Friday, June 1, 2018

A Successful Rescue

On Monday morning, May 7, during my morning devotionals, I (Adam) was struck by the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:9-10, "...we ourselves had the answer of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us out of so great a death, and will deliver, on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us..." In that passage, Paul is discussing the trials he faced in Ephesus and the fact that he was ready to die as he went about his ministry, trusting that God was able to deliver him, and that God will indeed one day raise us from the dead even if we were to die for our faith. For reasons unbeknownst to me at the time, this Scripture penetrated deeply into my heart, and I was praying that God would give me courage to put my life on the line for him, trusting that he would deliver me.

As the translation team and I have been working on a public service announcement to combat the terrible practice of falsely accusing women of practicing witchcraft and then torturing and killing them, we have been struck by the words of Jesus, who said, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Mat. 16:25). Jesus makes this statement in the context of discussing the persecution that he and the disciples would face. The thrust of what Jesus is saying is this: If you deny your faith to save your life in this world, you actually will lose your eternal life. But if you give up your life in this world for my (i.e. Jesus') sake, you will find true life. I have been teaching the translation team and preaching in churches that we, as Christians, need to combat this practice of falsely accusing women of practicing witchcraft and then torturing and killing them. If we just stand on the sidelines and let it happen because we are worried about saving our own lives, then we have missed the point of what Jesus has taught us.

On Tuesday, May 8, the day after reading 2 Corinthians 1:9-10, I was at work as usual with the translation team. We finished up work at four o'clock as usual and the rest of the team left. But because of some unusual computer problems, my coworker Nete and I stayed after work for about thirty minutes trying to resolve the problems. As we were just about to leave, Frank, one of our coworkers, returned with the news that two women were locked in a small trade store just outside of town, having been accused of stealing the heart of a young child and eating it, thereby causing the child's death. It was now time to practice what I had been preaching.

We immediately decided to try to rescue the two women, knowing that accusations like this typically lead to women being burned with hot iron rods and ultimately killed. So we went to the police station and picked up a police officer (who was unarmed) to go with us, as well as a relative of one of the women being held, and then we drove my car to the market area where we had heard that the two women were being held. During the short two-minute drive to the market area, I was afraid. Yet I prayed and asked God to make a way for us to rescue the two women. I then called Martha and asked her to pray as I proceeded ahead despite my fear.

As we arrived in the market area, someone pointed out to me the trade store where the women were being held. As I looked, I saw that the store was actually not locked; rather the door was wide open. So I casually walked into the store and saw a woman sitting on a pool table with some men gathered around. One of the men was interrogating her. I asked her, "Are these men saying bad things about you?" She didn't reply, and so I took her hand and began leading her out of the store. I must admit that I was experiencing tunnel vision and did not see the other woman sitting on the other side of the pool table. Fortunately, the relative of the other woman did the same and took her by the hand and led her out of the store as well. We calmly walked to my car and put the ladies inside. Then I sat in the driver's seat and went to shut the door. As I shut it, a man grabbed the door to prevent me from shutting it. But I just pulled the door hard, and he let go. I immediately locked the door, which was good, because he immediately tried to open the door once I had shut it. We wasted no time and drove away, the whole event taking less than three minutes or so. To be honest, I was shocked that we had so easily gone in and retrieved the two women. Praise the Lord for making a way!

After we left, we decided to take the two women to our house for the night. We live about a fifteen minute drive out of town in another tribe, and so we knew that they would be safe with us. I called Martha to tell that we had gotten the women and were coming home for dinner. She was equally shocked that the whole event had transpired so quickly. When we got to our house, the women told us their story, and we prayed with them and ate dinner together—tacos! (I imagine it was the first time either of the women had ever sampled such food!)

Frank, my coworker, returned to the market area later that afternoon to assess the situation. We were slightly amused when he told us that the people were saying that I must be the chief practitioner of witchcraft, who had come to rescue my own, and that my coworkers were my minions. Such accusations reminded me of the fact that when Jesus was casting out demons and opposing the work of Satan, he was accused of doing so by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons. And Jesus' words in Matthew 10:25 rang true to me in a way they hadn't before: "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household."

