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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