Kurt, Johanna, Kassia, Lukas and Matthias

Our family in Papua New Guinea | 2012

Ukarumpa and Aiyura Valley

Ukarumpa is SIL's center of opperations in Papua New Guinea and where we live and work.

Miniafia New Testaments from the dedication in 2010

"God is a Miniafia Man," the loincloth-clad speaker exulted! "Before He was English, and American, and Australian. But today He has become Miniafia!"

Doini Island

Photo by Tim McIntosh (SIL PNG's boat manager in 2008) | Many of the 100's of islands in PNG can only be reached by boat.

Where do you play when you live on an island?

Children from Nubwageta village playing near the shore.

Miniafia New Testament Dedication

New Testament dedications in PNG usually include elaborate processions to welcome the Bibles.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Finding His Words Again

Papua New Guinea {2010}

29 June 2010 128 It was three in the morning and the lights were on. Someone was walking around the guest house

Taitus, a national Bible translator, was staying at the Bible Translation Association (BTA) offices in Ukarumpa, along with his sister Fesi and her husband Rumu, far from their village home in Somba Siawari.* They had completed a week-long translation workshop and planned to spend extra days in town.

That night in the guest house, Taitus was suddenly awake, and aware of a thief.

A man had broken down the door and was now inside. Upon seeing the intruder, Taitus thought first to defend himself and his family members. But the man’s face was covered and he seemed unafraid. In his hand, he clutched a machete. Taitus backed away.

Rumu and Fesi came into the room and the man charged at them. They fled and hid in the bedroom. Undaunted, the intruder grabbed two laptop computers and left.

And just like that, in the dark of night, all their hard work was gone.

A year of translation work was on those computers. Several books of the Bible were drafted and ready to send for checking. Now they were lost. Discouragement overwhelmed the small translation team. They felt like a part of them had been snatched away.

Together they wondered, what is God showing us? Even though they were afraid, they thanked God that none of them were hurt and prayed for the man who stole the computers. Maybe God would bring the man to Jesus through this. They also prayed that somehow God would bring back their computers.

29 June 2010 121

He answered in ways they never expected.

A year before, some colleagues who had worked with Taitus, Rumu, and Fesi had noticed their decade-old computers. Unknown to them, these colleagues had already sent new laptop computers in the mail, to be delivered to a translation team in need. Only three days after the robbery, the translation team learned of the gift and their colleagues’ wishes for them to have the new laptops. All they had to do was go to the post office to pick them up. Shocked and amazed, they realized God had answered their prayers months before they had even prayed them!

And He wasn’t finished.

They took the new computers to their IT department to install all the programs they needed, and while they were there it was discovered that an even older computer they had turned in for a data transfer still had all of the past year’s work on it! Miraculously, it had been preserved and all of it was recovered.

Their hearts filled with praise to God! Together, the translation team reported, “We thanked Him for giving us more than we ever imagined was possible. And now, we can’t wait to get back to work, translating His mighty Word so that people in our village can know His power!

“We can’t stop praising our Lord…we just can’t!”

* Taitus, Rumu, and Fesi are national translators and literacy workers with the Bible Translation Association of Papua New Guinea.

-- by Jon Bilbro

This story can also be found on theWordisLife.net

Ethnologue | Languages of the World entry for Somba-Siawari (also known as the Burum-Mindik)

Map of where the Burum-Mindik live