The following morning we drove the women back into town and met with the Provincial Police Commander, wondering if we should return to the market area to try to clear the names of these two women from any wrongdoing. His second-in-command is in charge of incidents of killings on the basis of false accusations of witchcraft, and he met with us as well. He advised us not to return, but to invite representatives of the tribe who had accused the women to come to the police station to hear our explanation of why we had come to rescue the women. Although we sent word to the people to come, nobody did, probably because they were afraid of getting arrested.

One of the women went to another village in another part of the province where she would be safe. But the other woman has two young grandchildren whom she looks after. So she was determined to go back to the village and get her grandchildren and then go stay in another part of the province where she would be safe. We were fearful that something might happen to her when she went back, but we have not heard any reports that anything has happened to her, and we assume that she is safe.

As the two women spoke with the police, we were able to ascertain the details of why they had been accused. A young child had recently been rushed to the hospital and subsequently died. As the child was being rushed to the hospital, his mother's cell phone had inadvertently been dropped or left behind. The younger woman of the two accused, whom I will call Nancy, went along with the parents of the child to the hospital, and a boy gave her the phone to take care of. Well Nancy had recently been in a car accident, and so she is suffering from memory problems. A friend of hers later asked if she could borrow the phone and Nancy gave it to her. Her friend later returned the phone to the mother of the child who had died. When the mother received the phone back, she asked the woman who had returned it to her where she had gotten the phone. When she heard that she had gotten the phone from Nancy, she accused Nancy of stealing the child's heart and eating it, thereby causing the child to become sick and die. That's it! That is the supposed evidence for which Nancy has been accused of eating the child's heart, thereby causing the child to die. By the way, the mother who made this accusation claims to be a Christian.

Later some other members of the tribe began interrogating Nancy and threatening to kill her unless she confessed to eating the child's heart. So, under duress and fearful of being tortured and killed, she made a false confession of eating the child's heart. Then they began to ask her whom she had been with that day. She mentioned that she had bought a sausage from the other woman who was later accused, whom I will call Patty. And because a sausage is an edible item, they assume that Patty was involved with supposedly eating this child's heart. And so the two were both being accused and interrogated.

This mindset is almost impossible for westerners to understand; indeed, it is hard for me to understand as well. The translation team and I have completed a public service announcement that will be played in market areas throughout Enga and, hopefully, on the radio. The announcement teaches people that sickness and death is not caused by women stealing a person's heart and eating it, but rather by things like bacteria, viruses, diet, etc. We also teach the people that those who makes false accusations are being influenced by Satan and are telling lies, and so people should not believe such things. And in the announcement we urge Christians to stand up and oppose this terrible practice, teaching that Christians who support this practice are not true Christians. (If you would like to read an English translation of our public service announcement, please click here.)

The week after we rescued these two women, my coworker Nete told me that people were accusing a woman in his village of practicing witchcraft. Fortunately, she has not been interrogated or tortured, but Nete invited me to speak to the village about such things, and so I went and urged them to recognize that they have no real evidence, that the accused is innocent, and that such accusations are lies from the devil.

We need your prayers! These false accusations are sweeping across Enga, and many innocent women are being tortured and killed. Please pray for this practice to end, and pray that people will listen to the public service announcement that we have prepared. Your prayers have power, and when you pray, you are directly attacking the enemy, who is wreaking havoc among the people of Enga. Together, let's put and end to his work.

Please know that we are now back in Ukarumpa, our home away from Enga, until September, so we are not in any danger. Also please know that the Police Provincial Station Commander has spoken with the leaders of the tribe that was holding the two women captive and explained that I am a missionary who is translating the Bible into Enga, and that these rumors that I am somehow the kingpin of witchcraft are completely false.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

False Accusations of Witchcraft

When we arrived in Enga in late March, we heard a disturbing report that two women who live across the river from our house had been accused of practicing witchcraft and were then burned with hot iron rods. After asking around, we discovered that one of the women was killed, while the other was still alive.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time we had heard of such activity. For the past few years, reports of men accusing women of witchcraft and then burning them with hot iron rods has been on the rise. Such accusations usually arise when a person unexpectedly becomes sick or dies. Ignorant of the underlying medical causes, some Papua New Guineans seek out what is called a “glass man” (something like a witch doctor who claims to be able to use magic to discern who has caused the sickness or death). The “glass man” performs his “magic” and then accuses one or more people of taking the sick or dead person’s heart and eating it. In Enga, the accused are almost always women, and we have heard reports that the accused women are often divorced, which means that they have no husband to protect them.

