Adventure at Sea

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Written by Janeen Michie, photo by Janeen Michie

At first the sea seemed calm and peaceful but, as they continued on the waves grew larger and larger. One large wave crashed into the boat and threw Mitchell into the bottom of the boat. Mitchell Michie, a translation adviser for the Kala language group, was travelling by public motor boat filled with other passengers and cargo out to a Kala village. He prayed that the boat would not capsize. If the boat did capsize he would lose his computer, hand written language notes, and valuable time for helping the Kala people translate portions of the Gospel of Mark. When they finally arrived safely to the village, his national companion told him that he believed the Lord had protected them from disaster. Later, they heard that three boats that were following behind them on their way to other villages did capsize. Thankfully no lives were lost.

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Many Parts Working Together

Story and photo by Stephanie Ernandes

Apa is my grass guy.  By mowing the extensive amount of grass in my yard Apa enables me to have more time to do what I am here to do – support the work of Bible Translation.  On the other hand, the pay I give Apa for his work helps provide for the needs of his family.  I support Bible Translation by writing, Apa supports it by mowing lawns.  In so many ways it’s a win, win situation!

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On a hot day in early December, I sat down to chat with Apa over glasses of cold water right after he mowed my lawn.  He shared his Christmas plans with me and asked for prayer.

In his village, as well as in many places across Papua New Guinea, it is traditional to hold a one to two week long Christmas gathering.  People come together every day for two weeks to hear teachings about the Lord Jesus.  Often many different speakers come to teach.

Apa, being an elder in his church, was asked to speak. He wanted me to pray over his preaching.  It was his desire that God would speak through him as he shared a powerful message on Jesus’s second coming.  Apa wanted to share that now is the time to choose to follow Jesus.  Jesus could return at any time!  He also wanted the people to know that they can’t just trust any man that comes along telling that Jesus has come and he’ll show them where Jesus is.  Apa wanted them to understand that everyone in the world will be able to see Jesus coming in the clouds. There will be a bright light like lightning and a great trumpet will sound to awaken the righteous dead to be gathered by angels from every nation!

Before we prayed together Apa told me that he and I are in this together.  The missionaries come and translate the Bible and teach the Papua New Guineans all about the good news of Jesus.  Then when a Papua New Guinean comes to know the Lord, he/she can take this good news out to all the many regions of the country and share it so that all may know.  He became a Christian in 1997 and has been doing exactly that for many years.  Now as he is much older so he has passed on that ministry to his children.

After he returned, I asked Apa how his talk went.  He happily shared with me his excitement about those that came to know the Lord at the Christmas gathering as well as those who in hearing the truth once again had turned back to Jesus.

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I smiled, knowing I had a part in that through my prayers and through the small amount I pay Apa to mow my grass. More than that, everyone in my home country who prays for me and who gives sacrificially for my family to serve in Papua New Guinea is a part of what God did through Apa. Together, God can use us to bring his message to even the most remote village in this great land.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12

 

Here I Am, Send Me!

Story By Stephanie Ernandes

Photos supplied by Steven Ttopoqogo

Steven and his father

“Bible Translator Ernie Richert came to our village with his family and met my grandfather in 1957.” Steven was told that, “My grandfather was a great hunter, he was the son of a chief.  He and his family didn’t live in the village, they lived in what we call a house-pig, a place where they took care of all the pigs.  The leaders of the village said, ‘Get that hunter to help that white man.’ And that is how my grandfather got involved in the work of Bible Translation.”

Steven’s father joined the team in 1965. Steven himself decided to join YWAM and planned to go to Bangladesh.  “Honestly I didn’t want to do Bible Translation, I wanted to do something like evangelism when I grew up.  I was raising my support to do this.” In the village, however, we had a prayer meeting every Saturday morning to pray for someone to help Steven’s Dad to translate the Old Testament into their language.  “My Dad didn’t go to English school.  He just learned his English around the translation table.”

Steven’s Dad’s desire to begin translating the Old Testament came from people’s response to the New Testament.  Many times the books of the prophets are referred to and quoted in the New Testament.  As people read the New Testament they started to ask, ‘Where are these books?’ and began to say ‘We want to see these books, this book is not complete!’”

Steven's Father

In 1996, they had been praying for almost a year. “In November of that year, right at the end of one of the prayer meetings a young man read a scripture, Isaiah 6:8: And the Lord said, ‘Whom shall I send?’ Then Isaiah said, ‘Lord, here I am!  Send me.’  He read that scripture and shared, ‘We’ve been praying for a year, and it seems that no one is responding.  I feel that God is asking this group, that someone in this group will respond like Isaiah responded.’  And I (Steven) was closing my eyes, but I felt like God was saying, ‘Steve, will you respond as Isaiah responded?’ and I said, ‘Lord, here I am, send me.’”

For 15 years, Steven was in the village serving in the church and helping his Dad with translation work.  In 2006 he got involved with training to help other Papua New Guineans to learn the work of translation.  In 2009 Steven joined a Bible translation organization located in the Eastern Highlands area of Papua New Guinea.  He moved his family there and began work managing the organizations mission’s center.  Since 2010 he has become a regional director in the same organization overseeing 12 different language projects in the Morobe region.

Steven’s Dad continues work on the Guhu Samane Old Testament.  It is 98% drafted.  Seven books are consultant checked and printed, and 16 books are consultant checked.  Steven oversees the continued work.

What a legacy they leave because of three generations of men who said in their hearts, “Lord, here I am, send me.”

