We’re happy to report that the weather improved and we could fly out! The pilot was only an hour away from calling off the flight for the 2nd day in a row, and we heard the following day that it was another terrible Kovol weather day, which left us very glad to be out!

Oscar is very excited to see the helicopter arrive

We’re staying at the guest house in Lapilo, our mission headquarters in Goroka and in a few days we’ll move to the guest house in Sobega our central area headquarters 15 minutes away. We’re enjoying catching up with friends in Lapilo, but we’re also looking forward to seeing friends in Sobega — and of course the trampoline at Sobega 🙂

Enjoying the view

Our first reaction at pulling into the gate in Lapilo was “Wow, there are so many white people here!”. After 4 months isolated in the bush, there are so many friends to spend time with! Our children are enjoying the playgrounds and nice food, Oscar has been making new playmates and Alice and Millie have been enjoying exploring.
Break time means entertaining our children most of the day with playgrounds, baking, Lego, reading and videos with afternoon naps and early bedtimes, plus daily meals with friends. It’s good to relax. We’re slowly winding down and letting off a little steam.

I had the idea today that I should exercise regularly too… my lazy self didn’t like the idea, but I’m thinking about it!

Playground time

We visited a resort in town to enjoy some pizza and a swimming pool, which was a big hit with Oscar, Alice and Millie. We’ve also been surprised with how much warmer and sunnier it is here than in Kovol. It feels like we’ve changed climates.

resort time

A surprising development is that we’ve flown out just at the start of a fuel problem,. Here’s a public statement:

“One of the key components for working in remote areas in Papua New Guinea is to have fuel. Jet fuel is used by our helicopters and Kodiak planes to deliver supplies, provide medical evacuations, and get missionaries in and out of isolated villages. Diesel fuel is used by generators to supply power and for vehicles that travel on rough roads into more accessible locations. Unfortunately, the only jet fuel provider for the country and one of the main suppliers of diesel and petrol has stated that they are unable to supply any fuel until further notice. With a limited amount of reserve, contingency plans must be implemented, and decisions must be made to wisely provide for our centers and teams in remote locations. Prayer is appreciated for a quick resolution to the country’s fuel situation, for the people of PNG affected by it, and for the missionaries of NTM PNG needing to adjust.”

We received an email yesterday informing us that we’re currently out in Goroka indefinitely until the fuel supply issues are resolved. The plan was for the Stous family to fly out for a break as we flew back in, thus making the best use of both legs of the helicopter flight. That has needed to change and now the Stous family have chosen to stay in Kovol until their (and our) food supplies run out at which point they’ll fly out. The fuel supply issues are certainly a thing to pray for.

The girls make a friend
The girls make a friend
Oscar makes a friend


Julian Hurst · 21/02/2024 at 10:47 pm

May the Lord grant you all a really restful and refreshing break, and may the fuel problem be resolved soon. We are enjoying a much needed break with our boys in the Lake District. With our love and prayers, Julian and Ruth

Hannah · 24/02/2024 at 3:32 pm

So glad you managed to leave and are able to take a break! Praying for you and for the fuel issue!

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