Elizabeth Essolene Price Schendel, a pioneer missionary to Papua New Guinea (PNG), passed away on 23 January 2023. Her husband, Daryl, passed away in June 2021.
Daryl and Elizabeth, along with their children Susan and Daryl Jr., served as missionaries in PNG from 1966 until 1980 and significantly impacted the lives of the Kobon people living in a very remote area of the Madang province.
For three years, the Schendels lived at Kudjip. Because of a shortage of medical staff at that time, Elizabeth worked as a nurse at Kudjip Hospital while Daryl was the station manager at Kudjip and supervised the construction of an airstrip at Kudjip.
Daryl made patrols into the Kobon area, and in 1969 Daryl negotiated with the local people and obtained land to build a house and a church at Salemp, which was 19 miles (30 km) hike over mountains from the nearest airstrip. In 1969 Daryl flew with tools, building supplies, and some New Guinean helpers to the nearest airstrip and carted everything 19 miles to Salemb. Daryl and his helpers cleared the land and built a thatched-roofed house with local materials for his family. In January 1970, Elizabeth and the children joined Daryl at Salemp.
Darryl was constantly on the lookout for some land where an airstrip could be built, and in 1971 was taken to a nearby mountain ridge that he felt, with a lot of work, could become an airstrip. In 1972 work on carving out the Dusin airstrip began. Elizabeth and the children lived in a tent on the construction site for seven months as Daryl supervised 100 local men who, with spades and wheelbarrows, moved tons of earth to level the mountain ridge to construct the new airstrip that was 500 meters long and 42 meters wide.
They built a new house at Dusin, and Elizabeth conducted a small clinic to meet the medical needs of the local people. They started churches and promoted literacy. They ministered in the Kobon area until 1980 when the Schendel family returned to the USA.
Today, we honor the outstanding contribution that the Schendel family made to the work of the Church of the Nazarene in PNG and especially the Middle Ramu District.