On a recent Sunday afternoon after church, Selina Allen and I decided to go visit a lady in the church who had been really sick all week. Selina had never been to the lady’s house before, so some of the church girls volunteered to take us there.
We walked down the main trail for about 15 minutes, and then they told us that we could either go straight for a while longer, then cross through the river, and go on to her house; or, we could take this other trail right here, cross a bridge over the river, and take a shortcut to the house. (May I make a suggestion at this point? Should you ever come to visit us in PNG, and somebody offers to show you a “shortcut”, never take them up on it.) Anyway, we left the main trail and soon came to the bridge. Now, I am not a big fan of most of the bridges here. Most are made the same way. No sides, just boards nailed down onto some logs, and not all the boards will be there. You walk about ¼ of the way, then step up to another level, and then step down to the original level before you reach the other side. The thought of falling off them doesn’t really bother me, but the thought of landing does. But since this is my home now I’m trying to get over it, so I grabbed somebody’s hand and made it safely across. Then we started climbing. I didn’t want to look up, because I thought it would be too discouraging to see how far we had to go. We eventually reached the top. Of course, there’s a peculiar law in the bush, that if you go up one side of the mountain, you are most likely going to have to go back down the other side. Almost straight down a mud (aka – jungle ice) path. I sat down for some parts of it, figuring that it would be better to be dirty and alive, as opposed to being clean and having a broken neck. We eventually made it to the house, about a half hour after we got off the main trail.
Thankfully our friend was doing some better. We fellowshipped with her for a while, explained how to use the medicines, prayed with her, etc. She cut up a pineapple for us and we all had some. We could see that it was going to start raining anytime, so we headed out. Please, no shortcuts this time. We walked down a trail, waded through the river, climbed over a fence, and walked up a hill. Within five minutes we were back on the main trail, only about 1/8 of a mile past where we got off it the first time! I am sure we were talked about and laughed at around many fires that night, but our friend knows we care about her.