This is my friend Elise. We have been friends now for a little over a year and it is customary in PNG for a good friend to name your baby…so she asked me. At first I had no idea what to name a baby…but then it came to me, Lydia (after my good friend) Grace. It was such an honor. She loved the name, and said it was very unique for PNG.
Elise wanted us to take her to the hospital when she was ready to have the baby, so she began walking to our house at 6am after having contractions all night long. 3 miles walking up and down steep hills to get to our house, and she had to stop to go pee in the grass. Then, the baby came…in the middle of a field! She laughed, “Luckily I took my friend with me so that the baby didn’t land on the ground. She caught it midair!” What a miracle this baby is! Many babies are born this way in PNG…pray for these babies and their mothers.
For the past 6 months Evan and I have been mentoring a band made up of kids in the youth. They perform every week on Sunday nights at the youth church service leading worship for the youth here on Centre. It has been such a great experience to live life with these kids and be able to mentor them as a band. They have grown so much! For example, our drummer Zach who is in 9th grade, just learned how to play the drums last spring, and now he is rockin it! Playing David Crowder country songs and other new worship songs from Chris Tomlin and Rend Collective. We are so very proud of our band.
We want to thank all of you that purchased our new PNG anniversary shirts that our Sending Team was selling this fall! Some of that money went towards throwing both of the bands a Christmas party this year. We had a blast! Evan grilled hamburgers and we watched the movie Elf. You are apart of helping these kids relax after a long week of finals and leading worship this semester!! Thank you!
“The Sokarek Dedication is the first fruit of the NITI cluster project here in New Ireland!”exclaimed James, the translator for the dialect. It was a gorgeous day as many people from the Sokarek language of New Ireland gathered on a cliff overlooking the bright blue ocean to celebrate this New Testament Dedication. Among the guests were members of several area churches, who joined in the celebration with much joy and singing.
The New Ireland Translation Institute (NITI) trains mother tongue translators with the help of experienced SIL consultants like Ed Condra. It is a cluster project of 12 languages and dialects that started in 2005. The translators from these languages meet twice a year for 4-6 weeks at a time to compare notes, receive instruction in translation principles, and encourage one another in the task.
After completing the New Testament in the Patpatar language in 1997, Ed didn’t know if neighboring dialects like the Sokarek would ever have a translation of their own. But with the experience gained through nine years of looking over the Patpatar New Testament verse by verse, James, the mother tongue co-translator, was able to apply his skill in linguistics and complete the Sokarek translation.
However, the translation didn’t come without a price.“It look a lot of hard work and there were many hardships that stood in the way of my finishing the task, but with God’s help I have so much joy that it’s now completed,” exclaimed James with a smile.
One of the men who joined the celebration was Pastor David, who had been praying with his congregation to receive this Bible for a long time. He was overjoyed as he declared,“I have seen God work in the lives of men, and I am eager to watch how my congregation will react now that they can see God for themselves through reading the Bible in their own language.”As people sat in the shade of the mango trees after the dedication examining their own copies of God’s word for the first time, Pastor David said with satisfaction, “We can only truly find God through our own language.”
Check out this story and more at the PNG Experience
This year we were able to have a great Thanksgiving meal with some of our UkaFamily. Evan smoked a large ham with a delicious Coca-Cola marinade…that was definitely the highlight of the night. And the pumpkin and cranberries my mom sent me in a package! We were really homesick this year as Evan’s family was able to all get together on Thanksgiving up in Iowa. It was hard not being there with them, but we were able to at least say hi to everyone even though the connection was really bad. Please pray for our homesickness to subside!! We are excited though, that Sarah’s parents will be here for Christmas. So at least we will have family here for one of the holidays! I think that is the hardest thing about being overseas is not being home for the holidays. Here are some pictures from our Thanksgiving meal here in Ukarumpa…