By Martha Wade
I watched in dismay as two pairs of legs came sliding over the edge of the truck’s canvas roof, over the handrail and into the truck that was moving along at a very fast speed. Soon, two men were sitting where Diane and I had been holding the handrails and watching the moonlit scenery. As I sputtered and tried to say something understandable in Tok Pisin, one of the dark shadows said in English, “Papua New Guinea – the land of the unexpected!” To me the whole thing was surreal, but Papua New Guinea is the land of the unexpected. We expected to leave Bunapas in the morning and immediately head to Madang after a short detour. Instead we loaded up after 2:30 PM and by 6 PM we were finally back on the main road heading towards Madang instead of away from Madang. We expected to get to town on Sunday, but instead we were told that it wasn’t safe to enter Madang at night so we would spend the night at Rempi and then go into town on Monday morning. We finally made it to the office at about 7:30 AM on Monday. I expected that God would take care of us and keep us safe. In that and that alone, I was not disappointed. God had taken care of us on a very good, relatively short trip by van out to Bunapas, protected us as we traveled by boat to and from Tsumba and then watched over us as we traveled by a combination of riding on the back of a tractor and sometimes walking (over bridges and through the heavily rutted sections) on a long “road” to Gandep Bible College where we taught a Scripture Use course.
Martha is a Bible Translator serving the Apal language group.