We are accustomed to providing emergency accommodation at our Lae Guesthouse due to cancelled flights, flooded bridges and hospital visits. In ‘The land of the Unexpected’ we need to be prepared for any eventuality.
Earlier this month the call came for us to provide shelter of a different kind – storing around 700 copies of a New Testament translation.
The printing was undertaken in South Korea before being shipped to Lae – a journey of over 5,000 kilometres – with a further 1,400 kilometres or so yet to travel by sea and land before the dedication ceremony next year. We literally go ‘to great lengths’ to put God’s word into people’s hands.
Rob and Betsy Bradshaw came to the Doromu Koki language area in 2001. Two PNG locals had already completed a Wycliffe training course in anticipation of someone responding to their call for a Bible in their language. They started translating straight away.
The Doromu Koki community of around 1,800 language speakers is divided between traditional village areas and in the capital Port Moresby. The village region in the Owen Stanley Ranges is fairly inaccessible except by helicopter, so the intention is to hold two dedication ceremonies, in both the village and in Port Moresby, to ensure that people are made aware that God now speaks directly to them in their heart language.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:3
Please pray …
- praising God for the way in which He ‘ prepared the ground’ for this translation work, and sustained the team during the past 16 years.
- for the Doromu Koki people as they work together to organise the dedication of the Scriptures – whether that be in one or two locations.
- that those who read will take it to heart.
Our Centre guest register took on an interesting look this month, with four mission groups occupying rooms at the one time.
We had our regular Wycliffe translation team from the Huon Gulf Multi-Language Project (pictured – the subject of many a past blog and newsletter); a couple from SIM Australia aiming to connect with local churches to inspire them to train missionaries for overseas service; a team from That They May Know, an independent mission group from the USA that have been functioning in PNG’s Gulf Province since 2005 with a translation and literacy focus as well as operating a Christian school in Port Moresby; and a couple from the Christian Brethren Church returning to PNG after serving here through the 1980’s, aiming to assist CBC churches in training the next generation of leaders.
Papua New Guinea is generally noted as one of the most missionised regions in the world. There are many hundreds of foreign missionaries actively promoting Gospel ministry in PNG, and though there are numerous indigenous churches in every province with millions of worshippers attending services, the work continues.
Why? Because many still struggle to apply God’s word in their daily circumstances. For some, the influence of traditional beliefs and customs are just too strong, but for many, there are the limitations of a poor education and illiteracy. It excites us to see PNG believers involved in translation and literacy work, for we know that God can use these programmes to bring people into the light of His word.
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Psalm 43:3
Please pray …
- for those serving the Kingdom in PNG, both expatriate and national, that they find strength to continue and model Christ in all that they do.
- that PNG churches would be committed to proclaiming the truth of the Gospel.