Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Baibai of Papua New Guinea

Even though we will not be assigned to work with a specific people group until after our arrival in Papua New Guinea, we thought you might enjoy learning about one of the many groups that still need a translation of the Bible.

Deep in the sago swamps of the Sandaun Province in northwest Papua New Guinea, the Baibai people live in three small villages. They are isolated from the outside world and must hike for two days, over mountains, across log bridges, and through swampland to get to the nearest government station.

Although they now use metal dishes and axes in place of clay and stone, the Baibai continue to make their homes from bush materials, carve some traditional drums and flutes, weave baskets from palm fronds, and make string bags from tree bark.

Fear of sorcery permeates the lives of the Baibai people. Though they claim to have discontinued the practice themselves, deaths are attributed to magic, and shooting stars are thought to be evil spirits coming to earth. Crocodiles are thought to be the instrument of death, or in some cases, the embodiment of the sorcerer himself.

During a visit from language surveyors a local pastor asked, “Is the resurrection for everyone or just for white skins?” Church services where the Scriptures are read in the national language of Tok Pisin do little to reach the women and children who speak only a few words of this trade language. But the hunger for God’s Word is evident. In each village, churches made from simple bush materials are packed with people who repeatedly told the survey team, “We need God’s Word in our language so that we can understand it.”

We’ve Hit The Ground Running
One week after becoming official Wycliffe employees, we spoke nine times in eight days as part of Covina Assembly of God’s Missions Convention. We culminated the week with an emotional retelling of our journey toward Bible translation, which you can watch at www.vimeo.com/17017498. The initial response has been tremendous, and we are grateful for the outpouring of support.

We Want To Share With You

The single most important thing we must do in order to develop our partnership team is make connections with people. We can’t do that without your help. Please consider inviting us to share at your church, small group, Sunday school class, or at your home with friends who might be interested in supporting the work of Bible translation. Or if you live outside of California, request a copy of our DVD and play it in one of the settings mentioned above and invite your group to consider how they can support our work.

Send Us Your Email
If you haven’t been receiving our monthly prayer update, it is probably because we don’t have your email address. Please send an email to adam_boyd@wycliffe.org so that we can add you to our email list.

2010 Boyd Family Video
Our princess is now four years old.
Each year we put together a video of all the fun and memorable moments from the past year. Highlights from this year’s video include our trip cross-country to North Dakota, Asher’s first steps, and pictures from Bella’s Princess Party on December 18 celebrating her fourth birthday. Watch online at www.vimeo.com/18277455.

One-Time or Monthly?
Some of you have asked whether it is better to give a one-time donation or a monthly gift. Any gifts are greatly appreciated, but we are required to have monthly financial commitments equal to our needed budget before we can go to the field. So a commitment to give monthly will help us get to the field by our January 2012 goal.

What’s next?

In June we return to North Dakota for ten weeks to complete our pre-field linguistics training.