In many ways if a man lives long enough he will be able to see his work expand or deteriorate. My trip back to Bisorio Papua New Guinea in 2015 allowed me to see both in just a matter of time. As I stepped from the boat change began to flood my memory with flash backs of what this old mission center looked like then compared to now. It had been many years since I walked these paths along the river, to many I thought as I walked off the beach.
All that was left of the house we called home for a few years was one old post that looked frightened with the river so near. Kennells and Walkers house site was long gone, washed away by the swift running river. The people tell me the river had eaten it all, even the little blue ford tractor. Looking around even more I saw that over one third of the air strip has been cut away and carried down river to find a resting place in the Sepik plains.
The biggest change was yet to come but one that would make all the loss seem worth it all in the end. The Bisorios wanted to show us just how much they had changed since the gospel had come to them years ago. What better way than to dress in their traditional dress of years gone by? Then, they came, dancing, yelling and pushing their bow and arrows into the air. In the early days we had not been hugged but these Christian men and women were all over us.
Jesus tells us He will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Here in the middle of the PNG jungle I see the greatest change of all, a living, growing church that has been touched by God and led by the Holy Spirit all these years while the missionaries have been gone. When I see this taking place this old song comes to mind. “When the God of all creation bids me go the story to tell, neither death nor hell can stay me, home and friends and all fare well.” May God change more hearts to go. JCH