We get there anyway we can! Usually it means air transportation when someone needs to get to the remote language groups of Papua New Guinea. Dirt strips perched on ridge tops or by fast-moving rivers, usually are created by villagers anxious to get their words translated. Careful inspections and frequent maintenance are required to keep the airstrips safe for landings and takeoffs. Experienced pilots learn the terrain and local weather conditions in order to provide the safest access to these remote areas. Pray for the daily transportation needs provided by this aviation service. Pray for excellent maintenance, training and management that is required to keep these flights safe in PNG. Click on this link to see a landing and takeoff on a remote PNG airstrip – “Flying High in PNG”
When a language group hears the Scriptures in their own language for the first time, they respond enthusiastically. Why? Because it sounds good from the youngest to the oldest, the deep meaning of their heart language makes the Scriptures stand out and the result is changed lives and transformed communities. Pray for language groups throughout Papua New Guinea who are hearing the translated Bible for the first time. Pray that projects could be started soon in the almost 300 remaining languages that need them.
How do you grow vegetables in the jungles of Papua New Guinea? You need to clear a space and that requires a lot of hard work. An area is cleared of trees and then the thick brush is burned. Small drainage channels are made because of the frequent and heavy rains and then you are ready to plant. A lot of work occurs before you even think about putting something in the ground. So it is with translation work. Sometimes years of preparation are required in order to get to a place where you can get even one small book translated. It takes perseverance and hard work before the fruit can be seen on the vine. Pray for the language workers and Bible translators working in approximately 200 languages in PNG. Pray for patience and success.
There are many coastal villages in Papua New Guinea. Living on the beach has many advantages – close to good fishing, cool breezes from the ocean provide relief from the hot tropical sun and who wouldn’t want the view! However, PNG is in an area of frequent and powerful earthquakes. Earthquakes under the sea can cause tsunamis that can wipe out a village in seconds. In the summer of 1998, three 30 foot waves overwhelmed the village of Arop where the death toll for it and surrounding villages exceeded over 2000 people. At the time, Arop was in the midst of a Bible translation project. While the disaster was extensive, a new project resulted in a transformed vision for a multiple language project that included their language group and several others. Pray that these villages would be protected from the sea and that Bible translation could be completed in the eleven language groups now participating in a cluster project in that area.
Life is full of give and take… like this river as it meets the sea. The waves pound the salty water up stream while the relentless current of the river pushes the fresh water into the ocean. Which will win? As you know neither and the result is a mix of salt and fresh water. If you look closely, you can see four fisherman on the bank. Why? Because in the mix there is great fishing. When working with different cultures sometimes it feels like two ideas are pounding into each other with no good results. However, if time is taken to see the advantages of both, often the two ideas coalesce into one better idea and the result is success. Pray for the language development workers and Bible translators who are working in Papua New Guinea that are experiencing cross-cultural blending. Pray that each will be willing to see the goodness of another culture.
What’s at the end of the rainbow? In Papua New Guinea… it will most likely land on a different language group. Language development workers and Bible translators hope it will land on a language group where a translation project is already in process or completed – However, with over 830 languages and the need for almost 3oo new projects, this may not be the case. Each year the language development and Bible translation effort strives to meet that need. It needs your help. Pray for the many decisions that need to be made in order that a viable project can be started, maintained or restaffed. Pray for the needed resources to make it happen.
The internet is a major tool in the language development and Bible translation effort. Language workers and Bible translators can communicate to the language groups when they can’t be physically present. They can even do it from overseas. However, it doesn’t come easily to remote areas of Papua New Guinea. Many advances have been made over the past several years and it is now possible to do much more at a lower cost but it still is challenging to keep the infrastructure working. Pray for the experts that provide service to the PNG translation effort. Pray that they can diagnose problems quickly, provide cheaper and faster service and find creative ways to get the service to out-of-the-way places.
Going down the river in Papua New Guinea might be the long way to go. Sometimes it is just easier to walk! Like these rivers, the language development and Bible translation effort in PNG, can take many twists and turns. Sometimes it even feels like you are going backwards. But progress is made and the translations are completed. It takes a long-term outlook and perseverance to make them successful. Pray for these workers as they try to meet the many needs in PNG.
There are many ways to get to church. This may be one of the coolest in the warm weather of PNG. Many churches in Papua New Guinea worship in a second or maybe even a third language. This language isn’t the one that they learned at birth. While they may have a good understanding of this language, it doesn’t deliver the rich meaning that a heart language would. Pray for the almost 300 languages that still need a language program started.
No one knows the culture better than someone who was born and raised in it. Understanding culture is imperative to a successful translation. In-country translation organisations such as Papua New Guinea Bible Translation Association are great partners in the effort to see Papua New Guinea have a translation project started in all languages that need them. Unfortunately like many organisations striving to meet this need, resources are hard to come by. Pray for a financial blessing. Pray that the needed positions would soon be filled. Pray that Papua New Guinea Bible Translation Association translators will find success even today!