The Genesis of the Assemblies of God in Papua New Guinea

A historical journey of the genesis of AOG/PNG written by pioneer Ps Don Westbrook.

Recently the personal diary records of Ps Don Westbrook who along with Ps Hugh Davidson pioneered the Assemblies of God Mission to Papua New Guinea in 1948. 

Ps Cyril Westbrook the son of Ps Don Westbrook kindly made this material available for posterity and added some comments in (brackets.) 

Pastor Hugh Davidson was sent to New Guinea in the latter months of 1947, by the Executive Council of the Assemblies of God in Australia, to plan for the establishing of a Missionary work amongst those people.  

He introduced himself to the Administrator and appropriate authorities explaining the purpose of his visit. 

He was given different areas of need in the country and was invited to investigate the possibilities. 

He returned to Australia early in 1948.  

Through 1948 he talked to many Pastors and shared with many Assemblies the imminent launch of Mission to New Guinea as it was known at that time.

On his return from this trip he had decided on Maprik, Sepik Province, to be the place to establish the first Assemblies of God Mission.

He had no idea of the location of the Mission Station as he departed in October, 1948, for the Maprik area of the Sepik Province.  

Prayerfully trusting God to lead him and open doors so they would establish a base in the right place.    

In those days it was Papua and the Trust Territory of New Guinea.  We spoke of New Guinea in that era.  Now we speak of the nation of Papua New Guinea.

Pastor Don Westbrook who was the Pastor of the Assembly of God, Gympie, had been challenged by the Lord to be available to assist Hugh Davidson.  

No one in Australia had come forward to accompany Ps. Davidson as a missionary-partner or to go and build the Mission house.  

The Lord spoke to Don Westbrook to offer his abilities to make this venture a success.  

Don Westbrook had been a Builder for many years before following the call of God into full time ministry.  

The Gympie Assembly released him for six months to do this trip.

For the benefit of those who would like to know more about the birth of the AG church in Papua New Guinea, see attachment below. “Bihainim Lek Bilong Mi” is a book written in Tok Pisin (local dialect) by Pastor Kevin Hovey which outlines important details of the early church work in Papua New Guinea.

Bihainim Lek Bilong Mi – Kevin Hovey – 1987

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The following is a record from the Diary of Don Westbrook of their boat trip to New Guinea on the M.V. Malaita from Brisbane, Qld. to Madang in New Guinea, and then on to Wewak. 

The Diary notes include the finding of land at Maprik for the Mission and the erection of the first buildings, concluding with the arrival of Mrs Davidson and the four children at Maprik.

Departing from Gympie to board the M.V.Malaita in Brisbane.

19th October. Tuesday.  Left Gympie about 2:20pm for Nambour.  I had a small celebration at my brother Norm’s place.  

Then I travelled to Brisbane and stayed with my brother, Les.  (As Dad passed through Nambour he called at the Moreton Sugar Mill and said good-bye to me.)

20th October. Wed. Went to Hugh Davidson at Mrs Anderson’s place, (Mrs Davidson’s sister), to pack boxes and then took them to the wharf.  Then we both worked on other preparations for our trip.

21st October. Thurs. Through the day received a message to have our room luggage on board by 4:30pm.  I hurried home and prepared, went over to Hugh’s place and then we went into the wharf.

22nd October. Friday. Had lunch at Cliff Morton’s place, then met Hugh at the Gospel Book Depot, completed shopping andthen down to the boat. There were only a few people there to see us off.  

They were family connections for Hugh and self as well as Pastors Palmer and Buchanan along with Cliff Morton and his wife.  

We departed from Brisbane at 5:00 pm.on the M.V. Malaita.

 At 9 o’clock that night there were two men standing on the upper deck looking into the night and watching the Lights of Caloundra, and then as we turned to the open sea they soon slipped away.  

We lifted our hearts to God as we sailed into the unknown.

26th October. Tuesday. Sighted land around lunch time. During the afternoon the ranges of Papua became clear. 

We anchored at Samarai at 5:45pm.  (Samarai is a small island on the tip of New Guinea, across from Milne Bay.  It was the centre forDistrict Administration at that time)

27th October. Wed. We saw the Dist. Officer and he arranged for us to visit Kwato Mission on a nearby island.  Later that day we walked around the island of Samarai, where our ship was anchored.

