This Friday, September 18-Tuesday September 22 is the annual youth retreat called “Encounter”. Most of the high school kids that go to school here, both MKs and commercial kids will have the opportunity to attend. Evan and I are both sponsors this year and are really excited for what God has in store for each one of the kids that attends! Please be in prayer for:
- Each and every kid that comes, that they will encounter God in a real way that maybe they ever have before
- The student led bands that will lead, also our adult band (that Evan and I are in) on Sunday morning!
- The speakers who flew all the way from Australia to minister to these kids, the theme is “The Greatest of These…Faith, Hope, Love”
- The sponsors: for us to have energy, wisdom and strength and LOVE on these kids
In August Evan and I had the opportunity to attend the Anjam Revised Scripture and Audio Recording Dedication. We were excited because our village family from POC training was apart of this language group, and it was great to get to go back to Madang and see them! Check out this story I wrote about the day as well as the video.
The Anjam language group located close to Madang, Papua New Guinea had its revised Scripture and audio recording dedication on August 14, 2015. The first New Testament was dedicated in 2001 by Robert and Diane Rucker. The couple attended the second dedication with their two daughters, son-in-law and family friend Kris. The Anjam people were so excited to see them that they even built a brand new house painted bright yellow for them to stay in while they attended the dedication. As Robert and Diane’s family and Kris began to dress for the occasion, donning colorful leaves and red paint on their skin, laughter was heard in the air as the Ruckers remembered their work on the New Testament all those years ago. They first began the translation project in 1980 and began living in the village and learning the language. Then in 2001 they finished the New Testament and moved back to the U.S. with their family. Twelve years went by and they began to see that improvements could make the New Testament clearer and more precise, so they began to think about doing a revision. So in 2012 Robert came to the village with Kris for a couple of months and he worked with church leader Sobu Waga and others. At the dedication, Sobu urged his fellow Anjam speakers to step up and help him work on the Old Testament. He said, “This isn’t the end of the translation project! We still have to finish the Old Testament.” Many of the village men partnered with Sam Kenny of Faith Comes By Hearing to make an audio recording of the New Testament in the Anjam language. On dedication day Sam passed out “Proclaimers,” solar powered devices that contain the recorded New Testament, for free to many of the families with the promise that he would hear back about their use of these recorders. Sobu expressed his joy to have these audio recordings, “I was worried that many of the children who don’t yet know how to read won’t understand the full meaning of God’s Word. But now if their parents have these recorders they can hear the Word of God and know Him.” He said, “My stomach is happy that all of the Anjam people can now hear with their ears, look with their eyes and read the Word of God.”
Evan works at the Autoshop here in Ukarumpa. Check out this video to see what his everyday life looks like as well as hear from some of his coworkers about what its like to work at the Autoshop! Have skills in welding, automotive mechanics, or sales? We need you in Papua New Guinea!
Last week a man that had worked in our community for almost 40 years died unexpectedly. It was a great loss and many from the community people attended his funeral. They asked me to photograph it and so I did, even though I had never photographed a funeral before. It was definitely a cultural experience for me.
So what are PNG funeral customs? Arua had died at a hospital in Goroka, a few hours from here. Then the day of the memorial service, a group went to Goroka to fetch the body. A memorial service was planned for 2:30pm, and it started on time, but the body didn’t actually arrive until nearly 4:00. People filled the time with giving testimonies of his life and how this godly man had impacted their life. The body showed up in an ambulance with the family and the police escorting them with wailing sirens. The trucks decorated with red streamers and followed by many of the friends and family in vans. At the service the gospel was shared, and in many it was much like a memorial service that we would have in the States. It was amazing to hear the impact that this man, Papa Arua, had on so many people and how many people he had led to Christ just by his example. He was a security assistant and so he was greatly known in the community for being a “peacemaker”.
After the service real haus krai began when the body was taken to the home and people stayed up all night literally crying over the body. Papua New Guineans are not stoic in their greif – wailing is expected.
As the employer, our organization had an obligation to provide certain things – we bought the casket and paid for transportation of the body back to his home town several hours drive away from here. There was a cultural expectation though that we couldn’t send the body back by itself. It would look very bad if we didn’t also send thousands of kina worth of food gifts to his home village as a sort of thank-you for letting us “borrow” him for so many years. There was a community collection and people donated towards this gift, and then a director went and bought gifts like oil, flour, sugar and rice to send back with the family to their village. The next morning a caravan of people drove about 7-8 hours into the Southern Highlands to his village where they will have another haus krai and then bury the body.
Please pray for this family and their loss, he leaves behind 4 children and his wife, Rose.