Saturday, April 20, 2013

Jars of Clay

Every two years members of our branch meet together in Ukarumpa to reflect on what God has done in and through Bible translation in Papua New Guinea during the past two years. This year’s conference theme was based on 2 Corinthians 4:7. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (NIV)

We “jars of clay” are full of cracks and imperfections. But when the treasure of Christ dwells within us, those imperfections allow His power and glory to shine through us. The fact that God has chosen weak vessels like us to expand his Kingdom is both heartening and humbling. We count it a privilege to be supporting Bible translation in Papua New Guinea, but it’s easy to become discouraged by our personal limitations or when our plans fail.

One of our co-workers, Bruce, had taken on the responsibility of delivering the newly printed Tairora Bibles to a few villages among the Tairora people. Since the translators (Alex and Lois Vincent) weren’t currently in PNG, they had difficulty finding couriers familiar with the region.

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Nonetheless, Bruce and 2 other guys on off-road motorbikes departed with a load of Bibles for one of the better known villages. On the way, Bruce fell off his bike and was badly hurt. Some of the local people helped Bruce back to our center, and x-rays at the clinic revealed that Bruce had a broken clavicle. It seemed like there wouldn’t be any more deliveries for several weeks.

A week later, however, Bruce heard that local church leaders would be meeting in Ukarumpa village. He went to the meeting and was invited to speak about the new, undelivered Bibles. After hearing Bruce’s story and how he broke his clavicle, the pastors decided something needed to be done.

Not long afterwards, a group of men arrived to pick up all the boxes of Bibles. Not only did they complete Bruce’s failed delivery, but they also took the Bibles to some very remote villages that Bruce had no way of getting to.

Hallelujah! Our God is not restricted by our plans, and often uses our weaknesses to accomplish his greater purposes.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Resurrection Celebration

Two Grade 12 students made our Easter celebration extra special this year.  Stephanie and Elijah attended a Bible conference in Ukarumpa over the weekend with about 120 other students from across the country.  Members of our community invited the students into their homes for dinner after the Easter service.


We got to spend the afternoon getting to know Stephanie and Elijah.  They are from two different villages in the same language group.  We enjoyed stories about their families and customs.  Elijah told us how white foreigners first introduced his people to horses, and now they raise and sell them.  Stephanie told us how her people used to fight and even eat the white missionaries who were trying to get up to the Highlands.  <We’ve seen actual footage of the first white explorer’s journey into the Highlands of PNG so it wasn’t that long ago!>

It was especially encouraging to have Elijah tell us how much he enjoys studying the Bible, and ask us how he could become a Bible translator.  Yes!  It is our prayer that this young generation of Papua New Guineans…the future leaders of their country…would pick up the baton and help their neighbors get God’s Word in their heart language.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Surprise Eggs

DSC00298Claire and Isaiah have vague memories of Easter baskets and egg hunts from years past but they haven’t been a regular tradition in our family.  This year, however, there were three little “surprises” waiting on their breakfast plates…Kinder Surprises.

They are a chocolate treat that most American kids can only dream about since they’re illegal in the US.  Apparently, the small toys they contain within their shells could constitute a choking hazard.  So just in case you Americans should find yourselves longing for this sweet concoction, you need only go to Canada to purchase one.  Just don’t try bringing any back home, you could get a fine of $2500 per egg!

To prepare you for this little walk on the wild side, Claire will now demonstrate how to safely eat a Kinder Surprise…without choking.

1.  Unwrap foil around egg and discard responsibly.DSC00299

2. Break chocolate shell in half to discover yellow, plastic yolk.  Eat chocolate.  Do not eat yolk.DSC00300

3. Open yolk to find toy.  After reading instructions thoroughly, assembly toy.DSC00301

4. Smile really big!DSC00295