Baby Rowen has arrived!

13265973_10208489783055133_1644048410854290157_nFor those of you who have not heard, Rowen Eugene Halferty arrived at 10:53 p.m. on Wednesday evening, May 25.  After a hard and long labor and delivery, Rowen made his entrance into this world.  As parents we were so excited to welcome him along with our family and many friends!  After two days in the hospital we brought Rowen home.  The highs and lows of parenthood became very real that same night around midnight.  While feeding, Rowen stopped breathing and had what we later found out to be a seizure.  Rowen was rushed by ambulance to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.  Baby Rowen was admitted into the NICU and we stayed one week there with him as they ran tests and monitored him closely to determine what had caused him to stop breathing and have these seizures.  He was diagnosed with epilepsy and has been put on medicine to control the seizures. Through all of this God has been faithful to answer prayer for Rowen from people all around the world.

13307363_10156897765475332_4282553864731582172_n

After the hardest two weeks of my life I am so thankful for this little guy. Motherhood is incredible. I literally went in to survival mode in the hospital; not thinking of myself but only of him. Nothing was harder than seeing him hooked up to all of those machines while he was in the hospital…even living in the jungles of Papua New Guinea! I’ve never held a baby who instantly calms when on my chest and just wants to cuddle and stare at me all day. I am just so thankful that he’s home in my arms this morning. Praising God for His divine interventions in our lives!

Through all of the past months of pregnancy and especially the past two weeks we have experienced God’s faithfulness through some very difficult times.  Thank you for being so faithful to pray for us.  We need your partnership and are very grateful you share in our journey with us.  We ask that you continue to pray for us as we adjust to being parents of a newborn and learn more about God’s faithfulness through the difficult things of life as well as the incredible experiences.

13315517_10208489783895154_214271392670495654_n

The Binandere People {A Trip to Help a Translator}

Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, UkarumpaLast 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.

Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter20806_10155335927115332_4860548819939129009_nTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter

Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter, School

 We visited the local school.

Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter

 This lady had a lot of fun at one point carrying my tripod around and dancing with it. She was a hoot.

Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterSo of course I had to get a picture with her…

Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterThis man used to be the lawyer/judge of the area. I interviewed him and he really wanted to get a picture in front of his house where he now spends his days.

Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter

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.
Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter, HandsIMG_1184

The helicopter pilot was a HUGE help as he was able to fix leaks in the translator’s water tank.Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter

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.

Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter

The Wilson’s have 3 Papua New Guinean Co-Translators, here was one of them reading his Bible.

Missionary, Bible, Translators, Papua New Guinea

Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, HelicopterTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter

On the way home we had to stop off at a little village where they keep fuel. Some men helped us refuel the helicopter. Translator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter, LakeTranslator, Village, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible, Women, Men, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ukarumpa, Helicopter, Lake

Sokarek Bible Dedication

Sokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible Translators

“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.”

Sokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsSokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsSokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsSokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsSokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsSokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsSokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsSokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsSokarek Bible Dedication, Bible Dedication, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, NITI, Wycliffe Bible TranslatorsCheck out this story and more at the PNG Experience

Waskia Bible Dedication

Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, Waskia

The air was filled with excitment as the Waskia people gathered to celebrate the arrival of the revised Scriptures in their own language. The event included singing, dancing, and gift-giving. One of the speakers, Andrew Kwimberi, reminded the people that this was not just another book, but a book that could change their lives and their nation. He encouraged them to drink in its sweetness, to read it every day, and to apply in a practical context.

As the dedication ceremony drew to a close, rain began to fall and people filled the tent to buy copies of the Scriptures in their own language. The boxes quickly emptied so twenty more were brought and sales continued.

The celebration was the culmination of a journey of translation that had started in 1976, when Fay Barker and Janet Lee joined the Waskia people on Karkar Island. With the help of many the first Waskia New Testament was completed, plus Old Testament books, and these were dedicated in 1985. Both returned to the island in Madang Province six or seven years ago and a team has been steadily working to revise these and also add six further Old Testament books as well.

One key translator has been Pastor Lavong, who arrived at the celebration adorned with seashells and a traditional headdress. As drumbeats rolled and people danced, he related the story of his frustration in his early years of preaching. When he saw the blank faces of his congregation he had realized, “God’s book must be translated into the language of the people for them to really understand what the Lord wants them to do.” He has spent many years now as part of the Waskia translation team, and hopes to complete the remaining 30 Old Testament books within the next few years. Pastor Lavong held the Bible close to his heart as he said, “When I sat down to help with translation, I thought it would only change the life of others…but it changed my life too.” He exclaimed with a big grin, “Now this translation will bring meaning and change the lives of the people of Karkar Island.”

Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, Waskia

 

Pastor Lavong reading the scriptures.

Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaChildren, Papua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, WaskiaPapua New Guinea, Bible Translation, Bible Dedication, Dancing, Kar Kar Island, Waskia

Evan’s job [Engineering Trainer]

As many of you know Evan came to PNG to weld, machine and train Papua New Guineans how to weld. But what does that mean when working on a Mission’s Center like Ukarumpa? Well when he’s not in the shop welding, he’s out in the community welding things like railing, metal grates or pipes. Right now he is working on a project out at Aviation making a helicopter stand for the helicopter maintenance guys. He has also been blessed this semester with getting to teach a Metals 101 class at the High school to 13 students. Some of these kids are children of missionaries, while some are Papua New Guinean kids. He is loving getting to teach and show these kids how to weld and machine. Yesterday I got the chance to shadow him as he worked…here are some examples of what he does on a day to day basis!

