Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Saut Hike

PNG is a great place to be a man. There are all sorts of opportunities to go out and earn man points by doing manly things. (It’s sometimes a little tough to be a woman here, but that’s another subject I won’t go into right now.) This post is celebrating adventure.

This morning Brian left on a little adventure with three other guys – Ryan, Caleb and Mike. They will be driving down to Lae this morning in our truck, and after leaving the truck at SIL’s Lae guesthouse, they will catch a PMV (Public Motor Vehicle) and, if the road is in good enough condition, they will make it all the way to the village of Kesengen, the southernmost of the three villages in the Saut Manda language group. If the road is in poor condition…well, they will have a bit longer of a hike! They will spend 8 days hiking to and staying in the three Saut Manda villages, and will return to Ukarumpa on the 18th. They will hopefully be accompanied by two national men who are translators in a neighboring language group.

Ryan and his wife Crystal recently began a translation program in Saut Manda. They have had a lot of challenges (and spiritual opposition) so far. On their last trip to the village they had to be evacuated because a man was making threats against them. This man thought that they weren’t being honest about their reasons for being in the village, and was caught up in cargo cult thinking. (For an explanation of cargo cults, see ).

Ryan and Crystal would like to return to the village in January, but Ryan wants to make sure that everything is safe before he brings his wife and daughter out there again. So the main purpose of this trip is to talk with village leaders and clear up any misunderstandings that may have occurred because of their sudden departure and to make sure that the situation is safe for the whole family to return. Also, the hope is that the two translators from the Finongan langauge will be able to do some PR for them, talking about the work of Bible translation and encouraging the community to support it. Sometimes the information is better understood/accepted if it comes from another Papua New Guinean, instead of from a white skin. Brian and the other guys are coming along for moral support, and also so that Ryan won’t be alone, just in case something should happen.

We’d like to ask you to please be praying for the following things this week:

  • Wisdom for Ryan as he speaks with the people – that he would have the right words to say and that he would be able to discern how the Lord is leading in their translation program.
  • Safety for Ryan, Brian, Caleb and Mike as they travel on the highways and through the bush. That they would be protected from accidents, sickness, injuries and anyone who would have intent to harm them.
  • For the wives (myself, Crystal and Adrienne) who are staying behind in Ukarumpa, each with a small child to care for. That we would be able to cope with being home alone, and that we wouldn’t be afraid or worry with our husbands gone.
  • For good fellowship and relationship-building with the people of Saut Manda. That they would catch the vision for having God’s Word in their own language.

Thanks! I will keep you updated as I hear more. And hopefully Brian will take some photos. I sent the camera with him for this purpose, but I’m usually the one in the family that takes the pictures, so no promises!

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