Friday, March 22, 2013

Having Voice

We’re in the middle of our branch conference right now.  I confess it’s not my most favorite thing to sit and listen to reports and discuss governance issues.  I’m not alone in that opinion because sometimes during our meetings we even hash out whether it’s worth the time and effort to have the conference.  This year, however, I definitely see some benefits…even to me personally.

I work at home and home school my two kiddos.  My social interaction is often limited to trips to the store and Sunday morning services.  So it’s not often that I get to hear first-hand accounts of the work going on in the far corners of PNG.


Today I saw photos of villages almost completely isolated from the rest of humanity by mountains and swamp land.  I marveled at the number of language groups (not to mention individual languages) that exist in the Sepik and Sundaun provinces of western PNG.  And I was reminded that there is still a huge amount of work to do.

Later we heard presentations on a couple of proposed governance structures, and we were given the chance to discuss ideas and voice questions with those at our tables.  Even though I work primarily as a wife and mother, for me it is huge that I have a say in this work, and that what I say is valued.  It serves to reinforce in my mind that what I do matters in Bible translation.


A few years ago Jon was working at a university back in the US helping to start an aviation maintenance program.  We were convinced that we were furthering Bible translation by helping to train potential aircraft mechanics for the field—a skill that always seems in short supply.

The difficult part for me was that no matter what I did as the wife to support my husband in his role, I was not an employee and not privy to company plans and goals.  I didn’t expect otherwise, but I still found it hard to be left on the outside.  And it didn’t take long for our mutual aspiration to just become his job.

Maybe that loss of focus is my own fault, but that time on the outside has made me appreciate the “voice” I have once again.  I may spend my days making meals, washing work uniforms, drilling multiplication facts, or printing conference name tags but there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m doing it for Bible translation.

(Photos by B. Boogaard & P. King)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fitting Pipes

Post by Jon--

Even though I have a very specific role in supporting Bible translation here in Papua New Guinea, I never really know what I might be called on to do from one day to the next.

A couple of weeks ago a guy I’d never seen before came into our hanger with a look of concern on his face.  He introduced himself as the leader of a rural development program within Papua New Guinea.  His company is in the process of installing a hydro-electric system next to a river in the remote location of Marawaka.  He had a logistical dilemma and was in desperate need of help.

He had prearranged about two hundred sections of specialized water pipe to be driven by truck from the port city of Lae to our airstrip at Aiyura, where a large Twin Otter aircraft would fly the pipe into Marawaka.  The problem was that all the pipe was cut into lengths that would not fit into the aircraft.  He asked us if there was any way we could help him get the material to his job sight. 

Wanting to help, we organized a system of measuring and cutting the pipes into manageable lengths.


Then we grouped them into loads that the aircraft could handle and loaded each one by hand into the plane.  This was no small task since some of those pipes weighed about 200 pounds!



As we visited with the leader of the project (who was an Australian) we learned that he had actually grown up in Papua New Guinea in the 1970s.  His parents were missionaries in a location about 40 miles from where we are now.

We just never know who the Lord is going to bring across our path, or who he is going to ask us to help!