 

 

 

 

 

Boat Races

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The coastline was a blur of movement and noise as the boys of the village raced their homemade boats back and forth in the ocean. The toy boats were carved from the trunk of banana plants. Fishing wire connects the boat to the stick that boys are pulling. Racing boats is a favorite pastime for children in the coastal Kela village.  Photo by Janeen Michie

Broken Radios and Mended Hearts

story by Steve Geis

My Thursday morning started with a request for a medevac flight from a bush clinic to the capital, Port Moresby (POM). A lady experiencing shortness of breath and heart problems needed urgent care. We readied an aircraft and I was dispatched on the flight. Forty minutes later we loaded the patient, accompanied by a doctor and nurse, and departed for the capital. En route, the aircraft experienced a transponder failure.

Entry into Port Moresby’s busy airspace requires a functioning transponder, the device that allows Air Traffic Control (ATC) to monitor an aircraft’s position on radar. When I explained to ATC the urgency of our flight, they granted us special permission to enter their airspace with the failed transponder. We landed without further incident, and the patient was delivered to the hospital.

Since we couldn’t continue our flight with the failed transponder, we arranged for a technician to be flown down from our aviation base early the next morning with a new transponder to swap out the faulty one. Fixing it was supposed to be a simple, one-hour job. However, the technician ran into difficulties getting the new transponder to fit properly into the mount in the aircraft. We realized we had to request another special permission and fly the aircraft back to its base for further repairs.

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This was extremely frustrating for the technician and me as we had planned to pick up Zacc in a small village outside of POM after the transponder replacement and fly him to his home village. Zacc had just lost his wife and newborn child to birth complications a few weeks earlier in POM. Even as a follower of Jesus, he was finding it understandably difficult to talk to God since his loss. He had decided to visit his home village to mourn with his own Bariai people.
The delays and revised flight schedule meant Zacc would now have to remain in the village over the weekend until we could arrange another flight on Monday. What was God trying to do?

On Saturday, the day after we had originally planned to pick Zacc up, the mother of a member of his family came to his house, frantic with worry. Her daughter had been trying to give birth for three days and was physically fading. There was no medical help in the village. When the family went to pray over their relative, Zacc said he wanted to pray too. His father remarked to him that he had not seen Zacc pray since Maria’s death. (Although his faith in God had endured, Zacc had not yet come to a point where he felt like praying.) He asked the Lord to show his grace and allow the mother and child to live, praying that he did not want to see anyone else in his family die in this manner. When he finished his prayer, the baby immediately came right out! The umbilical cord had been wrapped around the head of the nine-pound baby, preventing the mother from delivering. Both of them survived! As you can imagine, this has greatly encouraged Zacc and has strengthened his faith.

So the frustration of the faulty radio and the canceled flight was all part of the Master’s plan to show his power in a very personal way to Zacc. Sometimes I get a glimpse into why God orders events differently to carry out his plans. It’s nice to know that he’s in control when it appears there is chaos all around.

God’s Light Shining

God's light shining-IMG_6630Written by Mitchell and Janeen Michie, photo by Janeen Michie

Imagine living in a house with no windows; no light. How would you find the door in the dark? Your shoes? It would be difficult. Ngasinom a retired school teacher and church leader has been preaching to his congregation in Kala. He told me, “When I preach in Kala rather than the trade language, the people sit up straight and listen very carefully.” He says, “Our village has been in darkness and darkness has been holding it. It’s like we’ve been in a house with no windows, but now through the translation God’s light has shone on us.”

John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

Heart to Heart, Glory to Glory P.3/3

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story by Kairu Tumae

(Kairu is a Papua New Guinean graduate from the Ukarumpa International School, this is his testimony continued…)

When I returned to Kompiam to run the small community radio station, I started work by teaching myself how to use the equipment in the studio. I read about how to do radio announcing and how to structure my program. Looking back now, I know God was right there with me, teaching me about the job even though I had no experience in it. I cannot take any credit for where I am right now and all that I have learned in radio broadcasting because it was all God. He gave me the wisdom, knowledge and understanding to learn the skills of radio broadcasting and the details of running a radio station by myself.

The vision for Sauan 99.9 FM is to promote and communicate development through radio broadcasting. Because most rural areas are hard to reach, it makes it hard for information to travel into these areas. Radio is a great tool to send out information. Our frequency goes out to a lot of rural parts of the Kompiam District. There is no other radio frequency close that people can listen to.

One of the main things that I focus on is health awareness.  We have our hospital staff come in to do health awareness broadcasts because they can’t possibly go to every single village to share health awareness.  The terrain in the highlands just makes it too hard.

Most people in these rural areas are not aware of what is going on in different parts of Papua New Guinea, so we provide national news for them. Many people have personally come to express their gratitude for our news casts. It’s a big thing for them to know what’s going on in our country and what is happening in the government. We also do gospel programs over the weeks and include sermons in our programs.

I’ve learned and still am learning to depend on God’s strength and wisdom every single day to do my job.  Every day my day starts at 6:30am and goes until 10:00pm. I’m pretty worn out mentally and physically by the end of almost every week. But it has taught me to depend on God, because I honestly would not accomplish much in my job if God weren’t there by my side. He has taught me to depend on him when I’m down or worn out. He is my strength. Every single day.  I wouldn’t have learned this much and matured in my faith like I have, I wouldn’t be who I am now, if I had taken my own road instead of the road God planned for me. He has he showed me what I need to do in the future. I need to give back and serve the people of my country with whatever skill, gift, and talent God has blessed me with. I have peace with where I am right now, and I have realized the purpose of my life: To glorify God in everything I do. I still need to understand better the meaning of these things.

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 NLT