant flow of people to our door seeking various forms of help and we see lives changed dramatically and with a bit of patience much has transpired since we have been able to stay here. Many of the young men who were former addicts and drunkards have now become real family men caring for their children and wives. It is a joy to see. The Fellowship building is full to capacity most meetings, Sunday School has an attendance of some 65 children and there too we need to materials and also to recruit 2 more teachers and a song leader. So we are blessed in many ways and have our work set out for us.

 Blessings and thankyou for praying for us

 Karin and Philip
 15-3-17

This is a free translation of the Danish version from the same date. Much has happened and as I am too busy preparing lessons and more important is that my wife’s writing is far more interesting.

Dear friends,

The day is almost over and I sit here at the worlds end in my favourite spot looking at the tall trees outside. My favourite spot is next to an old wood stove brought ages ago from Denmark. Philip, who fixes everything, cleaned and stuck it together again so that it functions reasonably. The Cicadas are singing as the day is ending.

The flies are settling down and the evening calm is settling in. We are tired after a wonderful day with all the practical work and look forward to a quiet evening where we don’t have to race out the door.

Last week was hectic with many conversations and discussions, extra ladies meeting on Thursday evening and also Friday morning. The reason was ‘Women’s World Day of Prayer’ which in the rest of the world was last week but for some reason here in Ialibu was moved . Perhaps God is outside of time? Perhaps He can put the days together and hear all the prayers at the same time? Here in PNG time and dates are not a problem.

Thursday evening a big group of ladies from Maral village nearby, came to participate in the day of prayer. They were all dressed in modern traditional “Meri blouses” – strong colours orange, red, green etc. They brought their kundu drums and performed worship in the best traditional style. A very strong moving experience – took me back to the stone-age. The women sang and worshiped for several hours. Friday morning we were approx. 300 women from various church groups in the region all gathered at the mission station raising the roof! There was colour, smells, joy and energy enough for many days ahead. In the middle of all this, I – the palest person in the whole gathering – was asked to speak on Matt 20 – God’s kingdom is like unto the owner of a vineyard. Both Philip and I feel how God has laid issues that need to be addressed in the fellowship. Last time were here, focus was on the rebuilding of the school. This time our major focus is on the spiritual aspect. We have gained an insight into what is happening in the village and there are major problems.

The gossip, criticism and judgmentalism is so bad that it has bound the people very much somehow. Any good or help is met with distrust and thrown out and there is little trust between people which means that there is little place for working together. Every time that something good project is set into place, e.g. the school, it collapses because those responsible for the finances are not trustworthy and cannot show any accountability.

When someone comes to the Lord and tries to correct his ways, gossip and stories from his past without God become a huge problem. Yet the only hope for the village are the Christians. It is encouraging to see that the new Christians see things differently.

 Last Friday we showed a documentary about transformation in Fiji, a fantastic testimony to how God answers with blessing when his people humble themselves and come together to seek His help. Fiji was under curfew, the economy had collapsed, the prime minister had been kidnapped and violence on the street was rampant when God’s people went on their knees. Witchcraft was destroyed, and people confessed their sins and of their fathers, and God’s blessing poured out over the land. We feel that there is a need for something similar here. Will you pray for transformation together with us?

Pray also for those who are preparing for baptism and there are many who are still unsure if they are ready. God willing we will have a service around Easter.

 The Lord’s prayer and confession of faith have now become part of the service and the next step is instituting communion.

We would like to give children’s bibles to all the Sunday school kids. We have had meetings with the two Sunday School teachers about how to find inspiration for the children’s work.

 We also will be having talks with the new young leaders of the services as there is much teaching to do.

 May God Bless you all and thankyou for standing with us in the battle.

 Blessings Karin and Philip

1 March 2017

Dear Friends,

Looking out the window this chilly morning I see Janet, this is her new name- walking barefoot , the two miles down to the community market pushing a wheel-barrow full of chickens over the stony road. It takes about a week or so to sell the whole lot so there are many miles pushing the barrow – but last night before the bible study I saw the genuine worship and praise in her face. No complaints just thanks to the Lord for His goodness and supplying of daily bread.

