At the end of July I(Dylan) and 3 others took a trip into the mountains to visit the Wano tribe where missionaries Mike and Libby Wild and their 4 boys serve. The goal was to help them build their new house.
First we took a 1.5hr airplane ride to an airstrip at the foothills of the mountain.
The first thing I saw after landing was a man with a machine gun. I thought well if everyone is happy and smiling, including him, then we're ok.
From there we rode the helicopter up the mountain to the Wano tribe. They are around 7000ft above sea level.
Below is a picture of the airstrip that the Wano are currently building. Once the airstrip is complete, the Wilds will be able to get supplies much easier and cheaper.
The Wano people came out to welcome us to their village.
Home sweet home! Well maybe not. This is where we stayed for the week. The house was about waist high and when all 4 of us lay down we were like sardines. One night I woke up with someone's feet in my face. It was actually not that bad because they kept me warm. I wont say whose they were. They were Jared's. Ok.
makes it difficult to breathe.
|Here are some of the Wano believers.|
|Here is the Wild's temporary living quarters. This will later become their office. There were 6 of them in that little place.|
Off to work. When we got to the house site we thought that there would be wood waiting for us to start building with. We were wrong. It was being cut a half a mile away and we had to go fetch it.
|Here we go. Through the trees, balancing on logs, through the mud, and up a very long hill to eventually arrive at the house site half dead.|
|The boards were all uneven so we had to custom shape each board with hand tools. That's right, I said hand tools. We had no power tools.|
|Here is Logan Teall using the hand planer.|
We were able to sit in on a Wano church service. It was cool to see and fellowship with believers in such a remote part of the world. The Wilds are currently discipling believers and training elders.
A couple days after we got there, 4 men, from a neighboring tribe called the Dem, came to visit. They have been asking for many years for missionaries to come and live with them. No one has ever answered their request.
A while ago there was some tension between the tribes and the Dem destroyed the bridge that leads over the river into their territory. When they heard we were coming, they rebuilt the bridge in order to meet us.
They had hiked 2 days to get to us. They told us they had come to shoot us(figuratively speaking, thankfully) and take us back to their village. They did not want to go home empty handed.
They said they know that when Jesus comes back they are going to die. They are in darkness. They said some of these things with tears in their eyes.
We asked them that if we come and live with them, were they going to expect us to give them money. They replied that they are not interested in things for their skin but for their spirit.
I couldn't take any more and told them if it was up to us we would grab our bags right now and come to their village to live with them. But we have to return to the city to finish our tasks there and to consult our leaders as well as talk to our families before we could come.
Near the end of our time in Wano land, Angie's leg was worsening so the airplane was going to come and pick me and 2 of the other guys up from a nearby airstrip a 3 hrs hike away. So, early in the morning while it was still dark we began the hike.
We had to hike down the mountain, across the river, and then back up and around the mountain.
Everything was so muddy and slippery, we were falling all over the place. Our tribal guide even fell a couple times which made me feel better about myself. Although he was around twice my age.
At one point when we were hiking around the steep part of the mountain, the trail gave way and Logan almost said his final goodbyes. He managed to catch himself on a root to prevent himself from sliding down the mountain.
About an hour and a half later we came across a bridge, or should I say, a log.
Near the end of the hike we could see the airplane coming down to land. At that moment we realized we were still very far away from the airstrip. We knew the pilot was in a hurry so we picked up the pace. I began to run ahead with the guide. After 15 min of running with a heavy backpack and falling around(I fell on the guide once), I finally came out onto the airstrip. I thought I was going to have a heart attack from the running.
Later the pilot told me they had already started the engines and were about to leave when they saw me coming out onto the runway. Praise the Lord!
We arrived in Nabire full of mud and exhausted. We were so dirty that one of the people who worked at the airport took us to their house so that we could wash up. God truly took care of us every step of the way. We serve an amazing God who constantly reveals His grace to us!