While we have been praying about this problem for a while now, the fact that it happened in the neighboring tribe, just across the river from where we live, brought home the reality of just how terrible this practice is.

Jenny showing us the burn marks on her back

A few days after hearing these reports, I heard that Jenny (not her real name), the woman who is still alive, was in Wabag town. I was able to track her down and speak with her. As soon as I met her, I told her, “I know that you have done nothing wrong. My wife and I want to pray for you and help you, so please come to our house this afternoon.” She agreed, and later that day she came to our house. We prayed for her and then listened as she shared her story. With her permission, I took a video of her telling her story, which I am posting online for you to see. It is difficult to watch because of the terrible things that were done to her. But at the same time it is a powerful testimony of God rescuing her when all hope seemed to be lost.

Out of respect for the Jenny's privacy and safety, please do not repost the video online or share it. As you watch, please know that Jenny's young daughter is safe and sound. Also please be aware that she tells her story in typical Papua New Guinean fashion, which means that she repeats the story a couple of times, adding additional details each time. You can view the video at (https://vimeo.com/263589097). You will need a password to watch the video, so if you would like to watch the video, please send me an email to request the password. (Please note that I will not release the password to anyone living in Papua New Guinea because I want to protect Jenny's privacy.)

After praying with Jenny and listening to her story, we gave her some assistance and walked her back to her village. Although she did nothing wrong and there is absolutely no evidence that she has done anything wrong, most of the people in her tribe have decided that she is a witch or “poison woman.” As a result, they don’t want to have anything to do with her. Our hope was that, by walking her back to her village, the people in her tribe would know that we do not think that she is a witch. As we arrived in her village, I made a short speech in the market area. I told the people that Jenny was not a witch and that she had done nothing wrong. I then told the people that they needed to have compassion on her and help her since she was still too weak and injured to work her garden.

In light of what has happened to Jenny, I have decided to begin preaching in various churches in Enga to encourage the Christians to stand against this terrible practice of falsely accusing women of witchcraft and then burning and torturing them. Sadly, many Christians are afraid that these women truly are practicing witchcraft. They are also afraid that, if they stand up for these women, they too will be accused of witchcraft. It is eerily similar to the Salem Witch Trials that happened in America in the late 17th century.

Please pray for Jenny as she recovers from the terrible ordeal she has had to endure, and please pray for her ongoing safety as she is still living in her village, where many think that she is a witch. Please also pray for the Christians of Enga that they will know that such accusations are false and that they will firmly stand up in opposition to the torture of innocent women. Please also pray for us as we do all we can to raise awareness and encourage people to oppose this terrible practice. Thankfully, the government of Papua New Guinea is opposed to this practice and is taking action to curtail such killings and torture.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Inspired Exhibit

At the end of February I received an email from David Addington, a former boss of mine and dear friend who is also an ardent supporter of Bible translation. He informed me that he would be coming to Port Moresby in March as part of his work with an organization called Inspired Exhibit. With a stunning display of over 100 rare biblical manuscripts and collateral items, the exhibit chronicles the remarkable story of how the very words of God, written with His own finger on tablets at Mt. Sinai—were carefully copied, preserved, and through great toil and sacrifice have come to our generation, languages, and the tablets we now hold in our hands. He invited me to come to Port Moresby to be a part of the initial meetings to bring this exhibit to Papua New Guinea. So I flew down to Port Moresby to be a part of the meetings and met up with David and Dr. Scott Carroll, an expert in ancient documents who has been involved in putting together some of the largest collections of Biblical manuscripts in the world.

Dr. Scott Carroll (left) and David Addington (center) presenting to government officials at the National Parliament. (You don't see me because I am taking the picture.)
It is not uncommon for Papua New Guineans to assume that the Bible was originally written in English and that Christianity originated in English speaking cultures. Similarly, Papua New Guineans often have questions as to why they should trust the Bible. In fact, during a meeting at the Parliament building, the Clerk of Parliament shared that his own children had recently been questioning the reliability of the Bible. But the government officials were quite impressed when Dr. Carroll unrolled a three hundred year old Torah scroll written on calfskin and showed them the ten commandments written in Hebrew. And everyone was in agreement that when Papua New Guineans see even older manuscripts of the Bible and learn about how the biblical text has been transmitted through time, they will gain appreciation for the fact that the Bible is not an English book that originated in English speaking cultures, but that God is a God of all people regardless of a person's ethnic background or language. Similarly, they will see that the Bible has been faithfully preserved throughout history and is a trustworthy and reliable record of God's message for humanity.