28th October. Thurs.  We used the day watching the natives working hard at unloading the ship and with reading and writing.  That night I woke at 11:30 pm, dressed and went on deck, and saw them closing the hatches down. 

At midnight the whistle blew and we were on our way. Praise God, the work ahead is calling, “I long to be there to begin to feel the requirements of such a project”.

29th October. Friday. We lift our hearts to God in thankfulness for being on our way.  “O God, give us a harvest of truly born again men and women and children from this very intriguing race”.

30th October. Sat. Up early, had a bath, dressed and had our quiet time.  Had lunch and then watched as we pulled into Lae, arriving at 2:00 pm.  We went to the Post Office.  There Hugh found out that the Administrator would be in Lae on Tuesday and then into Madang on Wednesday.

31st October. Sunday.  Walked along the beach to the Markham River and back. Had lunch and then enjoyed some reading and writing.  After tea we had a good talk to some crew at the back of the ship, and then went to bed a bit late.

1st Nov. Monday. We visited the Lutheran Mission and met Pastor and Mrs Pietz.  They kindly had us with them for lunch and then he drove us back into town.  We stayed up till 11pm, but saw the ship was not ready to pull out.

2nd Nov. Tuesday. The Malaita pulled out of Lae at 11am and we followed the coast very closely even in the darkness as we sailed to Madang.

3rd Nov. Wed.  We arrived in Madang at 7:30 am.  It is abeautiful place in a beautiful harbour of tropical islands. We made an appointment at the District Office to see the Administrator.

We had lunch on the ship and then dressed to meet the Administrator.

At 3pm we met Colonel Murray and found that he was very sympathetic to Missions.

He was to the point and wanted Bro Davidson to go with him to Wewak.

Following that we made plans for us to be accommodated while in Madang at the home of Mr and Mrs Rees.  That night we both stayed on the boat.

4th Nov. Thursday.  Hugh left about 8am for the drome to await the arrival of the Administrator.

I stayed on the ship and packed things up ready to depart from the ship the next day.

5th November. Friday.  Had a beautiful breakfast on the boat, and then moved the luggage over to Customs. I walked over to Rees’ house and took the hand-bags and the guitar with me.

It was 6:20 pm and Hugh was not back, so it looked like I would spend the night alone.  I was on my way to tea and he arrived.  We had our tea and then went to talk things over.

6th Nov. Sat. Nothing much to do until a boat goes.  We could only commit all things to Him, who doeth all things well.  Before the day was out we heard that there may be a boat next week.

7th Nov. Sunday. We went for a walk in the morning and attended a Lutheran Church service at night.

8th Nov. Monday.  We went to Customs and sorted out all our goods.  By dinner time we had found most of it, and had the joy to learn we were booked on a ship for Wewak.  By night time we had found almost all of our stuff.  Happy but tired!

`10th Nov. Wednesday.  We supervised getting our goods from the Customs to the wharf for shipping.  The goods stayed on the wharf all night under a tarp.

11th Nov. Thursday. It became apparent to me that we would not get away. Our disappointments are His appointments.  I want you to pray very much about our future.  I have much sympathy for and a very keen interest in this very likeable people.

12th November. Friday. We had another day watching and waiting.  By lunch time we had the joy of seeing our goods go on board.  We had our evening meal with our friends, the Rees, and then we left for the boat at 7:15 pm. We left Madang about 9:30pm that night on a small ship. M.V. Matoko.

13th November. Saturday. We arrived at Potsdam about 8:30 am.  Here he unloaded goods and then stayed all day.  Our ship, the Matoko, left again about 6:30pm and headed for Wewak.

14th November. Sunday.  Arrived at Wewak 8:00am this Sunday morning.  

No wharf at Wewak and we were moved ashore by boat.  We met the District Officer, Mr Niall, and he planned for us to eat at the Mess.  We returned to the boat at 7pm.

15th Nov. Monday. Up early and had a quick breakfast and then supervised the loading of our goods.  Had them ashore by dinner-time, and then transferred them to the drome to be locked in a shed out there, ready for the flight to Maprik. We just got to the Mess in time for lunch.

