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 people that Geoff had brought with him to share what God had been doing in the last 4 and a half weeks of their lives. We only planned on doing two songs because we didn’t want to distract from the soccer game that had already started but after the two songs the crowd cried out for more which signified that they had completely forgotten about the game.
We eventually left after our 5th dance and got packed and ready to head home. This village is situated right at the mouth of a huge lagoon. The lagoon is called Hood Lagoon so in order to get to and from the village you have to cross by boat which takes a good 10 minutes. It has been a long time since we’ve had teams where we have had adventures. This is by far has been the best adventure outreach as this team has been on planes, open back trucks, van’s, PMV’s and boats.
When we arrived we got through showers and eagerly awaited yet another good family friend of the Ila’s and Tabor’s who was bringing dinner. Michael Malai brought pizza and soda, and we were joined by Bernard Eliuda, the Memafu’s and Michael’s mum and brother, Rose and Norman. A lot of these people are ex- King’s Kids people who used to do outreaches with us back in the 90’s. Having said that, good memories were rehashed and stories flowed. What a blessing it has been for us to see where these people have ended up and also hear of the awesome things God has accomplished through them.