Yesterday I had a last-minute chance to go to the Jimi Valley, and I jumped at it. I had to jump pretty fast to get ready in about 20 minutes for an overnight trip. I got to go along with 4 men who are all in some sense my bosses; General Superintendent Rev. Jesse Middendorf, Asia-Pacific Regional Director, Rev. Verne Ward, the current Field Strategy Coordinator for the Melanesia Field, Rev. James Johnson, and the man who is replacing him in that position, Rev. Harmon Schmelzenback IV. They were going into the Jimi to conduct the district assembly of the Bromley Memorial District. It sounds like a pretty intimidating bunch, but they are all great guys, and all but Dr. Middendorf have been my friends for several years, and after this trip he seems like a friend, too. They are all relaxed and easy to get along with, but all committed followers of Jesus, insightful thinkers, and dedicated workers in the church.
In the Jimi we stayed in the house build over 40 years ago by pioneer missionary Will Bromley. I've known his story form many years, and have wanted for a long time to see where he lived and worked. He had the habit of carrying flower seeds in his pocket, and as he would walk the rugged trails of this remote valley he would scatter them along the path. I don't know which flowers he introduced, but there are a lot of flowers there today.
The road into the Jimi is rough and barely-developed. At times it has been very dangerous or even completely impassable. At the moment it is in pretty good shape. Other then the josstling from the ruts and potholes, it was a pretty good trip, although it was a bit crowded in the Land Cruiser. Any inconvenience was compensated by the spectacular views, and the beautiful people who greeted us on arrival at the village of Singaropa, and worshiped with us in the evening service.