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You are here: Home -> Current Fields -> Papua New Guinea -> Renovation - June 2005

Renovation Rescue - June 2005

by Richard J. Carver
- June 4th to July 1st, 2005

Me and Nigel Ali
Me and good friend from Fiji, Nigel Ali

On Saturday, 4th of June, my father and I departed for Cairns. Normally my mother Sis Carver would come too, but because of budget constraints, this time it was only us two men who took to the skies, leaving behind two sorrowful families. Sorrowful because we would be gone for a month to Papua New Guinea alone, and they really didn’t know how we were going to survive a month on our own.

We stopped in Cairns for the weekend for two reasons; to spend time with the saints in Cairns and preach; and secondly to meet our good friend Bro Nigel Ali.

Nigel is a precious brother from the Fiji Islands, and was actually saved under my ministry back in 1993. Only a Sunday School child at the time, he and his family were faithful saints and always reliable. After High School, he went through two years of Bible School, and then became a Bible School teacher.

Nigel Sanding
We were going there to work

When I was in Fiji for the Family Camp (January 2005), Nigel heard of our previous renovation efforts in Papua New Guinea (November 2004). After hearing of the great need still existing, he called my father and told him: “On your next visit to PNG, I want to come and help finish the renovation”. Brother Carver said one better: “You can preach at the National Youth Camp as well!”

And so after meeting Nigel at Cairns, our journey to PNG began. One thing that you must understand about Papua New Guinea is that nothing comes easily. Every step of the way you face the possibility of cancellations, nil stock and battle the pervasive dust which literally coats everything.

Our journey on Monday up to the highland town of Goroka was surprisingly uneventful. For a few moments in time we thought that just maybe this trip would be different. Different because every other trip has resulted in one or all of us rendered useless with sickness. Somehow everything seemed too easy this time…

That evening it happened. Bro Carver was hit with an influenza that felt like it was going to be major. Not willing that this should stop us, we made fervent prayer to God for him. Miraculously, the next day he felt completely better. But as I awoke I felt sickness coming down upon me.

Fixing the Sewer
Not afraid to do the dirty work...

I languished upon the couch most of that day. About 6.30pm I got up and walked around the house for a few minutes. Brother Carver and Nigel, who were catching up on some sleep, awoke to a tremendous crash. They found me unconscious on the floor. This was the first time in my life that I’d ever fainted, and I had fallen backward from a standing position, hitting my head on the timber floorboards.

Initially Bro Carver thought I’d had a heart attack, as I had no pulse, and my eyes were open and glazed. But after a minute or two unconscious, I came to, thinking that it was morning and that it was time for work. And this visit was different… the very next morning I was outside working and sickness did not bother us again for the whole month!

The purpose of our visit was not to preach as such, but to continue repairs on the mission house and Headquarters Office. We had originally gone in November 2004 to set up the office, but there was much more to do to the office, and the missions residence was in need of painting and repairs all round.

Camping in Canaan's Land
Camping in Canaan's Land

The first thing we did was to get the security house finished. It is important in PNG to have resident security on the property, and Brothers Koko and Matthias our two workers had built a house out of native materials. While Bro Carver ran electricity, I did plumbing and sewerage, while Bro Nigel painted upstairs.

Upon completing the security house, we turned our full attention to the upstairs mission residence. The whole house needed painting inside, and for the next two weeks we were “Camping in Canaan’s Happy Land” as we painted. The whole front half of the house was emptied onto the front porch as we painted ceilings, walls and floors. And then the whole back half of the house was moved to the front as we worked on the back of the house.

Nigel Cooking
Nigel's Chicken Curry!

Because of cost, we were without any of our wives to assist with cooking or washing. Bro Nigel was literally a God-send, as his bachelor’s cooking skills certainly made up for our lack! After a hard day’s work it was wonderful to sit down to eat (on the floor many times) some of Nigel’s awesome chicken curry dishes! He certainly was a blessing, and not just for the food either! We would not have accomplished what we did without him. Thank God for young men who feel the burden and are willing to get in and work!

We got the house finished just one day before resident AIMers, Peter and Robyn Gration returned from deputation in the USA. The changes they saw in the house and the office were a real blessing to them in a country where everything is tough going.

Straight after finishing the residence, we were back downstairs with Bro Matthias and Koko. Bro Matthias had pulled more ruined timberwork off the unused AIM quarters downstairs, and found rats galore living in the walls. They had come inside through some shoddy timberwork and once again we found electrical wires eaten through and burnt. It is only God’s grace that the whole place didn’t burn down years ago!

Dead Rat
Rat's nest and skeleton in wall

In spite of much protest by Bro & Sis Gration, Nigel, I and Bro Carver slept in “rats hollow” for the next week (we couldn’t ask them to sleep on the floor, not after deputation!). We had purchased a bed, but all mattresses were “nil stock”. So we slept on the timber bedbase instead – not the most comfortable!

Realising that renovating the AIM quarters would have to be left for another visit, we turned our attention to the most important area: the Headquarters Office and Bookstore. The office area, with Sis Bennie our receptionist, was set up during our previous November visit. However, only the computers were set up and the office itself remained a total dustbowl.

Tiling the Office
A lot of hard work - tiling the floors

Working with the worst ceramic tiles we’ve encountered, we tiled the two office areas within 3 days. It was a marathon job, just like every other task, and we were working from early morning until 8pm almost every day to get the work done.

We also brought from Australia a laser photocopier/printer/fax for the office, along with networking hardware. Their previous photocopier had been broken down for months, and parts were “nil stock”, not just in New Guinea, but the rest of the world too! I also got to spend some time training Sis Bennie our Office Secretary in some of the finer details of the National Bookwork program I had created for PNG.

And so with new tiles, new equipment and new office furniture, the office was complete. And what a transformation! Our Regional Presbyter, Bro Dindi Mattam, was overheard saying at a combined meeting: “Everybody here should go down to see our new Headquarters Office. It’s looks better than Parliament House!” (Government legislative house).

The Finished Office
The finished office looks "better than Parliament House"...

This statement sums up the gratitude and thankfulness of the PNG Church for the changes they see happening. It is truly lifting the church out of discouragement and despondency to a renewed excitement and desire to carry on.

The work is not yet finished; when we return depends solely on funds. As it is, the expense of renovation has been accomplished with no idea of where the final funding will come from. But the importance of this task overrides all other concerns, for without a Headquarters and administration facilities, the whole work in Papua New Guinea would crumble.

Nigel stayed on two more weeks to preach at the National Youth Camp. It was a great time and you can read more about it here.

I do appreciate your prayers and support, because we are fighting big battles, and “the work is great and large, and we are separated one from another”. God bless you richly as we labour together for Jesus.

- Richard J. Carver

View more pictures or a slideshow of the renovation

The Finished Office
Bare copper wires, thanks to the rats Bro Koko, our security guard Everybody's enjoying the results



Latest News - 19 Jan 2012

  • Carver Snr's 2011 4th Qtr Newsletter [more]
  • Carver Snr's 2011 3rd Qtr Newsletter [more]
  • Richard & Andrea's Dec Newsletter [more]
  • Andrea's Family News [more]
  • Youth Department comes alive! [more]
  • Home Missionary goes to Daru [more]
  • Bible School Teacher Training [more]
  • Mt. Wilhelm Climb and Crusade [more]
  • PNG gets new Missionaries! [more]
  • Creation of a Print Room! [more]

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