Dear Friends & Family,
Our family returned to PNG about 6 weeks ago and, after being released from a 21-day quarantine, are already up to our eyeballs in ministry. We love it and are so grateful to be back in PNG doing what we love. The girls have completed their first week of school and are settling in very nicely. Melody is busy getting trained on new billing programs for our business office and I’ve been drowning in water system maintenance and troubleshooting, lol. Thanks for making our return possible by your faithful support!
Have you ever been driving down the road and heard mysterious clunks, clangs, bangs rattles and squeals coming from under your hood, near your wheels, or somewhere beneath you? How does that make you feel? It doesn’t give you a warm fuzzy or inspire much confidence does it. Now imagine hearing all of those things while driving down a “paved highway” that is made up of more potholes than pavement and often has long stretches with no pavement at all. Oh, and throw in the fact that you’re a mom alone with your three daughters on your way to a Dr. Appointment because you husband is gone for a few weeks for work. Remember, you’re no longer in America but in Papua New Guinea, and there’s no AAA in case of a break down on the road. This is our reality every day on the road. Would a reliable and safe vehicle be a wise investment? We’re prayerfully asking the Lord to provide for this need however and whenever He sees fit.
Our ministry is very active and requires us to travel up and down the PNG highways and back roads frequently. Many of you know that we shipped over an old 1984 Chevy Blazer back in 2016 to fill this need. The ole Blazer has served us well and is still running. However, the PNG roads have not been kind and I’m spending more time & money than I’d like fixing her. I don’t think her 37-year-old bones will be holding up for much longer. So, we’ve been praying about purchasing a new or well-cared-for used vehicle here in PNG.
There are many factors to consider in justifying this large expense. The most important one is safety, followed closely by reliability, which are one in the same here in PNG. Due to the security concerns of driving in a third world country, we need a reliable vehicle that Melody will feel safe driving in with my daughters. Melody must be able to drive when I’m gone on bush trips, and it’s very important to me that she’s driving a safe and reliable vehicle. Most of the highways here in PNG are glorified blacktops with huge sections riddled with truck sized potholes or just gone altogether. We need a vehicle that can stand up to these conditions and that can be easily maintained here in country. The used truck market is basically non-existent, which means we’ll probably be looking for a new vehicle. Even if we found a well-maintained used vehicle here, they wouldn’t be much cheaper than a new one. I recently found a 2-year-old Patrol for sale that was selling for $32,000 and it had issues. Because our intentions are to continue serving here in PNG for as long as we are useful, we feel that a new vehicle is the wisest choice and will last us for the duration of our ministry here. (*However just after writing this a very nice used Patrol came up for sale. See the third picture below.) We don’t want to cycle through used vehicles every 5 years. If we had to save $40,000 for a vehicle from our monthly support, it would take us this entire 4-year term to come close. So, we’re reaching out to you to see if this is a project you would be willing to get behind and donate towards. If you know of others who you think would like to donate towards a project like this, please share this with them and give them my contact info.
Currently our first choice would be a 4WD Nissan Patrol which would be like a Mid-sized SUV in the States. It meets all our requirements of being reliable, safe, and durable. It’s a 9 passenger 5 speed Manual, with a 3.0 Turbo Diesel engine. The price tag for a new Patrol (base model with no extras) today is $40,200. The price with an off-road package is $47,500. The other options would be a gently used Nissan Patrol, which currently sells for between $27,000 – $32,000, if you can find one. Last would be a 4WD Toyota SUV which currently runs $58,900, and for that reason isn’t really an option. And just so you know, these are base line models with no extras in case you’re wondering if we’re going for the luxury models. We’re not. Unfortunately, this is just the reality of the vehicle market in PNG. Here are some pictures of the model vehicle we’re wanting to purchase.
As always, we are so appreciative of the many years of faithful support and want you to know we couldn’t be here doing this work without you. Thank you for your prayerful consideration regarding this project. Please feel free to share this project with others who may be interested.
For making donations click the link below to donate by credit card. If you’d like to donate by Check, EFT or Phone click the link and scroll down to the bottom of the page to “Other Ways to Give.”
Until all have heard,
Josh & Mel Simmons
Josh 1 (573) 231-8487
Mel 1 (573) 231-8507