Sunday, February 1, 2015

Repay Evil With Blessing

1 Peter 3:9 teaches us that we should not repay evil with evil, but rather we should repay evil with blessing. Recently, God gave us a chance to do just that with our neighbors in Ku’ina.

In September we shared a story about shaking hands with a man who we knew had robbed our house. We had encountered this man in Ku’ina village, which is adjacent to our backyard but separated by a fence. Although in our hearts we had forgiven this young man for his crime against us, we still had difficulties forming relationships in Ku’ina. Over the past few months, some tensions in the local villages made it difficult for us to visit Ku’ina. But they were resolved in early January and we were able to visit again. A couple of weeks ago Martha and I brought the kids along with some other missionaries to Ku’ina to attend their church service. The people were interested to see us but not overly welcoming. At the end of the service the pastor invited me to pray. At the conclusion of my prayer, I shared about the translation work that we do and also invited the local community to come to an area near the fence to receive some gifts.

We had recently cleaned out our house and had a lot of garage sale items. But instead of selling them for just a small amount of money, we decided to give them to the people in Ku’ina village. I prefaced the event by telling the people that some among their community had stolen from us and that if I followed traditional Papua New Guinea customs I should pay them back for what they had done. I went on to explain that God’s way is not to repay evil with evil but to repay evil with blessing. I also told them that I had forgiven the wrongs that had been done to us. Although a bit taken aback by my speech, the people received the gifts gladly and we received a much warmer welcome in Ku’ina than we ever had before.

Bella sitting with an elderly woman in Ku'ina who gave her a bilum (net bag) to show appreciation for our efforts to reach out to her village.
Teach in PNG
The Ukarumpa International School that Jacob, Bella, and Asher attend is currently experiencing a teacher shortage. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Jacob’s teacher had to leave over the recent school break, and so Jacob’s fourth grade class is being taught by committee since there is no full-time teacher available. If you would like to serve as a teacher in Papua New Guinea, please let us know, and we can connect you with the right people. We can’t do our work of translating the Bible without others serving alongside of us in important roles such as teaching. The need is greatest for grades 3–6, but teachers and administrators for positions at all levels are welcome.
Come to PNG and teach missionary kids like these!
Enga Imperatives
I (Adam) recently had a paper entitled ‘Enga Imperatives’ published through an online journal called Language & Linguistics in Melanesia. Enga’s use of imperative (i.e. command) forms is quite rich. In fact, imperative forms are such an integral part of the Enga language that it is hard to make sense of even basic Enga without an understanding of how they work. While my primary focus is on translation work, I was amazed to discover just how much the process of writing a paper helped me to understand how the Enga language works. Of course, this deeper understanding of the language helps me to do a better job as a translator, and so it is well worth the effort. If you would like to look at the article, you can access it online at (Although I do not recommend doing so unless you really like linguistics!)

Translation Progress
This month Adam finished back-translating the book of Matthew from Enga into English so that it can be checked by a consultant and approved for publication. In the meantime the Enga translation team continues their work on drafting the book of Luke. They are now more than halfway done. We hope to record the book of Matthew before our furlough begins in July.

Furlough Plans
We will fly back to America on July 7 and stay until June 2016. If you would like us to come to your church or home to share about our ministry, please let us know so that we can be sure to schedule a visit. We look forward to seeing you all again in a few months!