We are shamed for desiring more than the abundance that we have and have been blessed with. Most people still live in grass huts and have no electricity so their lives are dark, cold and damp – it rains daily. But our village neighbours come always with a smile and thankfulness for what they have. Just that we are here and care means much as with all of us.

Last week we met Tua. (See him giving his testimony in the slides to the right) His story is typical of what God is doing here. A former hit man with scars from an arrow through his neck and knife and bullet wounds from his pre-Christian life, Tua is now a new creature. His testimony is long with details involving blood rituals, murder, witchcraft the slaughter of his own daughter and ultimate repentance, deliverance, healing and forgiveness. Satan is alive and well on planet earth and though we in the west try to cover his evil with humanist mental manoeuvrings, the truth is that God’s word is still true that deliverance is only through Christ.

There is much work to be done both in the spiritual and practical arenas. I have my hands full. Karin is now also teaching the ladies on Thursdays and this on top of all the daily chores. Truly a woman of valour and a great help. Well enough for this week – I have to prepare for the Wednesday class.

Thankyou again for your prayers
 The Sodes

21/2/2017

Dear friends

This morning around 05:30 AM sounds of the morning prayer meeting from the village across the creek came through the mist. The songs and scriptures coming through the loudspeakers say much to the freedom to proclaim the message of the Bible and also the passion and joy in knowing salvation. Soooooo refreshing compared to the stifled and often muffled message preached in the western so called progressive ‘free’ world. The songs are sung and played for the whole area to hear and the only thing that stopped it was the power cut – one of the many. But the prayer group could still be heard without the PA system.

This morning we had our first leaders meeting. A cross-section of various interested parties. Not all could attend and we will continue on Sunday. We are at a critical stage as most are sincere and wish to re-establish a serving community in the fellowship however one has to discern the individuals who come for personal gain. There are many cultural issues and intrigues that are relevant in a small community. We have to explain, for example that it is wrong to demand payment for prayer- this leads to lengthy discussions as to whose prayer it was that was answered! These things can be tedious at times however the desire to follow and obey the word of God is paramount which eases the work. The rule is simple: here it says in the Bible … OK so that is what we do. No philosophical discussions to subvert the scriptures into opposite meaning. Would that it was so in the Western realm we would have far fewer problems.

Now the daily afternoon rains are falling on the iron roof and the sound is warm and pleasant. I have a little office where I can sit and prepare the lessons : Baptism, Church leadership, Bible history and Gods plan and Discipleship – these are the four for this week. I have my work cut out. Thankfully Karin is with me and helps me see where I often forget or cannot and is very good with the communications and ideas.

Well so much for this time – I had better get to work…

Thankyou again for your prayers

Philip, for us both

13 February 2017
 Dear partners,

I will send short reports a bit more frequently as we settle in to work . First of all a big thankyou for your support in so many ways. We take heart knowing that you bring us before the Lord as the task ahead of us is quite a challenge. David has been working very hard trying to be in several places at once and it is only through Gods grace and strength that he could have facilitated anything of what has happened. We hope that we can relieve him some, from all the work.


But just to back up a bit, we arrived in Port Moresby and it was great to meet with the family and speak with some friends regarding the work up in the highlands. It was quite a change from -10C to a nice warm and humid +35C and then the 9 hours time difference. Friday evening we took part with a city fellowship youth service so we were as prepared as we could be for the main task ahead.


Arriving in Mt Hagen next day and driving up to Ialibu brought up many emotions and by the time we arrived home it was evening and the first meeting was soon under way. The newly saved from lives of drugs and violent crime, cannot stop singing and praising God for His goodness and we are humbled to be here and greatly encouraged. The meetings consist often of an hour or so of worship and prayer and then some teaching which is where we come in.


