When the pieces of a puzzle fit together smoothly, a beautiful picture is formed.
In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, twelve-year-old Karissa was encouraged by her younger sister to write to Anessa, a girl her own age growing up in Papua New Guinea, where her parents served with SIL. Karissa accepted her sister’s advice, wrote an e-mail to Anessa, and a friend- ship began. The first piece of the puzzle was in place.
Anessa’s father serves in construction and maintenance at the SIL center in Ukarumpa. Her family is closely involved with Steve and Carol Jean Gallagher, translators for the Bariai people, helping them in any way they can. When the Barai New Testament was completed, Anessa and her family attended the celebration. The Voss family’s relationship with the Bariai people was another piece of the puzzle.
Back in South Dakota, Karissa’s home church was looking for a project to sponsor for their 2014 Easter offering. Through the Voss family, the church learned of the need for Bariai AudiBibles. The church decided to sponsor the project and covered the cost of 200 AudiBibles. The puzzle was coming together.
By this time, the girls had been pen pals for 4 years, and Karissa was hoping to visit PNG. She and her father were able to arrange their trip to coincide with the distribution of the AudiBibles. Karissa and Anessa, along with their fathers, spent a week living in Bambak Village. Each day they traveled on foot or by boat, visiting each of the eight Bariai villages. In each place they sold AudiBibles and updated ones that had been sold previously. Because of the generous gift of the church in South Dakota, people purchased the audio Scripture players for a fraction of their true cost.
Two girls who became pen pals . . . a family who supported a translation team . . . a church with a desire to get the Word of God to people . . . a father and daughter who traveled across the globe . . . each piece of the puzzle fit together perfectly to create a beautiful finished picture: men and women in every Bariai village listening to the life-giving words of God in their own heart language.