Stop That Praying!

Posted in Mixed Nuts on March 25th, 2009 by MadDog
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I hadn’t hopped over to Lower Ramu Bible Translation Ministry for a few days.  Look what I missed!

You’re a guy looking for a wife and your sister is looking for a husband (possibly desperately)? We have the answer to your problem – Sister Exchange!  (No, dudes, you can’t use this to trade your pesky sister for a nicer one.)

Those Tarzan movies show fantastic communication by drum signals. Is it true? How does it work?

And, my favourite, the hideously self-righteous and notoriously pushy European Union wants Papua New Guineans to STOP PRAYING, at least when the EU is listening. Whether you are a believer or not, you’ll laugh out loud at the irony in this article.

If you are wondering about the strange missionary from the Lower Ramu River, here’s a shot of him cleaning the bottom of his 30 foot sail boat, Stap Isi, on which he, his wife Kathy, and the ship’s cat, Dory, sailed all the way from Moline, Illinois, down the Mississippi River, and across the Pacific Ocean   to get back to work:

Kyle Harris - my boss's boss

Now that’s a commute!

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Stap Isi’s Long Passage

Posted in At Sea, PBT Happenings on September 10th, 2007 by MadDog
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This FROM: MadDog

This came from Kyle Harris. He’s my boss’s boss (Acting Director of PBT). Kyle and his wife, Kathy, along with Dory (the ship’s cat), made the gutsy passage accross the Pacific (actually starting out in Moline, Illinois!) to get back home to Madang in a thirty foot boat named Stap Isi (for you non Pidgin speakers, that’s the Melanesian equivalent of the American slang expression, “Stay cool.”)

Here’s a photo of Kyle and Kathy on Stap Isi taken shortly after their arrival safely back home in Madang:

Stap Isi sitting safely at anchor after a long passage

Here’s a quote from their extensive and sometimes scary journal:

  • The Perfect Storm – March 20

Dawn Sunday found us still motoring and making good progress into the wind which had now picked up to about 25 knots. The seas were in the 5-7 feet range and increasing. That is usually not a good thing and we were starting to get a bad feeling about how things were developing. That bad feeling proved justified. A little after noon we could see storm clouds gathering in the west and soon could see a squall line approaching. Kyle watched it carefully and it was obvious after a couple of minutes that it was roaring down on us. We had the main sail up at the time to give the motor a bit of a boost so we decided that it looked like a good time to drop it. We got it down and secured just before the squall line arrived.

Suddenly our world turned inside out. The wind increased to 30 and then 40 knots and then higher yet. There was a weather buoy just south of us and we found out later that it had recorded gusts as high as 56 knots. The seas began to build quickly and by 3 PM we were in 15-20 foot waves. The wind was ripping the tops off the waves and foam and spray were being blown across the water. It was at once the most terrifying and awe inspiring sight we have ever seen. It is not often one gets to experience first hand the incredible power of God’s creation. And it is not something that we ever hope to see again.

There was no question of continuing on course through this. We kept the motor on and simply ran with the storm, trying to keep the stern to the waves. Studies have shown that boats are least likely to be capsized by a wave when they are stern on to the direction the waves are traveling. We were hoping that the studies were correct.

By dusk Kyle had been fighting the storm at the tiller for six hours. The power of the waves were just too much for Kathy to handle. And after six hours Kyle was beginning to wonder how much more he had left. There was no way that he could continue at the helm for another six hours. We began discussing whether to call the coast guard to see if they could give us some advice. If the storm was predicted to continue or get worse, we might need to consider having them come and assist us. Finally after another hour with no sign of the storm letting up Kyle made the decision to make the call. After having gotten no little or no sleep the previous two nights and now with almost 8 hours of fighting the helm, he was done in. He told Kathy to come up and take the helm for just a bit while he made the radio call.

Just at that moment, the wind seemed to die down a bit. We waited to see what would happen. In a few minutes it was clear that the wind was abating. With new hope came new strength and Kyle was able to continue at the helm for another couple hours during which time the wind dropped to 25 and then to 20 knots and the seas began to calm. As soon as things had settled to where the autohelm could handle the tiller, Kyle turned it on, pointed it west to continue running with the seas, and we both collapsed into bed. We kept no watch that night – neither of us really cared if we were run down by a freighter or not.

If you’d like to read more and see some great photos, try: LINK
If you’re interested in finding out about their work in the Lower Ramu area try: LINK

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