20th November. Saturday.  Another day of expectancy, and we went to the drome and weighed up three loads. Two planes were expected, but only one came.  

Hugh went in on the second trip with the first load of our stuff.  By the time they returned to Wewak it was too late to go again, so I had to stay the night.

21st November. Sunday.  This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Had breakfast and then went to Jerry Stewarts to inquire.  They called me about 9:30am and we went straight to the drome.  Left Wewak about 10:00am for Maprik..

Mr Haviland, the Assistant District Officer, (Senior Government Officer), had the Kalabus, (prisoners), at the plane to unload our goods.  By invitation we ate at Haviland’s home for dinner that night.

Mr Haviland made available the Rest House owned by the Administration, and it was situated near the airstrip.  

Mr Haviland had an old stove put in there for us.   Beside the house was the walking track used by all the natives as they came to the three trade stores nearby.

22nd Nov. Monday. Had a cuppa, without sugar, and a couple of scones each with a little butter and some strawberry jam.   We also enjoyed a gift of bananas from a policeman.  A nice cup of tea with Mr and Mrs Haviland in the afternoon and then we went hiking with the ADO.

23rd Nov.  Tuesday.  We accompanied Mr Haviland to see a couple of villages nearby and saw their Haus Tambarans.  

At the second village they were having a ceremony to the Yam god. You have never heard such a din.  The Luluai and Tultul came and made contact with Mr Haviland and we met them.

They asked if we wanted to see the Tambaran, and they took us in to see the Tambaran.   

They had a huge yam, about 6 feet long, tied up on the pole as an offering to the ‘spirit’. One of them went on to explain what it was all about in his tok-pisin.  

It will take the power of the Holy Spirit to break the darkness, which is here.

Future unclear. (Don Westbrook writes from their base at the Rest House near the Maprik Airstrip): 

We are sitting quiet as to our next step, until we have been around, and we can feel the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

(Comment: The two men had no idea where they could set up a Base. They needed an invitation and they needed the witness in their hearts of God’s provision for the Work of God.)

24th November.  Today, Wednesday, two Roman Catholic priests came to instruct us about our faith.

25th November.  Thursday. Two Tultuls and a Luluai came with a note from the ADO, asking us to visit their villages.

We did that with them, and we were made very welcome as we trekked amongst the village people.

While there, they got a boy to climb a coconut tree and they gave us a Kulau to drink.  It was really nice.  This is the greatest sign of friendship.

The ADO at Maprik, Mr Haviland, had told Mr Davidson that there was no land at Maprik, as the Administration had already used much Maprik village land for the airstrip and the town, and so Mission land needed to come from one of the other villages.

We are not hurrying as we feel a right start means everything.    

Tom Woods, whose Store is next door, is very kind.  He brings us fruit and other things.

26th Nov. Friday. Hugh was not too well.  We went hiking, and did about 23 miles.  

We were down Hayfield way, and got a ride home to Maprik on the tractor.  We came home absolutely knocked up.  We were really tired.

28th November. Sunday.  Today we had the great pleasure and privilege of holding our first service at Maprik in a building called “House School”.  

We were not good at Pidgin, but we did our best.  It will be quite an historic moment, as it is probably the first protestant service in the Sepik.

Don Westbrook led the service and prayed, and Hugh Davidson played the organ and spoke in the service.

(Comment: I presume the people who attended the service were people who had been brought to the town of Maprik for employment and were used to a Church service.)

29th November. Monday. We went on a trek, up the Amagu River, and then turned toward the hill we could see when looking towards the mountain range from the Maprik airstrip.  

At the top of the hill we found concrete foundations of an old house, right on the crest of the hill.  We thought it was a splendid site.  

On the return we took a different route and we went past the native hospital where a Medical Assistant was based.  

Here we found four Luluais saying how they did not want the Tala-tala (Protestants) to come to Maprik.  

It was obvious the Catholics were working at opposing our launch at Maprik.

The Luluai-s we met were not representatives from the land we had just seen.

30th Nov. Tuesday. We told the ADO about our visit to this land on the hill.  

He has called in the Luluai, responsible for this property.  We went down to the hut for prayer. We are praying, as we wait for His guidance.

