This week Evan and I are serving as Regional Centre Managers in Lae during our Branch wide Conference that is happening in Ukarumpa. The Lae Regional Centre is here for translators in this province, to pick up supplies and send it to Ukarumpa and it also serves as a guesthouse for translators as well as commercial customers. These regional centres are important to the work being done throughout the country. Centre Staff help support the language workers by providing training facilities, purchasing goods, airport and marine pickups, member care, lodging and many other important logistical needs. Evan is working to build a pool deck with two other Papua New Guinean men while I am here to be an office manager, checking people into the guesthouse and helping the secretary. It is fun to serve in a new role and get to experience a different part of the country(the city life!)!
Thank you all for your faithful prayers for CRAVE. We definitely felt them that night. It was an amazing how God worked through just a short time of planning to unify the student body and come together in worship. The night consisted of 3 speakers, 2 adults and one senior, 4 bands and discussion groups about various topics, an art room, a fire pit/acoustic worship, and a prayer/encouragement room. We was really cool to walk around and look at the different rooms that were going on between each set. We had about 70-80 kids that showed up as well as 20 adult sponsors. Many adults came that would never otherwise have worked with the youth before, so that was really cool! We led an acoustic set and a live set with various teens within our band that don’t normally play on Sunday nights. The last set that we led was amazing. It was 10:30 at night, and we had been going since 4pm that afternoon. The kids were tired, we were tired but we got up there and rocked out and the kids were so amazing! Looking down and seeing them crying, praising, and jumping/crazy/dancing was a memory that Evan and I will NEVER forget. It was such a sweet time of worship. Also Leah Rigsby playing the drums while singing, pretty memorable!
Discussion groups about things like Homosexuality, Secular Entertainment, Spiritual Gifts and more…
A log bridge had been built to cross the river which bordered the Kamano-Kafe Christmas camp field. When this bridge washed away during torrential rains just two days before camp began, it was a strong confirmation that printing the Kamano-Kafe language New Testament and Proverbs on waterproof paper had been a good idea.
Undaunted by the weather, men cut down several more 55-foot trees and floated them down river to the camp. About 100 men on both sides of the river hoisted two logs into place to create a footbridge high above the river to carry the boxes of freshly printed Scriptures to camp.
On 24th December, several thousand people listened as the translators and leading pastors thanked God for the completion of this book, and encouraged others to read it. The team advisor, Rich, had admonished people to be supportive of people reading the NewTestament at church, and not laugh at them. It’s common for people to laugh when someone makes a mistake in reading publicly. People took that admonition to heart because in the days following the dedication people broke into applause, not laughter, after five people stood on the grandstand and read aloud from the Scriptures.
During the dedication, pastors from many denominations showed their support of this new translation by gathering around and praying over a box covered with banana leaves (which represented the Ark of the Covenant) containing copies of Kamano-Kafe Scriptures with their bright green covers, signifying a banana leaf.
Enthusiasm for the translation was evident, as 353 New Testaments were sold that week at camp. In addition, the people purchased nearly 100 solar-powered audio recordings of the Scriptures, as well as five dozen micro SD cards filled with Kamano-Kafe NT recordings, songs, and four Scripture videos. These SD cards can be played on phones, in boom boxes and computers.
Although the translators were excited about all God did in the hearts of the people, Rich said, “Christmas camp is just the beginning. The team is already visiting distant villages and encouraging people to use the Kamano-Kafe Scriptures.
Story by: Karen Weaver
Photos by: Evan Halferty, the Dedication that Evan and my Dad were able to go to on Christmas Eve 2014