Dr. Carroll pointing out the Ten Commandments written on a three hundred year old Torah scroll.
Not only will the Inspired Exhibit teach people about the history of the Bible and its transmission over time, it will also be an opportunity for Papua New Guineans to learn about Bible translation into their own languages today. The exhibit will include a station for people to listen to the Bible in their own languages and download Scripture text and audio in their own languages. Thus, Papua New Guineans from the more than eight hundred language groups in the country will be encouraged to become an ongoing to part of the preservation and transmission of Scripture.

Connecting with church leaders and government officials in Port Moresby.
The exhibit is tentatively scheduled for sometime between March and June 2019 in Port Moresby, Lae, and Mt. Hagen, the latter of which is just a two-hour drive from Enga. Please pray for all the many details to come together for this exhibit to take place, which will be a great boon not only to Bible translation efforts but to the Christian faith here in Papua New Guinea.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Gospel of John

A couple of weeks ago we finished our consultant check of the Gospel of John. This was the first book that we have checked since moving to a more literal translation approach. It was also the first check in which we were able to include a woman in the checking process. The results were very promising. Both of the people who came to check the work consistently understood the literal translation, including the underlying spiritual meanings. Lovey Reto, the woman who joined us, was particularly helpful in providing feedback into the translation. We hope that we may be able to involve her in checking books with groups of women in the village since the majority of church members in Enga are women. Please pray that Lovey would be available to help us and that we would get helpful feedback from groups of women to counterbalance the mostly male input that we get from the translation team.

Having a laugh while checking the Gospel of John
The Beatitudes
In September, I explained in detail our decision to shift to a more literal translation style by examining Matthew 5:3, which says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven." The Enga translation at that time was more of a dynamic translation and read, "God blesses the people who are poor in spirit and want him to help them. Those blessed ones will be in his kingdom." Not satisfied with the approach we had taken to this verse, we decided that we were going to attempt a more literal translation. This is what we have come up with: "God blesses the people who are like poor. Does poor here mean “humble”?—that’s how we translated our literal KK. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those blessed ones." This is a much more literal translation of the text, but it still sounds very good and poetic in Enga. You will notice that we had to make a couple of minor adjustments to conform to Enga ways of speaking, but, for the most part, it captures the literal meaning of the text in a way that sounds good in Enga. Please pray that God would continue to help us find the balance between translating literally and translating in a way that sounds good and makes sense in Enga.

Future Plans
Later this month we head back out to Enga for nine weeks to finish revising the last half of Matthew to bring it into alignment with our more literal approach to translation. We will also make minor adjustments to the Gospel of John that we discovered in the consultant checking process. Finally, we will review my advisor notes for the book of Acts. After we have reviewed those notes, I will back-translate Acts in preparation for a consultant check of that book. Translation work is moving along very well. The team, working in three groups of two, is nearly finished drafting Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians. After that, only the book of Ephesians will be left to draft, and then the New Testament drafting process will be complete. There is still much work to be done in checking and correcting these drafts, but finishing the New Testament drafting process is a milestone that we look forward to with much anticipation and excitement! Please pray that nothing would hinder our work. Thank you so much for your ongoing prayer and support which enables us to complete this work.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Engan Proverbs

The first time that I visited the Enga Cultural Center, I was fascinated as I read some of the traditional Engan proverbs on display. The short, pithy sayings communicate truths not only about traditional life in Enga, but also about life in general. Let me give you some examples. The proverb, “With words alone nothing is done,” communicates the reality that “talk is cheap,” and action is required to actually get anything accomplished. The proverb, “When an opossum is sitting in the tree, don’t say that you are going to eat it,” is similar to our saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” and communicates that it is not wise to make plans that are based on something that hasn’t actually happened yet. The proverb, “Pigs are bound with rope; men are bound with words,” reminds me of the saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” and communicates that words can be more powerful than brute strength when it comes to dealing with people. 
 