Later that day we inquired, and the ADO said that the Luluai had been in and had returned to his village to discuss the matter.

1st December. Wednesday. Still waiting for word from the Luluai and Tultuls. 

Later in the day a message came to say that the Lululai had agreed for this Mission venture to be on their land.  So we went immediately to the ADO.  There he had a gift ready of 3 axes, 3 bush knives, and a case of tinned meat laid out on the ground.  

The ADO, the Police Officer, ourselves and the local people who had been interviewed by the ADO all left to view the land.  

Praise Note. Thank God many saints were praying and pleading the power of the precious Blood.  We were very conscious of it, and threw ourselves upon God.

2nd Dec. Thursday.  The clearing of the land was a hard one.  It is a man sized job to work in the heat all day, come home, wash our clothes which are always soaked with sweat, and then cook our evening meal.  

Home at 6:30pm – very tired.  After washing up, we have our devotions together and then very tired we would write letters to our loved ones.

It is yam planting season, and the natives are busy with large loads of yams, with the shoots on them, going to the gardens.

A remarkable thing about these people is their honesty. They are very honest.  

Our rest room is open, and so is everything else.  We lock nothing, but nothing is ever touched.

3rd Dec.  Friday. After lunch we went to the block and began measuring up this new land.  

We are building temporaryquarters and store room on the concrete base – of what was the old house.

5th December. Sunday.  We had a service in the House School and a quiet day. I had a nice talk to a Policeman who said he was washed (saved) and loved Jesus.

7th December.  Tuesday.  Went to the site and spent an agonising day brushing.  Cleared a nice area for the house site.  We took our lunch and stayed all day.

10th December. Friday. Another day up Bush.  Self took dinner and stayed all day.  Started to erect temporary dwelling. Came home feeling quite well, but by the time we ate I had an upset stomach.

12th December Sunday.  Today is for Church.  Quiet day – self sick, and Hugh took service alone.

13th December, Monday.  Visited the new site in the afternoon. Paid the people for 200 morata @ 3 pence per sheet. 

15th December.  Wednesday.  Spent the morning at the Camp doing odd jobs.  Went to our site after lunch.  Got a bit more done to the ‘shack’.

19th December. Sunday.  This is for Church today.  There were five from the settlement present, and a pikinini.  

We had a visit from natives down the direction of Hayfield.  (Hayfield, south of Maprik, was well known as it was the large airstrip from the war years). The Lord is giving us an open door.    

I pray, “Lord, give us some strong young men” We are getting to know the people of Cherikem village.  

The Luluai is Mushalai, and he is getting quite old.  The Tultul is Guinyinga.   We have two men, Lapun and Beni, who regularly work with us.

23rd December. Thursday.  Today we finished the walls of our quarters. They are now covered with Morata, which we have used for making the walls of our quarters.  It is made from the sago palm leaf.  

Tomorrow we will be at home, as we prepare for Christmas day.  Sister Davidson will leave on the M.V. Malaita about Jan 25th

24th December. Friday.  I have just finished an overhaul of my things, which you have to do once a week. Cockroaches infest the place, and it is a constant battle.   

Christmas Eve. 11:15pm. What are we doing up at this time?  It is no good going to bed.  Less than one chain away there are hundreds of dark figures singing (?) at the top of their voices, and dancing to the awful rhythm of hundreds of drums.

Around and under our Rest House are around a hundred natives.  This is Christmas at Maprik.

25th December. Saturday. Christmas Day. The Havilands haveinvited us for Christmas dinner between 5 and 7pm.   About 3pm the natives began to assemble. 

About 2,000 have gathered for a Singsing on the Drome, and it continued till about 6 o’clock in the morning.  

I cannot describe all their decorations.  What fervour they put into their singing.  If only they were singing songs of Zion, how powerfully they would sing them.

26th December. Sunday. The morning cometh, and thank God for it. Oh! What a night!   A service was held and there were three there. The others were all knocked out, due to the Singsing right through the night.  

That night we had an early tea, and I was reading on the veranda, when I saw Mushalai coming.  Poor old soul.  He was resplendently dressed up in a long red singlet.  He brought a coconut for “Tupela”  Poor old man!  He wants something.  I trust the Lord prepares his heart for the Gospel.

