Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Un-burnt Bible

You can be sure that wherever God is at work, Satan is setting up resistance. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), opposition to the work of Bible translation often seems to take the form of squabbles and clashes between language groups or villages. Such has been the situation among the villages near the Ukarumpa center where we lived. Although, none of our expatriate co-workers have been in any real danger, our local friends and their families have suffered greatly. “Raskols” (trouble-makers) have destroyed their crops, burned their homes and threatened their lives.

Despite the grim news from PNG, we know God is not just idly sitting by while his people flounder in despair! A co-worker recently sent us this encouraging story.

The Unburnt Bible May10 (640)The most amazing testimony came from Pastor Karl who held a bilum [string bag] with a Bible inside. The house had burned, but the bilum and the Bible were intact. The bilum had only one small burn spot. He referenced Jesus' words in Matthew 24:35, ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’ And he said, ‘This is what we're doing in translating the Bible in our language, giving the people something that will not be destroyed.’ This is such an encouragement...a local Pastor who has seen God's hand, has caught the vision and is saying ‘we’ in regards to Bible translation. Is God not blessing His work in this valley? There isn't a raskol around who can stop what God is doing. This was so evident by the hope expressed in the hearts of the people today.”

God is at work in the hearts and lives of the people of Papua New Guinea through his written Word. Amen! Testimonies like the one above fuel our desire to return to PNG and support the work of Bible translation there.

(This story is an excerpt from our June 2010 newsletter.  Please contact us if you would like to receive this newsletter by email.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Black and Blue

19 Jun 10 (5) For weeks my calendar has alerted me to the fact that June 19 was the day Morris Orchard opened for blueberry picking.  My family and I have already consumed several quarts of the store-bought version this summer, but everyone knows they can’t compare to the “pick-your-own” variety.  <smile>

We learned last summer that if you want good berries, you’ve got to get there before the “jam-makers” sweep the bushes clean.  So armed with hats, sunscreen and bug repellent we journeyed to my favorite spot in Virginia.  Really, the drive is beautiful!  Morris Orchard sits at the base of High Peak Mountain in a perfectly pastoral valley.

19 Jun 10 (11)It was a pleasant surprise to learn that blackberries were ripe as well.  It’s so cool that they’re on thorn-less vines.  Makes it easy for the kids to help pick.

We quickly filled our quota and our cravings—although the blackberries are addicting.  Fortunately, the owners recognize that children of all ages are by default going to get purple fingers and mouths while picking.  We took our black and blue plunder home to be baked and frozen if they didn’t get eaten first.  My only regret is that we missed the day’s supply of soft peaches.  I’m telling you—you’ve got to get there when the doors open at 9:00 AM!

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sonlight Box Day

After helping Home Works get their new facilities ready for the open house on Monday, we came home to find a large box waiting for us on our front step.  The contents of which are next year’s homeschool books and supplies.  Those big boxes cause quite a stir in our house.

Claire told us afterward that getting her school books in the mail was even better than getting toys.  Go figure!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Natural Bridge, VA

image Just got back from a 2-night camping trip to Natural Bridge, VA.  A National Historical Landmark, and can you believe we forgot our camera!  Fortunately, photos of this amazing rock structure abound.  At dusk, the park puts on a light display choreographed to the “Story of Creation” and ancient hymns.  It’s rather curious considering it was all about “millions and millions of years ago” earlier in the day.

Our family enjoyed a few days together away from phones, computers and the demands of preparing to return to Papua New Guinea.  Swimming…hiking…hotdogs…swings and slides…the deepest cavern on the east coast…and my favorite—the campfire.  There’s something therapeutic about sitting around a fire sharing stories…or maybe it’s just the marshmallows.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Our Acre

9 Jun 10 (3)In the 14 1/2 years that Jon and I have been married, we’ve lived in 17+ different dwellings.  That’s not counting multiple stays in a particular place or stays of less than one month.  So to be in our own home right now with our own yard is a BIG deal to us.

We’re home for a couple of weeks right now and finding excuses to work on our acre—mulch the rhododendrons, pull weeds in the driveway, plan to put in a few flowering bushes 9 Jun 10 (5)along the edge of the woods….  Practical Me thinks it’s kind of a waste to go through so much effort while the house is up for sale.  But the Rest of Me gets a whole lot of satisfaction outta seeing the stunning blooms adorning the house.  I didn’t even plant them, but they’re in OUR garden—however temporary that may be.

Rest Time

11 Jun 10 An afternoon rest time for the kiddos is a daily occurrence in our home…or it is whenever we can swing it.  For one hour, Claire and Isaiah are assigned separate rooms where they are allowed to read books or play quietly.  On a good day, it’s a chance for mommy and daddy to get some quiet time.  On the average day, however, it looks more like this.  I’m pretty convinced that parents enjoy these wooden trains the most.