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 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.)