27th December, Monday.  A holiday in Maprik, so we read and wrote all day.  A quiet day, but very acceptable after the week-end we had experienced.  We cooked tea, and then Beni and Samie had a song practice.  Sorry that Beni has to go back to Dreikikia.

30th December. Thursday.  I had the joy today of receiving your wonderful parcel. Oh! That lovely cake.  The plum-pudding, raisins and sweets – what a lovely surprise.  

We also had a nice parcel from Sydney with tinned ham, salmon, nuts and sweets. These things are nice, but it is the letters I long for.  

Today I stripped the boxes and got the timber ready for me to make the tables.  Mr Niall came into Maprik today.  Mr Niall advised Mr Davidson to proceed with building the Mission on the site we had established.

31st December. Friday.  This is the last day of the old Year. I am not sorry, as each day brings me nearer home.   I have had some very precious moments with the Lord, and some sweet “anointings” of His Spirit.  

Went to the site and scrubbed the floor, and planted some tomato plants.  At home on the airstrip we had dinner and baked our bread.

1st January, 1949. Saturday.  Happy New Year to everybody. Today, after an early lunch we are going over to Royal’s place. I should say it was 6 miles each way.  

It was hot going over, and to arrive and sip cold water was wonderful.  The afternoon tea given by Mr/Mrs Royal was enjoyed.  

We left again for Maprik at 4:10pm. Beni came to see us, and we invited him to be at Church in the morning.

2nd January. Sunday. Had a very happy service, with the best congregation we have had so far. There were 8 men, 1 meri, 2 boys, (teen-agers) and 2 children. They are learning to sing quite well.  

Tomorrow I am going to start to make a table.  Packing cases will be the material to use.  Imagine the fun I will have.

3rd January. Monday We had a busy day around our house. We arranged for carriers to come to carry our cargo.  They kept us busy preparing loads. 

We had to shift our iron and the tank material to our site.  We had tea and went to Maprik No 1.  They had a sing-sing at the House Tambaran.  Came home at 8:30pm, had a bath and supper and did some writing.

4th January. Tuesday. A real busy day preparing loads for the carriers as we moved to our Mission site. 51 man loads were taken up that day.

5th January.  Wednesday.   Well this is the day.   This is a special day for the Mission.  After a busy day preparing loads and packing, we move up to the site.   We sit here tonight and write for the first time from the AOG property in New Guinea. 

Hugh and I slept in the new home for the first time. Praise God!  We give Him all the Praise. To Him be the Glory forever.  Amen.

9th January. Sunday. Church service today.  We went to Haus Lotu, and we had a very good Service.

10th January. Monday. Worked on making the Tank today. Went to Maprik twice, and glad to get to bed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

12thJanuary. Wednesday.  Hugh and I finished riveting the Tank today.  Hugh baked the bread, I washed and Hugh went to Maprik.

14th January. Friday.  Finished the Tank today, put the spouting and positioned the Tank.

16th January. Sunday.   Morning service at 10am at House School.

17th January. Monday.  We fully pegged out the site for the house this morning.  After lunch Hugh went with some natives to cut down a big Kwila tree for stumps and I made shutters.

22nd January. Saturday. Our cargo from Burns Philp came, (it had been shipped from Sydney as ordered) and the porridge was stale; the butter was rancid and two tins of Drybalm were old. Etc.

23rd January. Sunday.  Had Sunday morning lotu at usual place, and five men were present. I spoke on the fall and separation from God caused by sin.  We then had a quiet day.

24th January. Monday.  Hugh tried some porridge, but we could not eat it, and had to throw it out.  

So breakfast was bread and jam.  I cooked dinner, and it was pumpkin, taro, a few onions, and a tin of meat. Then we had pawpaw to eat, so you see we will not starve.  

We had a big storm so we were washed out today.  We were still able to put in 19 posts in indescribable mud.  Very trying, but that is New Guinea.

25th January. Tuesday.  We got 9 stumps in before dinner. In the afternoon it was very wet and Hugh and I went to Maprik.

26th January. Wednesday. Today we completed putting the stumps in, and tomorrow we will cut the tops off.  Then we will start using what timber we have to commence the building of the house.