Welding out at Aviation…WelderWorking in the engineering shop…

Machinist, Machine

Every couple of months Evan gets a Papua New Guinean apprentice that works alongside him to learn how to weld. His last apprentice, Tony, Evan got to teach him how to drive!IMG_9382

IMG_8152

 Teaching the kids in Metals 101 how to use a machine and a grinder

IMG_8157IMG_8173

Sarah’s Job [Media Resources]

As many of you know I am a photographer, videographer and graphic designer here in Ukarumpa. But what does that really mean for working on a Mission’s Center for Bible Translators? Well when I’m not traveling somewhere to make videos or write stories, I have been very busy making videos for people to take home with them on furlough, as well as taking family pictures for people’s prayer cards. Here are some examples of what I have been busy doing the past few months!

Designing and taking pictures for Prayer Cards for people to take on furlough…prayercardcollageMaking personal videos for translators and support staff to use as they go to show churches what they have been up to…

 

Even creating some videos in different languages, like Dutch, to serve all of the different countries that work here on the center!

[The Gwahatike Project]

Bible, Papua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGThe Gwahatike Project was a project that Evan and I had the opportunity to go document in May. It was located in the Saidor area which is near the coastal city of Madang. We road a 30 minute plane ride to Saidor, and then an hour bus ride up into the mountains. We went along with our friend Jon Jagt and his family. Jon is a software developer on our center that works as a facilitator helping the project along. The team is made up of 4 Papua New Guinean translators who have received the word in their language, and are now working to give the word to others in neighboring language groups. Some of these guys have to walk as much as a day to get to the language group that they are translating for, and have committed to learn their language and translate it into the Word of God for them. This is exactly why we exist, to disciple Papua New Guineans to go out into other neighboring language groups that need the word of God and translate the Bible for them. It was so inspiring getting to see the translators at work, and how the Gwahatike translation affected the community. Here are pictures from my time there.

Papua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation

front seat of the airplane!Papua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGPapua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGPapua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGPapua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGPapua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGPapua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGChildren, Bible, Papua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNG

The effect of the Bible in the Gwahatike language group at a local school. Now the kids can read the Bible in their own language!
Papua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNG

The translators meeting with Jon to discuss their work.Papua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGPapua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNG

Roman, one of the Gwahatike team, working with his translatorPapua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNG

Jon teaching some computer tricks to the teamPapua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGPapua New Guinea, Gwahatike, Translation, Mountains, Highlands, PNGThe Gwahatike Bible.

Check out more stories from the Gwahatike Project at http://thepngexperience.wordpress.com/

Showing the Jesus Film

Jesus Film, Papua New Guinea, UkarumpaLast weekend Evan went out to a village to show the Jesus Film with a team of guys from Ukarumpa. Two teams went out to two separate villages. Even though there were several technical difficulties with the projector and technology, they were still able to show it…even if it was on a 10 inch screen inside one of the houses. Over 100 people showed up to watch it! Then they were able to sell all sorts of different Bibles to the people, Bibles in their language, English Bibles and Audio Bibles. It was a unique experience that Evan was so thankful to be apart of.

IMG_7766Jesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa

Bibles in their own language waiting to be distributed.Jesus Film, Papua New Guinea, UkarumpaIMG_7803Jesus Film, Papua New Guinea, UkarumpaJesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, BiblesJesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, BiblesJesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, Bibles, VillageJesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, Bibles, VillageJesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, Bibles, Village

Gathered around listening to an Audi-Bible (Audio Bible)

Jesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, Bibles, VillageJesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, Bibles, VillageJesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, Bibles, VillageIMG_7852

Jesus Film, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, Bibles, Village

Capturing VBS 2014!

VBS, Children, Papua New Guinea, ChurchDramas, puppets, clowns, songs, games and stories all captivated the attention of the Aiyura Valley children that attended Vacation Bible School (VBS) in mid-January. This was the first time the annual event was conducted in more than one location. With identical programs held simultaneously at two different churches, children from a wider section of the valley had the opportunity to attend. While many, many children came at least once, each location averaged about 210 participants a day.

The groups were aware of God’s help in many ways throughout the week. One example was answered prayer about the rain. “God gave us a miracle when He made the rain go away just as we were about to start,” testified VBS teacher Darlene Clark. Since the program was conducted outside on the church lawn, having dry weather was essential. Darlene recalled, “I told everyone to look up at the sky and ask Jesus to please make the rain go somewhere else. Since there was not a large enough place to meet indoors, we really desired for God to answer our prayers…and He did!”

The leaders focused on teaching the kids the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis. The daily stories about Joseph’s life also included a personal application, encouraging the children to honor God like he did. The lessons were reinforced through songs and games that related to the message. The excitement of the children was obvious as they participated in each event with enthusiasm. The last day of VBS was especially moving as many children indicated their desire to be like Joseph and give their hearts and lives to God.

This year was a milestone for the VBS program in that it was the first time the majority of the teachers were Papua New Guinean, and the first time it was held at two valley churches. Many of the Papua New Guinean teachers said they learned a lot this year and they all grew in their ability to work with groups of lively youngsters. They were thankful for the opportunity to get out into the community to teach the children.

Find this story hot off the press at http://thepngexperience.wordpress.com

VBS, Children, Papua New Guinea, ChurchPapua New Guinea, Children, Vacation Bible School, VBSPapua New Guinea, Children, Vacation Bible School, VBSPapua New Guinea, Children, Vacation Bible School, VBSPapua New Guinea, Children, Vacation Bible School, VBSPapua New Guinea, Children, Vacation Bible School, VBSPapua New Guinea, Children, Vacation Bible School, VBSPapua New Guinea, Children, Vacation Bible School, VBSPapua New Guinea, Children, Vacation Bible School, VBSPapua New Guinea, Children, Vacation Bible School, VBS