Flooding disrupts work in Oceania

By January 14, 2013

Papua New Guinea (NTM/MNN) — Authorities in Papua New Guinea are warning it will be a wet and stormy season.

Meteorologists are urging people to be ready for floods, landslides, thunderstorms, and strong winds. They're expecting heavy rain in the Highlands, Southern, and Morobe in February and March.

Already, there have been reports of floods and landslides in parts of Western Highlands, Jiwaka, Morobe and Chimbu. The government is on track to deliver relief supplies this week to an estimated 11,000 villagers affected by heavy rains and flooding in the northern coastal regions.

New Tribes Missionaries Aaron and Mandy Arterberry are in the region and noted that "there have been daily torrential downpours."

Not far from where they're stationed, a river rose 10 feet and flooded all the gardens in neighboring villages.

"The water is receding now, but time is critical," Aaron explains. "It looks like it will probably rain again this afternoon. And if the people don't get their food out of the ground, it will be swept away when the river rises again."

The people in the area have little money. They live entirely from the food they are able to grow in their gardens. Losing that food supply will be devastating to all the people of the area.

Missionaries are planning to help pull food from the gardens as soon as the weather permits and the water has receded. This task will need to be accomplished quickly, Aaron writes.

"Will you please pray that God will allow these people to save their food and their livelihood?" he asks . "Thank you for your intercession. May the Lord receive all the glory!"

Their primary ministry is connecting technology with Bible translation, church planting, and more. Aaron has been updating several of the systems that were roughly 5-7 years old when the Arterberrys arrived on the field last year.

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