Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming our pastor and his wife, Ross and Lisa, from our home church 121 Community Church. It was so great to see them again after 2 1/2 years and to show them around Papua New Guinea. We had the chance to take them to a traditional PNG meal called a “mumu” at one of our friend’s villages. They came to one of the youth services where Evan and I lead worship as well as ate with some of our friends and heard their experiences. We also got the chance to go to town and market and even drive to Goroka where they bought some souvenirs and see some of the countryside. We had such a great time with them just being able to debrief about our time here and show them what its like to live and work here. We are so grateful that they took the time to come here and really understand what its like. Here are some pictures of their time here.
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.
The speakers of the Awa language in Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea received a revision of the New Testament about 20 years ago. However, very few people could read it, and many unpurchased Bibles sat collecting dust and cobwebs. Many of the village women kept their NT in their bilum, carrying it with them to the garden, looking through it, desperately trying to read it. But no matter how much they tried, they couldn’t read. The Bibles eventually became a symbol of shame for them. They got together and put their books into a house, with plans to burn the house and Bibles, along with their shame, to the ground. But just as they struck the match to light the fire, it began to rain. It rained so hard that they began to think that this was a sign from God—God didn’t want them to burn the books!
Later, they expressed their interest in learning to read. This woman came and taught literacy classes using the Awa New Testament, since that was the only literature in Awa. As they learned to read, the people got excited and began to buy the Bibles that had been sitting and collecting dust. When they opened the books, they expected them to be worn and frayed with age, but God had protected them, and the pages were as good as new. Eventually the Bibles sold out because everyone was so excited about getting their own. Now everyone in the village has a New Testament in their bilum and knows how to read it.
A couple months ago I was able to go out to a remote village on a helicopter to go film a story for some translators that are working with the Binandere people. Here is their story.
Last week I was so blessed to be able to go out to a village in the Oro Province of PNG to serve a couple who does translation work for the Binandere people. They wanted a video to take with them as they go home on furlough, and so they asked me if I would be able to come out with them for a day and of course I leapt at the opportunity! The Binandere language group has about 6,900 speakers and the Wilsons have been working with this language group for 25 years. They have been able to get some portions of scripture published, like Mark, but are still working on getting their entire new Testament finished. I have been able to work a lot with their daughter Jonita who is a senior at the High School and I have been very blessed to know their family.
Because the village is so remote and doesn’t have a working airstrip, we had to take an airplane to a village nearby and then take a 20 minute helicopter ride the rest of the way in. The Helicopter pilot also came to help them fix their leaking water tank, and so we both stayed the night and then I was able to take the helicopter all the way home the next day. It was such a treat getting to see all of the relationships that these translators had formed with the Binandere all these years. The people have watched their children grow up as they have also watched many people in the village grow up and become leaders. Here are a few pictures from my time there.
We visited the local school.
This lady had a lot of fun at one point carrying my tripod around and dancing with it. She was a hoot.
We walked around the village shaking hands with everyone and visiting folks that the Wilsons have known for years and love on each time they come back. This was one of my favorite little old ladies that couldn’t see very well, but she loved to tell stories.
One of the Wilson’s partners was able to purchase Bibles for all of the 8th graders a couple of years back. Here is a portrait with Joyce and her gospel of Mark.
The Wilson’s have 3 Papua New Guinean Co-Translators, here was one of them reading his Bible.
SO like many Ukarumpians today I received this announcement from the Clinic….
On the evening of March 20th, Ukarumpa experienced an electrical storm around 1630-1730. During this storm, the power line to the clinic was inadvertently struck by lightning. The resulting power surge damaged the clinic’s Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). As a result the x-ray machine which is powered by the UPS was inadvertently activated and appeared to remain energized for several hours until the UPS eventually failed at which time the x-ray machine automatically shut down.
Due to the sudden rise of gastrointestinal complaints we’ve seen over the last 10 days, we suspect many people who happened to travel within a 100 yard radius of the Ukarumpa Medical Clinic may have been inadvertently exposed to dangerous x-rays. The most common symptoms of an over-exposure are GI related such as nausea and/or vomiting, upset stomach, and diarrhoea. Left untreated, those exposed may start developing sudden hair loss over the coming weeks.
We encourage anyone who thinks they may possibly have been exposed to use their bathroom mirror in the late evening hours without illumination and look at the face and upper chest for a faint yellow-green glow. Should you observe this rather unique sign of irradiation, please consult the clinic immediately for further testing and treatment.
CTS is currently repairing the UPS which should prevent any similar problems in the future.
Thank you for your understanding and forgiveness,
Your friendly Ukarumpa Medical Clinic staff
I read it. And then I read it again. And then I forwarded it to my mom and said “Could Ukarumpa BE anymore crazy??” And then someone mentioned it was April Fool’s Day. Well played Ukarumpa Clinic, well played.
(IT IS A JOKE RIGHT???)
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