As things stand we have been asked to teach Fridays on subject material (baptism, communion) , then Saturday evening Bible study, Sunday AM regular service and then in the evening a discipleship course. The gatherings vary in size and level of literacy and language which can be a bit of a challenge.
Living at the ‘end of the road’ in the highland jungle of Papua New Guinea does have its challenges and some of the practical hurdles also need addressing such as building repairs and such (we desperately need a supervisor carpenter with some experience for about a month or so). Also the school which we helped to rebuild and restart is floundering a bit – also because of a lack of trust, understanding and commitment in the community. Perhaps a bit more about this another time.

Thankyou again for your prayers and encouragement for us in our ‘little’ task out here.

Karin and Philip

February 3, 20017


Dear friends
 We are now in the last phase of preparing to leave for our task in Ialibu. One never feels completely ready however God has prepared the way for us. Psalm 23 speaks of a life with God as our shepherd. We lack nothing and in His presence is the fullness of joy. In Exodus 23, God has promised that He has prepared a way for us and we need to just walk in it. So with these examples and promises we will be strong and do His service. (Hag. 2:4)

The new years conference was focused on knowing who Jesus is. New Guinea is defined as a Christian country and the word of God is central to many however it seems that the working out of the life of the Believer is, like for so many, just a little harder in practice than in theory.

There are issues of commitment and also just plain understanding that we attain as we grow and help each other grow. So this will be our primary focus while we are at Ialibu over this next period. We go knowing that God has prepared a way before us and we just need to walk in it. The seed has been planted and the shoots are coming up – we water the plants and God gives the increase.

Thankyou for your prayers and support
K and P Sode

 

Dec.20 - 2016

Dear friends and fellow workers

Things are moving along and much is happening both in Papua New Guinea and abroad. First of all preparation for the new year conference is in full swing.

Second the tent meetings continue to grow and David is busy speaking at several events. The original workload and other obligations at his own fellowship are proving to be quite a challenge. We are reminded more than ever that we are God’s tool and it is He who is the builder. The following is a note from David which shows how God is working still today.

Part of the movement here has covered restitution as a sign of true regeneration and cooperation with the Holy Spirit. While leaving church service today a person walked up to me with mail (2 envelopes) from an anonymous person saying one envelope was for contributions to the Retreat and the other was for something that person as a child did when they broke into the classroom and stole some books. I suspect that would be some 40 years ago by a person having no intention to follow Christ until a few weeks ago coming to service here. He Lives, He lives Christ Jesus lives today!

Preparation for our trip to PNG is also moving along. We have our tickets now for the 6th Feb 2017 for two months for starters. We are a bit concerned regarding our responsibilities at this end while we are at Ialibu but we have laid the many issues in the Lord's hands.

Thankyou for your prayers

Karin and Philip

 

 

 

 

 

3 November 2016

         

Dear Friends and prayer partners

Over the past ten months God has transformed the church at Ialibu in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Just over a year ago the small group of new believers got together to arrange a campaign during the Christmas holidays. We thank the Lord that since then as a result of this initiative and God’s anointing the church has grown and the hunger for His Word increased immensely not only in Ialibu.

From a small handful of the faithful the meetings have now out-grown the buildings so we are pressed to create new facilities and a tent has been obtained in order to hold the several hundred who attend the Sunday services. Indeed God has heard the prayers of the faithful. Further, as a result of the revival at Ialibu, other towns in the region and other fellowships have asked for help and the word of God is being preached to thousands, many just out of curiosity, some out of despair and the Lord is working among the people.

Also Karin and I will be travelling to Papua New Guinea to help in whatever way we can both in the practical and spiritual needs. For us personally, this is quite an upheaval from our already hectic routine however we feel this is an opportunity the Lord has provided and we as a fellowship of praying partners from around the globe should take it. The logistics are in God’s hands we are just making ourselves available. We would very much appreciate your prayers as we go.

 

Yours in Christ

P. Sode

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