[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.

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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!
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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.

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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)

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Children’s Home {Faces of Bible Translation}

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!

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

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Beautiful Highlands

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The Highlands in Papua New Guinea are so beautiful. Since moving up here in November we have discovered that more and more as we have ventured to different towns. On one particular trip to Goroka, a town about 2 hours away that we have driven to several times now, I knew that I HAD to take my camera. Every time we past this beautiful little village I knew that It was the perfect picture, but I had never brought my camera because of the safety risks. So a couple weeks ago Evan went with another guy from the Auto Shop to pick up some car parts (a business trip) and I got to tag along. The Highlands of Papua New Guinea are so beautiful, and I knew I had to share it with you!

Papua New Guinea, Village, HighlandsPapua New Guinea, HighlandsPapua New Guinea, Highlands, VillageA traditional house in the Highlands is always round. This is because they will always put a fire in the middle of the house, so everyone can sleep around it for warmth.
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Gardening is a way of life in Papua New Guinea. Many times you will see people’s gardens on the side of mountains. They say this is the easiest place to put them because then you don’t have to bend down to garden, you can stand straight up and not hurt your back!

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I love this picture of the rolling hills and someone burning ground for a garden on top of the mountain!

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20 Facts about Life in Ukarumpa

Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea

Ukarumpa is a missionary community that is home to almost a 1,000 SIL (our organization) missionaries. Some are translators that come in and out from their villages and some are support workers like us that stay on center and work to help the work of Bible translation. What’s it like to live here?

Here are 20 random facts about living in Ukarumpa.

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#1 You walk freely in and out of people’s yards because nobody has fences, crossing rickety home-made bridges on an everyday basis.

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#2 We have to wash and hang out all of our own laundry-which can be tedious at times when rainy season hits and it rains all day long!

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#3 The most amazing strawberries are grown here. Very tasty and they grow all year long.

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#4 All of the cars are from the 1980s or 90s but are still crazy expensive to buy! My favorite car is our neighbor’s car, the yellow submarine.

#5 The weather is perfect. Cold in the mornings and evenings, but warm during the day.

#6 You have to do all of the cooking because there are no restaurants or pizza deliveries. And most of the cooking is from scratch!

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#7 The one and only store here is very expensive. Things like chicken, steak or pork (when you can find them) are $15 or more per kilo. Another example, a block cream cheese or walnuts right now is $22 for just 1lb!

And when the one and only store closes during Christmas for 2 weeks we all have to stock up!

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#8 Because Ukarumpa is nestled up in the mountains that means we have to walk uphill a lot! None of the roads are paved, they are all made of gravel so lots of times we all find ourselves slipping when we walk down the hills!

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#9 Ukarumpa is very quiet, there are no movie theaters or restaurants. So we have to make our own fun. We like to have people over a lot to eat together, play games and watch movies.

#10 We don’t have a formal pastor at our church, so different missionaries get up to speak each Sunday. Each of the missionaries come from different backgrounds and denominations so we definitely get a big variety of preaching here. We also have a Tok Pisin service, as well as a video service that features pastors from all of the Acts 29 churches (i.e. Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Francis Chan etc)

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#11 There is a local market that runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings where everyone from the surrounding villages brings their fresh produce, crafts and homemade bilums (bags made from wool)

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#12 Ukarumpa is guarded by a company called Guard Dog. They have men that walk around to make sure there is no trouble happening. One of the guards that we have become good friends with is named Randy. Here is a picture of Randy and Evan on Christmas Day when he came to our house for breakfast Christmas morning.

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#13 Many people are employed by SIL from the local villages. This helps the economy of the local area, because otherwise these people would not have jobs. These jobs include: Auto Shop (with Evan!), Construction and Maintenance, Language Resources, Secretaries in the Director’s Office (where I work), Haus Meris (House help), Yard Help and many more! We are so thankful to get to develop relationships with the Papua New Guinean people employed here.

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#14 Ukarumpa has both a cow pasture as well as horse paddocks. This allows people to be able to own cows for milking as well as horses to ride.

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#15 The river is the place to be in Ukarumpa for anything from Tubing to Baptisms. Last Sunday we celebrated 4 teens getting baptized in the river. It was a very cool experience.

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#16 Burning our own trash is a daily event because we don’t have a garbage truck that comes by.

Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea

#17 Everyone walks barefoot here. To church, to school, even to work.

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#18 Frisbee golf is the most popular sport in Ukarumpa.

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#19 Everyone has a rain water tank in Ukarumpa. These tanks are used to collect rain to run our showers, sinks, toilets and washing machines.

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#20 And finally, you know you live in Ukarumpa when you use a broom to clean off the outside of your house (because there is no such thing as a power washer or a Home Depot for that matter)

SingSings in the Village-Wacky Wednesday

Singsing, Papua New Guinea, children, Rai Coast, Village

A Singsing is a traditional Papua New Guinean celebration. They are done when there is an event to celebrate, like Independence Day or Christmas. While we were in village living we were blessed to be apart of three different Singsings. Everyone who participates gets all dressed up in bright colors, that include different types of leaves, grass skirts, all different kinds of shells and face paint. Each community has their own unique way of doing it. It almost always involves the beating of a “kundu” or a drum made from a lizard skin, as well as singing and dancing. We had a blast getting to participate in them! They dressed us all up and painted our skin. The picture above is of the Singsing that the local elementary school performed for us. It was so beautiful because the school was right next to the beach and the kids really did sing their hearts out. The other two Singsings were done by our village family for us as we left. We got to participate in these, and then at the end we fed all of the participants tea and popcorn (they loved this!) Here are some photos from our Singsings during village living.

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We made it to Ukarumpa!

ukarumpa, papua new guinea, sign

We made it to Ukarumpa last week and we are enjoying our new home. We moved into a house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, plenty of room for visitors! It is a nice home located next to the cow pasture and plenty of Papua New Guineans live across the street (which we love!). Today we hired a family to help us take care of our yard, they were so sweet and we are excited to get to know them. They told us to call them “mama” and “papa”. We are going through Orientation until tomorrow, and then Monday we will start our official jobs. Evan has already gotten to go to the Auto Shop and put all of his tools away, as well as meet the guys. I have met my boss and found my office in the Director’s building where I will be working. We are excited to finally get to work!

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Village Living {Part 1}

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On our way to the village!

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The Rai Coast Highway to get out to the village

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All of our family and village waiting for us as we got to our house.

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Our house in the village

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The Outhouse

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Our bedroom

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Our wasfamili (host family) in front of their house.

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A typical PNG meal. Yams, cooking bananas and sweet potatoes in coconut milk with greens.

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Church in the village

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The beach near us

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