A couple weeks ago we had the opportunity to go to Orlando to the Wycliffe Headquarters and go to “Connect”. Connect is a time where Wycliffe hosts missionaries who have been on the field. We shared times of debrief, connecting with Wycliffe USA through business meetings and a time of rest.
Trained as a pilot, aircraft mechanic or flight coordinator? How can your role help in Bible Translation? Come to Papua New Guinea to help in the Bible Translation effort by flying airplanes or helicopters to remote locations, fixing airplanes or just helping with the business side of keeping an airport running. Check out this video to find out more!
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!)!
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
Check out this video series Sarah is currently working on called the Faces of Bible Translation. We are looking for couples that love teens to be Children’s Home Parents. See the video for more information and how they play a vital role in Bible Translation. Pray with us!
If any of you have been wondering, what does Ukarumpa look like? And where do they live in relationship to everything else on Center? Well look no further, here is your answer. This is an aerial shot taken of Ukarumpa. I have drawn circles around the various important things around Center. Like our house, and the Auto Shop and my office in the Director’s Office. So our house is at the bottom of the hill, while everything else is up on top!
Dramas, 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
All dressed up for a singsing!
Well we made it back from the village all in one piece! Thank you all for your prayers, they were much needed and appreciated while we stayed in the village. Please pray for us now as we go to Ukarumpa on Tuesday, find a house and settle into our new home. Stay tuned for more on our stay in the village!
Evan and I with our wasmama and waspapa.
We just got back from our 3 day PMV hike. A PMV is a public motor vehicle, usually a 15 passenger van, bus, truck, or even a dump truck! that takes people from one place to another. The trick is, there isn’t a schedule to show when they stop, and you never know where they stop. Everyone in PNG uses them to ride from place to place so it was a great learning experience. Evan and I went with a guide, Papa Ganig, who is a bit of a “big man” in the community. Everyone knows him.
The first day we caught a PMV down the mountain on a 5 ton truck, where everyone but us and the driver sat in the back. Most of the rides we were asked to sit in the front because we are “whiteskins” and they want to make sure we are safe. We definitely appreciated that on these bumpy roads! After we got into town Papa Gagnig told us it would only be 30 minutes before the next PMV came. 6 hours later, it finally came! So we did a lot of sitting and talking with the people. We made lots of friends. One of the highlights of the trip was what happened next. Once we got to our first village we were greeted by all of the children in the village throwing flowers and singing songs. They led us singing through the whole village until we got to our house. Our house was so nice! It was new and had pretty decorations all around. It has 4 bedrooms and even a dining room with a table and chairs (Most village houses don’t have any furniture). The outhouse was brand new and they even built a covered picnic table to eat at. After we arrived in the village we went washing in the river and then went to eat. They made a ton of food for us. Things like cooking bananas, rice, sweet potatoes, and chicken soaked in coconut milk. It was delicious! Once it got dark they asked us to preach to them in Tok Pisin by the light of the fire. Ha! So I selected a passage in Matthew about the children coming to Jesus. Then all of the children sang some worship songs in Tok Pisin. It was such a great moment, even when it started to rain.
The next day we woke up and they fixed us a big breakfast before we took off for the next village. After breakfast we walked about 30 minutes to the main road where the PMV would pick us up. We waited about 1 1/2 hour and then we rode to the next village. At the next village we were greeted with a shower of flowers that the family threw at the PMV. Then we had the whole day to talk and get to know them. Around noon Evan began getting a migraine just from the heat and the mental power of talking so much in Tok Pisin. So they graciously allowed us to go take a nap in the house on the hill that we were staying with. After we got up we hiked to the place where they washed. It was far! I can’t believe that they walk that far every day to wash. Once we got there the water was very stagnant, but I jumped in anyway. It was nice and cool. The men and women washed in separate places, and I kept my clothes on because as always I had an audience of children watching me :). After we got back from washing we spent the evening talking, eating, playing darts, playing guitar and singing with them. We had a lot of fun.
We woke up the next day to lots of rain. We left the village about 8am and walked about 45 minutes to the main road. We caught a PMV ride in the rain with a rickety old PMV that Evan had to hold the door closed as we drove. Ha! It also had so many cracks in the windshield we could hardly see out of it. Luckily we made it into town with our host Papa, and two other girls from the family leading the way. We stood in the rain waiting for the final PMV for about 2 hours before we heard that it broke down and wasn’t running for the day. So Papa Gagnig led us to a PMV that was a lot like a bus that took us down the highway to our last ride. As we got out of the bus, we saw one of our trucks pull up! Hallelujah! Matt (the maintenance director) picked us up at the bottom of the mountain and we jumped in the back of the truck and road the rest of the way in the rain standing up in the back of the truck because it was already quite full of people.
Wow! We had such a great experience. We feel like we learned so much about getting around in this country and made lots of friends. Here are some pictures from our experience. I also have some video, but I will post that later.
Our PMV down the mountain
Sitting at the park in town for 6 hours waiting for our PMV.
Evan with our guide, Papa Gagnig and our host PapaThis woman was selling chickens at the market.
A market outside of town. Logging is a very big industry here.The first village we went to, we had so much fun! We stayed in a huge house and the whole village sang to us as we walked in. They made us feel so welcome.Papa Gagnig on the steps to our very nice village house. Cement steps are very rare here!
Packages of betel nut, a nut the Papua New Guineans chew here that is like caffeine that turns their mouths red.
The house we stayed in our 2nd village.
Hanging out with the family in the “haus wind” or the dining room.
Our 2nd village host family, and their dog.
One of the last PMV rides, where Evan had to hold the door closed as it was raining. It also had zipties tied to the windshield wipers for “decoration”
We just got back from our 3 day PMV hike, where we went to 2 villages and spent the night. To get from village to village we took a PMV, a Public Motor Vehicle. PMVs vary, some are 15 passenger vans, some are dump trucks and some are actual buses. This particular PMV was an unmarked truck, filled with about 12 people in the back. Evan, our guide Papa Gagnig and I rode in the extended cab. It was definitely Wacky! Stay tuned for more on our PMV Hike.