Light the Match to Literacy

Photo by Deloach“Light the Match to Literacy”

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.

Story told to me by Rebecca. woman, Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinean, laughing, smile, traditional dress, Ukarumpa, SIL-PNG Training Centre

A different kind of 4th of July

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Usually our 4th of Julys are spent with family or friends, blowing off fireworks in field or watching them at a big stadium with lots of people…and its HOT. Well this year our 4th was very different as we woke up with it being in the 40s (YEAH I KNOW…aren’t we supposed to be in the tropics or something!?) then I spent all day photographing a PNG Bible Translation Association Induction Ceremony. They celebrated the day with a ceremony in the morning with tons of traditional dancing, music and of course formalities, but then the afternoon was filled with a huge PNG FEAST and a “singsing”. What cooler way to celebrate the 4th?? After that we went to our friends house to celebrate a more traditional Ukarumpa 4th with burning/spinning steel wool, sparklers, BBQ and good friends. That felt a little more like home. Next year we will be back home again for the 4th and we’re beyond excited. But theres something about spending the 4th overseas that makes you really appreciate America…

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Evan lighting aceteline balloons, for a little “boom”IMG_4611IMG_4620

Graduation 2015 and Goodbyes

Graduation, UkarumpaEvan and I have had a great relationship with the seniors this year and are really sad to see them go. Last night was graduation and I just love how intimate the class is. Because they only have 21 they really take time to honor each student. Some of the kids asked Evan and our friend Leah Rigsby to lead worship for the night and they did an excellent job. The next few days are going to be gut-wrenching as we say goodbye to these kids as they scatter around the world. Ukarumpa is such a unique place, but one of the worst things about it is all of the goodbyes that we are constantly having to say. Please pray for us as we say goodbye and for the Class of 2015 as they leave Ukarumpa and start their lives as adults. Many of their parents will be coming back to continue their work here and so many of the kids will be all on their own. Pray that they will take everything they learned here and apply it and that they will continue to love and lean on God with all of their hearts.

Graduation2015_7Selfie stick during the Ceremony!

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 Also we made them a funny video about transition and R.A.F.T to leave with. Heres a screenshot of the greatness done by Leah Rigsby, Halbrooks and us.

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Banquet 2015

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This year Evan Halferty​ and I were asked to participate in the banquet play that is made up of parents of the Seniors. We had a blast coming up with funny “ads” or commercial breaks during each of the scenes, and definitely got lots of laughs. Each year the parents of the seniors come up with a funny play that includes lots of inside jokes as well as funny things about their teens. This year’s theme for Banquet was “London” and it was a lot of fun to help transform the Teen Centre into that theme for the teens. Then, the whole community comes out on Saturday for ENCORE to watch the play as well as take a look at all of the parents hard work and raise money for next year.

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Here’s the class of 2015. Love these kids! Don’t they look so nice all dressed up?

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MeMe’s Dirty Tacos

 

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Every year Ukarumpa International School does a Sport’s Day for all of the High School and Middle School Students. Each student, upon entering the school, is assigned either Alpha (red) or Beta (blue) and competes in Track and Field events on Sport’s Day. It’s always a big event here in Ukarumpa and a lot of people come out to watch them compete. This year Evan and I decided to sell his Tequila Lime Chicken smoked tacos with my homemade salsa. We called them “MeMe’s (pronounced May May) Dirty Tacos” because everyone here calls Evan MeMe (which is goat in Tok Pisin) because of his goatee. Our first day was a hit! We sold out within an hour and a half. It was a lot of fun and we will do it all again tomorrow. It was great having some of the PNGers try our tacos–it was an entirely new experience for them…and they came back for more!IMG_0744

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Faces of Translation-Aviation

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!

Coaching Softball

This term Evan is head coach of softball and he is LOVING it. He practices with the Middle School and High School boys every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and they are learning all about Softball from Evan and 4 other coaches as well. They also got the chance to play their first game last night against Aiyura Highschool, which is a Papua New Guinean High School in the valley. Our team won 6-1! They will have two more tournaments against New Tribes (Missionary School in Goroka) in the following weeks.  Evan is having a blast coaching these kids.

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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.

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 We visited the local school.

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 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.

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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.
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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.

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

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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

April Fool’s Joke?

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.

 

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(IT IS A JOKE RIGHT???)

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