Saturday, April 20, 2013

Visit to Saidor

I (Jon) had the opportunity to visit some of translation project leaders in the Saidor region this past week.  It was a blessing for me to be able to see firsthand what God is doing in the Bible translation projects here in Papua New Guinea.  It was a blessing for the project leaders also to see Wycliffe members make the trip out to where they live and encourage them and pray with them.

The road to Madang
The Saidor region is about 4 hrs by boat east of the city of Madang on the north coast of mainland PNG.  To get there I took a PMV from Ukarumpa to Madang, joined up with another man, and then we took a boat from Madang to Saidor.  What would have been a half hour flight took the better part of 2 days travelling by road and sea.  Once we landed in Savoy (a small settlement close to Saidor) we hiked up to Umbaldi in the Gwahatika language area.  This would be our home for 2 days and it is also where we asked the various translation teams to meet us.

PMV (Public Motor Vehicle) loading area in Madang
Aluminum boats that took us to Saidor
There are six Papua New Guinean men that are working in Bible translation in the Saidor region.  Four of them lead projects and the other two men work to promote literacy in the region. The language groups that they work with are the Madi, Muratayek, Domung, Assaro and the Gwahatika. 

Jim and I meeting with the translation teams
One thing I noticed was the great sacrifice that these God-honoring men are offering in the service of Bible translation.  They are all Christian men that are taking time out of their days to work on translating the Word of God into these other language groups.  The time they spend in working on the translation is taken out of their ability to work their gardens, work on their houses or work on cash-crops to pay for other family expenses.  Throughout my time in Saidor I became increasingly aware of the sacrifice they are each making in their lives.  This awareness grew a desire in my heart to encourage them and pray for their work.

Church in Umbaldi
In many ways, these translation projects may be the way of the future.  Papua New Guinean people taking the initiative and leading Bible translation projects brings us closer to realizing the success of Vision 2025.  Candace and I are humbled by the opportunity to serve in this type of a facilitator role for these projects.  It would mean quarterly visits to the region as well as a weekly radio schedule with the teams.  We would also manage the Wycliffe monies for the projects and write reports for the various teams for Wycliffe. Please join us in praying for God’s leading as we decide whether to take this role on or not.

Typical PNG house
On the road to Madang
Settlement on the road to Madang
Pigs are very valuable possessions in PNG
The hike to Umbaldi
Common Tern
View of the Muratayek and Assaro language group areas

Bridge over the Nankina River
"Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts."
Malachi 3:10-12

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