“I want to be a flying fox with God’s Talk” That is what David’s translation helper, Raymond, told us as he was pondering all the ministry needs in different places from deep in the bush to out in the towns. The flying fox, also known as a fruit bat, is a large bat with a wingspan of more than 4 feet and is known for traveling long distances on a daily basis to do its work of searching for ripe fruit. Another way to rephrase it would be, “I want to be someone who serves God by taking His Word to wherever the needs may be, even if it means traveling great distances.”
That comment came at the end of 2 months of in-depth translation work. You can’t spend that much time totally immersed in God’s Word without it having an impact on your life. David and Raymond were working through the latest New Testament books that have been drafted into the Simbari language. This stage of the translation process is to make sure the exegetical draft has the correct discourse features of the language so that it sounds natural to a mother-tongue speaker. It is mentally exhausting work but every step of the process is required if you want to end up with a good translation. Here are the books we are currently working on: Matthew, Luke, John, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, 2 Timothy, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude, and Revelation. The next step is a series of content and comprehension checking of each book. Once those steps are complete then we will be able to start scheduling final consultant checks for each of the books. Our Simbari co-worker, Raymond, was a tremendous help in this process and now that it is time to begin the next stage it was time to say goodbye to him. He is back home with his family now and we will miss the sweet fellowship we’ve enjoyed with him these last 2 months.
In our last letter we shared about our need for a vehicle. We are happy to say that we now have one! We purchased a 1996 Toyota 4Runner 4WD turbo diesel from a Japanese exporter. It arrived in PNG a few weeks ago and David and Raymond went down to pick it up from the port city of Lae and drive it up to the Highlands. That is a 6-hour drive on a road with thousands of huge potholes and many rough 4WD sections that are not paved at all. The vehicle handled it all very well and it runs and feels almost like new. Special thanks to all our donors and all who prayed for this need. It has already proven to be a huge blessing.
We are happy to announce that our son, Simon, is engaged to Chandler Noe and they are planning a spring wedding. They met while working up at Hume Lake Christian Camp and her family is also from our home area in California. We are so happy for both of them and that our family continues to grow. So, Lord willing, we will be in California for a couple weeks this coming March!