Looking back, what’s in an old photo!!

This photo dates back to post PNG Independence days, circa 1977 – when my parents were based in Baruni village as United Church pastors.

Post Independence? Hmmmm 🤔 that’s not too long ago, it’s only like, what 44 years ago?? 😅. And if I remember correctly this was in the newly completed pastor’s house at Baruni village. Just days before the grand opening.

In the photo, I’m the only girl (next to the man in white, to his right): the other person with long curly hair in the back, to my right, is my big brother not sister 😂. And unfortunately he doesn’t have that much hair these days 😅. He is married, with five children, and nine grandchildren. He’s being busy, that one. God bless him and his family ❤🙏

Our little brother who is beside me in the photo still has lots of hair, not as gray as mine though and 😆 is fit as a 20 something year old (well he thinks he is), raising his own family including a disabled teenage son, and taking care of our invalid mum back in our home village. God bless him, his wife and their four children, too ❤🙏

Our mum, bless her heart – a beautiful woman inside and outside – is kneeling with her left arm around the old man. I can not for the life of me quite remember who he is, but I know he was someone special to our family, hence mum has him in that embrace. I have a niggling memory that the old man, may be the carpenter who built the old pastor’s house, which would soon be pulled down (after opening of the new house). I may be wrong!!

Our late dad, may his soul RIP, is sitting with folded hands on the chair beside the old man. It has to be a Sunday. Everyone’s in their Sunday best! I don’t remember the name of the man in white shirt, although I recall he was the church secretary so was always with dad before church started, to confirm the coming week’s activities plus other things that had to be announced to the congregation during service.

And the young fellow at the back, I’m pretty sure is one of my brother’s many friends. They are both holding on to yoyos that were the ‘in’ thing back in the day 🤷 🙂

We have four older siblings, who are not in this photo & a younger one who wasn’t even born yet. They too have their own growing families – God bless them always ❤🙏

This photo reminds me of life as a pastor’s kid: moving from village to village – following our parents everywhere in their ministry. They spent early years of their service in Moorehead, Western Province of Papua New Guinea – late fifties and throughout early sixties. I wasn’t born yet – my older brothers have memories of the time in that part of PNG, I don’t.

Screenshots of extracts from a book titled “Polynesian Missions in Melanesia” found in Google – making reference to my late dad, Vavia Kara ❤

Other places dad served at, that became home to us include Kaugere, Hanuabada/ Poreporena, Baruni, Vabukori, Manugoro and Tubusereia, our home village. I think the longest we stayed in a village was Baruni – to a point where my younger brother and I thought we were from there 🙂

Every village was different and the experience unique. The hardest part was leaving friends behind and making new ones, as we moved from village to village.

I’m truly appreciative of the blessing of Christian giving and living – my siblings and I are a product of it. We were basically raised on weekly rations provided by the villagers.

And I don’t remember ever being hungry or not having anything to eat. Someone was always checking on the pastor and his family, making sure they were looked after. And for that I am forever grateful ❤🙏

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