Monday, 20th July

It was another early start today as we were up at 6am and started preparing for our trip to Keapara village. Keapara village is about 3 hours west of Port Moresby. Keapara is where Geoff’s dad Teio is from. Of the few personal priorities Geoff had for this trip, this was definitely the first, as his father passed away in 2011 and Geoff wanted to make sure he and his family could go to the village and see the gravesite to pay their respects. This might possibly be the last time the Ila family from Montrose will be in PNG together so it was definitely the opportune time. A PMV (Public Motor Vehicle) truck was hired and had seats and a canopy overhead to protect us from the rain and sun which made for a comfortable trip. We arrived around 11am and had an emotional welcome as family members and friends greeted the Ila’s and the team. Cousins, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, virtually the whole village turned out for the welcome. As is customary we were seated and treated to a smorgasbord of fresh ocean fish for lunch. There was also fresh steamed crab which was devoured by the seafood monsters. The team took it all in and savored the moments. After having our meal we took a 3 minute walk to the soccer field where it seemed like the whole village had gathered to watch the match between two local teams. The crowd instantly left the game to watch us perform and hear our testimonies. The villagers were deeply honoured not quite expecting this team of awesome young...

Sunday, 19th July

Today started early as the girls had to pack up all their stuff and their bedding and move them into the boy’s room. The boys also had to pack and pick up their beds to make space for the girls things. This is never easy but the team passed with flying colours. Breakfast was eaten quietly as the church service here at Boroko Baptist got underway with worship. After breakfast we sat quietly and waited until it was time to go to Cornerstone Assemblies of God church to perform. We only did two songs but they ministered to a congregation of about 500. After the second song Geoff promptly took Samuel to the airport. A quick check in after getting to the airport early proved futile as all the athletes from the neighbouring Pacific island nations were there as well doing the same thing. Samuel was very sad to leave the team and vice versa. He has made a major contribution to the discipleship of all the other young men on the team in his servant leadership style. Samuel is truly a leader of leaders and is quick to admit that it is all by God’s grace. The team will sorely miss him over the next few days. At the church service today, some of the Tongan athletes were there and the church put on a feast for them afterwards. Of course in typical island fashion the team was invited to eat lunch even though we already had lunch planned at Liz Pidik’s yet another close family friend of the Tabor’s and Ila’s. After our time at the church...

Saturday, 18th July

Before the team was up Geoff, Tayne and Samuel went out to get some fruit for breakfast and some ice for the water cooler. When they got back the team was still stirring and slowly getting up. Breakfast was at 8:30am. We found out that our performance at the mega mall Vision City was cancelled but we have an opportunity to go to the orphanage whose fundraiser we performed at last night, this afternoon. After breakfast the team got ready for the day and we used the morning to go shopping at Tabari Place which was where we first performed the day after we arrived in PNG. This was a lot of fun as the team was split into two groups and sent on their merry way. After an hour and 15 minutes we headed back to the church to have lunch and get ready for our time at the orphanage. George Nita a good friend of the Ila’s and Tabor’s, and also a PNG missionary to Port Moresby with his Australian wife Crystal met us at the church and offered to take the lead in their vehicle to show us where the orphanage was located. They led us to an outer suburb called Gerehu. The team got very excited when they saw the kids at the orphanage. We performed about 3 songs and shared testimonies between songs. You could tell Stephanie was taking it all in after being adopted last year. The performance went quickly as the team was very eager to spend time with the kids and as soon as they were released to do so they...

Friday, 17th July

Today we celebrate Paige McCracken! HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAIGE!!! We had another early start today. The team has definitely adjusted and an early morning isn’t as challenging as the beginning of outreach anymore (Parent’s take note). The truck for the luggage pulled in at about 6:45am and the lads got busy loading it with their bags as the guest house we are staying in is up on a hill. We drove down with the luggage to the main building and proceeded to load the girl’s luggage. We had a hearty breakfast of eggs, sausages, fresh fruit, milk, cereal and toast. After breakfast we said our final goodbyes as family and friends came in to farewell us. It was an emotional farewell for most of the team as they have gotten to know and make Ila/ Tabor family and friends their family and friends. As we loaded up the boys decided to ride in the back of the luggage truck freeing up space in the bus for a couple of families wanting to ride to the airport to see us off. The ride to Nadzab airport was a little bumpy but we arrived there safely after about 45 minutes to an hour. Our check in process caused a little question mark as two of our team members were booked on the next flight but after speaking with the agent we came away victorious with the whole team being able to fly together. We made good time to Port Moresby and were met at the airport by our good friends Ian and Jenny Memafu. Our truck driver Peter arrived a little after...

Wednesday & Thurday, 15th & 16th July

Wednesday: The team had a little bit of a sleep in this morning. We are certainly enjoying ourselves here in Lae and it will be hard to leave come Friday. Today was an easy day of sorts. We headed to Cassowary United Church at 10am to perform and teach some of our dances to the children and youth ministry there. Mary Passingan is part of the leadership that oversees the children’s ministry at the church and has been a faithful disciple of Kathleen Tabor when the Tabor’s lived in PNG. She gave us a very emotional welcome before we performed for the young people in her group. There were possibly 80 youth and children all together and after we performed we had the opportunity to split our group up and teach them some dances. One group worked with the children while the other worked with the middle school and high school aged kids. Our time there was very fruitful and of course customary to every church, we joined them for lunch afterwards. After our full tummies and good byes we set off for home, changed out of uniforms and headed to a private Christian school for some basketball. We were joined by some of Geoff’s family and enjoyed a good hour and a half of play. Geoff’s uncle Apa brought drinks and after cooling down we hopped on the bus and went back to the church for showers and dinner Thursday: This is our final day in Lae. You can sense a little sadness in the team as we have thoroughly enjoyed our time here. After breakfast we took...