28th January. Friday.  We finished the stumps and did odd jobs.  Some men arrived this afternoon – they work at the House Sick, (Hospital), and they carried shallots, beans, and some lovely tomatoes.  We rewarded them.  

Dear old Mushalai often comes, and he just sits and watches. I am sure he loves us both. He says, ‘not friend, brother belong me’.  We will believe God for him – his soul for Jesus – dear old Mushalai.

We will put a work shed on the other corner of this concrete so we can work while it is raining.  ( the Maprik wetseason, is in January, when they were doing this work).

30th. January. Sunday. Had a Service today.

31st. January. Monday.  This morning we made a start on the big house.  It is a heart-breaking task with the available timber.  

We ask the locals to cut some good, big and straight,“diwai” and they come with stuff so bendy, and fit only for clothes props.  For one straight stick you get 9 crooked ones.  We will get there.

2nd January. Wednesday. Working on the plates and bearers on the Missionary’s house but in the afternoon the rain interfered with the work.

3rd February. Thursday. Still working on the plates on the House, and almost finished. 

Mushalai and Colombine today made Morata for the work-shed.  Tonight an old man came from Kuminibus and brought some cabbage – 3 bundles at least – and we gave him salt and a razor blade.  We shared the cabbage with our two helpers, Mushalai and Columbine.

4th February. Friday.  Today a letter came from Mr Niall, cancelling the old claim to the property that we are on.  So we rejoice and Praise the Lord.  Our application has now gone to Port Moresby for a Mission site on part of this mining lease. 

The finding of this hill, and then the large area of concrete on the hill made this a desired location.

6th February. Sunday. We had our Service at the Haus School, then spent the afternoon writing.

7th February. Monday.  A good morning for work.  A heavy ceiling of cloud, very high, and no sunshine till after lunch. 

Put in the day wrestling with crooked joists.   Got on well.

9th February. Wednesday.  We work till late, and by the time we have tea, wash up, have reading and prayers, it is around 9pm.   

Went out today and felled a tall palm tree.  This is for splitting up and to use for flooring.  When used like this it is called – limbom.  They split up the trunk and take out the pith, and use the shell about an inch thick.  It is not a level floor, but the best there is.

12th February. Saturday. I finished the joists on the main house and erected some studs.   My passage home has been booked from Lae on the 6th April.  My right wrist which has given me much pain and concern for many weeks is definitely on the mend.  Praise the Lord.  I am almost sure there was a broken bone.

13th February. Sunday.  Service in the Haus School.  There were 4 boys, 1 meri and one pikinini for Church.

15th February. Tuesday.  Self not the best, today.  Had a touch of diahorrea and a bad throat, by night time.  Erected the tents today.

16th February. Wednesday.  The tents are up and ready for Sister Davidson and family to arrive.  This afternoon I almost finished making a Table for the new house.

17th February. Thursday. Hugh got away in the afternoon in GATfox, on the first stage of going to Madang to meet his wife and family.  I remain to hold the fort.  Old Mushalai has moved in and is going to sleep in the workshop.  Another lad is also sleeping near the stove.

18th February. Friday. Writing this am.  Musalai working around.  Radio from Hugh.  I worked on the Table and finished it, and in considering the timber, it is a good job.  I then started on the Dresser. Tomorrow I have to make my first batch of bread.  There are also 2 benches to be put up, and sundry other jobs to attend to.

20th February. Sunday.  Got my breakfast and ironed my white trousers so I was ready for Lotu (Church). I had lunch at Havilands and stayed on through the afternoon.  Almost gave up hope of a plane coming in.  

I went down to Tom Woodsand I had only been there a half hour when the plane came.  

Mr Gibbs flew into Maprik with all the Davidson family on board the little Auster.  

We went to Haviland’s house, staying just a short time, and then wended our way slowly homeward. 

22nd February. Tuesday. Today I finished off the dresser and started to make some chairs.  Mr Haviland kindly sent up a sheet of three-ply for the seats of the chairs.

24th February. Thursday. We had a good day on the house.  All studs and top plates up on the main house.  Praise the Lord.  The end is in sight.  No mail came today, so I have to carry on.

27th February. Sunday.  The day started with rain, and continued to drizzle all morning. I did not go  to Service with Hugh and family.  A great Sunday, with all the Davidson family in Church today.

