Missionaries Tim and Rebecca Ingles set out on quite an adventure last Sunday afternoon when they left for a town where missionaries were set to gather for fellowship.
About 2:30 that afternoon, they started their hike to the nearest airstrip. They had planned to spend the night there so that they would not be late for their early morning flight.
This hike usually takes them less than two hours, but they knew that the big bridge to cross the big river had rotted and fallen several days earlier, so they allowed some extra time.
Tim and Rebecca hoped to cross the river on some logs tied with vines that served as a back-up bridge.
But when they got there after an hour of hiking, they found that the log bridge was washed out.
Taking to the jungle, they headed downriver with some of their Wano friends. The jungle trek involved a few unknowns like stinging nettles and huge ants.
Finally they made it to another log crossing, but here the water was so high that the log bridge could barely be seen beneath the rushing waters of the swollen river.
There was absolutely no way to cross the river, Rebecca reports.
And on top of that, before reaching the second bridge, it had started to rain.
Not wanting to go back the way that they came, they dragged themselves up a narrow landslide with a small stream running through it until they got back to the trail and were able to hike back home.
"That adventure took us about three hours and everything in our backpacks was soaked. Fortunately, Tim had packed our computers and electronics in plastic bags," Rebecca continues.
Undeterred, the next morning, Tim and Rebecca re-packed their wet belongings and headed out again.
The rain had stopped early in the evening and it hadn’t rained all that night. They were hopeful that the river would be low enough to cross this time.
Instead of following the normal trail, they opted to take the steep muddy landslide route they had discovered the night before.
This time, the river was lower and they were able to cross the log bridge with ease. This enabled them to hike through the bush until they met up with the main trail.
As they continued hiking, they could hear the plane circling. They couldn't help noticing there were still a lot of clouds.
They were disappointed to get the message through a Wano friend: the pilot had radioed that he was returning home and would pick them up the next day.
Tim and Rebecca made plans to spend the night in a tribal hut.
Then word came that the plan had changed: the pilot was returning to pick them up.
"We were thrilled, to say the least!" Rebecca writes. "We washed our legs in a small stream and took the plane to a little town where we waited for two hours and then got on another plane for our final destination. We arrived ... exhausted from the trip, but thankful to God for His goodness and for teaching us again to trust Him in all things."
The adventure-filled hike was worth it, Rebecca writes from town upon arriving. "We are looking forward to a time of refreshment at our Regional Fellowship, which begins tomorrow."