Some Engan proverbs on display at the Enga Cultural Center
While I am always interested to ponder these proverbs whenever I am in the cultural center, there are two proverbs that I am drawn to more than all the others. The first is, “The small tongue kindles a big fire.” What is fascinating about this proverb is its similarity to James 3:5, which says, “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” The second proverb is equally fascinating; it says, “What you do for someone else; that also he does to you.” This sounds like a paraphrase of the golden rule in Matthew 7:12, which states, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” It seems that even before missionaries ever arrived in Enga, God was already revealing His truth to the people. And just as Jesus came to bring fulfillment to the Law and the Prophets, my prayer is that the people of Enga will see that that traditional wisdom and sayings that God gave them in the past also find their fulfillment in Jesus and the good news that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

More Engan Proverbs
Since I have whet your appetite for traditional Engan proverbs, let me share a few more with you. Like many Enga proverbs, the saying, “When you see the sun, don’t put out the fire,” has a surface-level meaning as well as a hidden meaning. The surface-level meaning is this: just because the sun has risen in the morning doesn’t mean that you won’t still need a fire to cook with and to keep warm by at night. The hidden meaning is similar to our expression, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” and basically means, “When you see something that appears better than what you have, don’t underestimate what you have and leave it for what appears to be better.”

Another proverb states, “Once you have split a taro, you cannot put it back together.” Often when people share food like a taro, they do so by splitting it in half and handing a portion to someone else. But once you have split the taro apart, you obviously cannot put it back together. The hidden meaning of this proverb speaks to relationships and suggests that once a relationship is broken, it cannot be mended. Sharing food is indicative of good relationships, and so this proverb is particularly apropos.

Another proverb communicates a similar message; it states, “You can put an ax back, but you can’t put words back.” The idea is that a person can always return an ax to his belt, where he normally keeps it, but once he has spoken words, he cannot take the words and put them back in his mouth. This proverb reminds people of the importance of thinking before they speak.

The proverb, “Don’t try to knock down a hawk while looking at its shadow,” communicates the necessity of looking at the heart of a matter and not just the surface. The proverb, “An earthworm that crawls around is destined to die,” indicates that a person should not wander around aimlessly. And the proverb, “A sprouting bean seed will always climb a bean stick,” is a hidden way to say, “If you incite trouble, it will always stay with you.” 

An earthworm that crawls around is destined to die
God created the entire world as an expression of his personality, and as we study creation we learn about God’s character. As Romans 1:20 says, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world.” How thankful we are that God has prepared the Enga people in advance to receive the one who is the exact imprint of God’s very nature!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Lead Us Not Into Mistranslation

Recently Pope Francis suggested on Italian television that the English translation of the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation” (Mat 6:13; Luk 11:4) “is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation.” He went on to say that, “It is Satan who leads us into temptation; that is his department.” As a result, Pope Francis suggested changing the English translation of the Lord’s Prayer to “Do not let us fall into temptation.”

The problem with the Pope’s suggestion is that the Greek text of Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4 is quite clear, and the traditional rendering “lead us not into temptation” is a faithful and literal translation of the text. “Lead us not into temptation” is exactly what the Greek text says. It is a request to God on the part of the one praying that God not lead us into temptation. Interestingly, the Greek word translated as ‘temptation’ can also be translated as ‘test’ or ‘trial’.


Pope Francis’s comments highlight a common question that we Bible translators ask ourselves—do we translate what the text actually says, or do we translate what we think the text should say? The temptation is great to translate what we think the text should say rather than translating what the text actually says. But there is great danger in doing so, because we begin to insert our own ideas and interpretations into the text, obscuring what the text actually says and promoting our own particular brand of theology. Now, it is impossible to avoid all interpretation in the process of translation, but interpretation should generally be avoided if at all possible.

Incidentally, a couple of years ago before Pope Francis made his comments about the Lord’s Prayer, someone suggested to me that we should do the exact same thing in Enga. The Enga translation of the Lord’s Prayer says, “Do not bring us and go into the tempations to do bad.” That is a very literal translation that captures well the meaning of the Greek text. But someone suggested that we should change our translation to “Don’t abandon us, telling us to go into the temptations to do bad.” The person who made this suggestion, like Pope Francis, wished to defend God’s character as someone who does not tempt to sin. However, after considering the suggested translation, we decided to stick with our more literal translation.