28th February. Monday.  I asked the Lord for a good cloudy day, so I could work well.  I had the joy of my prayer answered.  Finished the joists on the front verandah of the house and erected the studs.

1st March. Tuesday. Busy on the house.  Got all the joists down on the back verandah.  Rain came and caused some delay. Wrote to Lae to Qantas re a booking for the 23rd March.

3rd March  Thursday. Started the day with Hugh sick.  Put in two tank stumps ready for the tank to be near the house. Had a cuppa and as Hugh was improved we got up the ridge pole on the house, and are now ready for the rafters.  Big rain came and so I worked in the shed on the chairs.

4th March. Friday. We now have 15 of the 20 rafters up, so next week I should have them all up.  Wonderful!   

6th March. Sunday. We had a rainy day.  We had our Sundayservice as usual.

7th March. Monday. Made the spouting for one side of the house and put it up.  The rest of the day  I was very sick. Oh! What a day.

8th March.  Tuesday.  I was very sick with the “bout” that had taken hold of me.  No work today.

9th March.  Wednesday.  Took Castor Oil before I went to bed. I was very sick through the night and in agony for hours.

10th March.  Thursday.  I was feeling off all day.  Finished the spouting on the house.  Had lunch and then a rest.  Later I got on 12 sheets of iron.

12th March.  Saturday.  Self worked on the roof and got all but two sheets up. Hugh was getting cargo from the airstrip.  Then I worked on the chairs for a time.  After tea we put on the rest of the iron and the ridge cap, all but the last little bit.  It was quite dark when I got down.

13th March.  Sunday. Service at Maprik.  I spoke on “Come” at the service.  I visited Havilands, and then went to Tom Woods.   Ihad dinner with them and then came home about 5:30pm.

17th March. Thursday. I have been busy with many items to complete before leaving to go home. Today busy on Stove-recess roof, Stove pipe, Down pipes, Tank, etc.  A busy day.

18th March. Friday.  We moved a concrete slab, and I did some work that was needed.  Then I cleaned my suit and finished packing.  Bathed and dressed and went to Maprik after lunch and I collected the mail.  After tea I went down to Tom Woods and reached there just at dark.

19th March. Saturday. Gibbs pilot came in with the Auster and took Wally Allen, myself and luggage to Wewak.  Had a beautiful flight to Wewak, and I enjoyed it immensely.  I got my trunk about 9pm.  Praise the Lord for His mercies on this first leg of the journey.

20th March. Sunday.  We shall surely reap if we faint not.  After a long weary day, and a broken night, Sunday finds me sitting up reading, awaiting breakfast. Time 9am. I have been feeding my soul with heavenly manner.  Praise the Lord for His precious Word.

These details are from Don Westbrook’s notes of 1948-49: He left Maprik on the 19th March for Wewak. His departure from New Guinea was planned for the 23rd March and it seems that it was from Lae. Cherikem people came up en-mass to say “Good-bye” to him before he left the new Mission Station to return to Australia.

We learn from these Notes: That the arrival of the two men at Wewak was 14th November 1948.                                                  

AMaprik the arrival was the 20th and 21stNovember as there was not time for the second flight on the Saturday

Don Westbrook had to wait in Wewak and fly to Maprik on Sunday morning.

The 28th November the first Church Service (Tala-tala servicewas conducted and a number attended.  

There would have been Police and government staff including some trades people at Maprik from areas with a Mission.  

Some may have been locals who attended for the first time.

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton

To conclude this story and to honour missionary endeavour of the Assemblies of God Mission to Papua New Guinea, I have put together this video scrap book commemorating the first Assemblies of God Church planted on the 28th November 1948  
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One Response to “The Genesis of the Assemblies of God in Papua New Guinea”

  1. Apollos Kalialaha Says:

    A fantastic story indeed. I feel challenged as to how you responded to the Call of God.
    I love history although not a historian, but thanks for your story about MV Malaita.
    My father was recruited as an US Labour Cop in the Guadalcanal WWII.

    Thanks for sharing your story and images on MV Malaita. (Your copyright is Acknowledged)

    Blessings

    Pastor Apollos Kalialaha

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