Since myself and Gerdine have been married (4 1/2 years now) we’ve been living in rented accommodation. We lost track of how many different flats and houses we’ve lived in ( I think it’s 8 or 9) and each place we’ve rented or borrowed furniture.

It’s pretty fun to look back and see how God has provided for us in each place. A couch given to us here, bargain kitchen utensils there – it’s a story of grace and provision in the little things!

We’ve got an opportunity to actually own (well technically we won’t, our house will belong to New Tribes) our own house and have our own furniture. We’ve taken our experiences living here there and everywhere and we know what things we need and what we just really want.

One of the wants, one of the things that makes a house a home is a sofa (couch) that we can lay stretched out on without our head and feet on armrests. And while we’re dreaming why not have it so there’s enough space for one of us to lie down and the other to sit, or even have us both lie down!
We could try and find a sofa in a store here in PNG – but those can be really, really costly as they’re imported – and a nice large one just won’t fit in a helicopter so we couldn’t get it to our house. Then we thought why not make our own?

Work in progress, captured at a flattering angle

Inspired by the DIY furniture I see around our support center I drew up plans for a huge, flat-pack, L shaped rope couch. Not having any experience in woodworking it was an ambitious place to start!

The cushions were going to be the deciding factor in the design. This being PNG we either had to import couch cushions or see what we could find in town and build our sofa around them. I didn’t trust myself to build a sofa of sufficient quality to justify shipping couch cushions halfway around the world, so town cushions it was!

We found a ‘set’ of 3″ foam cushions at Papindos (a store). We bought them before we’d even settled a sofa design and got to work designing a sofa around them. Off to the hardware store to buy wood and wanting it to be sturdy and last a long time I bought hard wood. Turns out hard wood is hard to work with! I cooked several drill bits working on this stuff!

Ready for testing

It took many weeks of no seeming progress as I sanded, cut and drilled the separate pieces in my free time, but suddenly it came together. Not trusting myself to be able to cut any kind of woodworking join without wrecking things I opted to purchase MASSIVE screws to hold it all together. Then it was hours and hours of pulling rope through holes and voila! A sofa ready to try out.

Oscar is impressed by the wide variety of colours in our cushion ‘set’

All that work behind us we’re enjoying it out on our veranda before the final test. Can we flat pack it by unscrewing the corners without undoing all the rope? I sure hope so! I dread having to pull all that rope through those holes twice more!!

Baby party on the new couch


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