The problem is that we often do not have the perspective that we need to see the bigger picture of the biblical narrative and the nuances of the text. Pope Francis is correct that God himself does not tempt us to sin, and that temptation is the devil’s department. However, the Lord’s Prayer does not suggest that God himself tempts us. Rather it suggests that God can lead us into temptation, just like the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The Spirit did not do the tempting, He just did the leading. God can lead us into a time of temptation, but He Himself doesn’t tempt us.

The point is that we should not seek out opportunities to be tempted. We should avoid temptation and actively ask God not to lead us into temptation. Yet we must also recognize that God, in His sovereignty, may at times choose to lead into temptation, just as the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted.

No, the Lord’s Prayer does not need to be corrected. And that is the lesson we Bible translators must learn: When the Scripture seems like it needs to be corrected, it is a good indicator that it is actually our understanding of God that needs to be corrected.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Newbreak Missions Team 2

In September, we were privileged to host a team of five from Newbreak Church. In November, we were privileged to host another team of five from the same church. It was a busy week of travel, open air preaching, and showing the Enga Jesus Film.

The Second Newbreak Missions Team
The Wild West
After the team got settled in, we took a trip to what is called The Wild West, which is the western part of Enga Province. Upon our arrival in the village of Mulitaka, we discovered that the back, right tire of my truck had a puncture from a piece of metal and was slowly deflating. Fortunately, there was a tire service in the village, so Pastor Duane from Newbreak Church and I went to get the tire repaired. In the two hours while we waited for the repairs, a crowd of about two hundred people gathered around us in a perfect semi-circle to meet us and listen to "the white man speaking in Enga." We had good interactions with the crowd and invited them all to watch the Enga Jesus Film that night at the local high school, just a short walk from the tire service. About 6:45 PM I got the film started and then asked Van Hooper from Newbreak Church to look after the equipment while I went to eat dinner in the house where we all were staying. Some time afterward, Van came running up to the house a little out of sorts, saying that there were men with machetes who were causing a disturbance. I went down to see what the problem was, and it turns out that so many people showed up to see the film that there was no longer space for anybody else in the room where we were showing it. The men with bush knives were demanding that we move the projector and screen outside so that everyone could see the film. I told them that we would show the film a second time once the first showing ended, and everyone was happy with that. It is a good problem when people are demanding that space be made so that they too can see the Jesus Film in Enga!

The venue where we showed the Jesus Film in Mulitaka
The next morning we traveled to the check point at a village called Maipya, which is the last village where the people speak Enga rather than Ipili (the next language bordering Enga). We set up a small speaker in the market area. As people gathered around, I introduced the team members from Newbreak Church who shared greetings and short testimonies. I then shared my own testimony and the gospel message in the Enga language and gave people an opportunity to repent from their sin and put their faith in Jesus. Afterwards people were invited to buy Audibibles and memory cards with the Enga recordings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the Abraham story from Genesis. We did the same in the villages of Tumandan and Mulitaka. By the end of the day we had preached the gospel to over 500 people and sold a handful of Audibibles and memory cards. It is difficult to gauge response to the gospel messages that were preached, but we trust that some seeds were planted in good soil and will bear fruit.
Preaching the gospel in the village of Maipya
Kompiam
After returning from The Wild West, we spent a day at our home in Immi village, where the team helped us with many home improvement projects, which was a great blessing. The next morning we headed out to Kompiam, which is quite literally the end of the road in the northeastern part of Enga Province. A local pastor in Kompiam had set up a grand stand in the main field outside of the government station, and we shared greetings, testimonies, and the gospel message just as we had in The Wild West. The people in Kompiam were particularly receptive, and one older man shared in tears about how much it meant to him that I was speaking in Enga and translating God's Word so that they could understand it in their own language. Afterwards many people bought Audibibles and memory cards containing the Enga Bible recordings. At night we showed the Enga Jesus Film in a local church, and despite a torrential downpour, sixty people showed up to see the film.

 
People gathering to buy Enga Audibibles in Kompiam
Thank You
We wish to express our appreciation to Dan Lamborn, Duane Flewelling, Van Hooper, Mike Kuypers, and Susana Leung for taking time out of their busy schedules to minister to us and the people of Enga. Along with your help and the help of the first team from Newbreak Church, we preached the gospel to over one thousand people and showed the Enga Jesus film to about six hundred people. We may not know the fruit of our labors until we get to heaven, but let's pray that God will move in the lives of those who heard the good news and bring them to repentance and faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.