A bell rings, and Regina, a Kamano-Kafe speaker, glances up from her desk at the man standing at the help window. Before he can say anything, she disappears into corridors of shelving in a back room, suddenly reappearing with several packages. “Just sign here,” she says, pushing a form at him alongside the boxes. “Enjoy!”
Although at first glance a post office might not seem to be critical to Bible translation, it plays a significant role here in Papua New Guinea (PNG). When translators in remote villages find themselves in need of something, Regina, the post office manager, works hard to track down the item and send it in a timely manner, often requiring her to interface with everything from aviation schedules to regional centres to the PNG postal system. Fortunately, she loves all the detailed bookkeeping. “But, I don’t have peace until it’s actually on the plane!” she laughs. She also enjoys seeing people encouraged by packages sent from their home countries.
Regina has been working at the post office in Ukarumpa for almost three years. “I’m a very shy person. I don’t talk a lot or very loudly. So when I first came, I was really challenged to talk with customers and such. But I learned God was with me during this time, and He gave me courage.” Regina worked her way up from a postal clerk and now finds herself running the entire office, with an uncanny ability to remember hundreds of names and faces, matching them instantly to pieces of mail piled up in canvas bags. “God is the one who gives me strength to take care of this big place—I’m not afraid anymore!”
Regina also works part time recording and filing translated materials. “When I see all these [translated] books, I think about all the men and women who have given their time to do this work, and how I in the post office can support them all [and be a part of Bible translation].”