Sunday, August 19, 2012

Narnia vs. Antarctica: Pictures from Ukarumpa

By The Missionary Sister

Under the White Witch, Narnia was always winter and never Christmas. Well, compared to Minnesota where Catherine and I grew up, Papua New Guinea is always summer and never winter!

Here is Catherine's first visit to Antarctica... oh wait, never mind, this was just taken outside our house.

Catherine even told me in her visit to Australia, she entered an air-conditioned car for the first time since moving to PNG, and she simply could not believe how unreasonably cold it was!

I'm always amazed by the summer-y beauty of PNG, so here are pictures from Ukarumpa, where Catherine has been living for the past several months as she works on various smaller assignments. (Click here to see where that approximately is. Poor Google Maps had a little meltdown when I tried to make it find Ukarumpa, so to keep it happy, I had to put it Kainantu instead, which is about 11 kilometers or 6.8 miles away)

The beauty of the area is truly magical. Maybe it's not so far from Narnia after all...

(As always, click on the pictures to see them a little larger.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Life Lessons from a Piano Bench: Pictures from POC January 2012

By The Missionary Sister

When we were little, Catherine taught me a lot of things. How to obey orders. How to make up endless, pointless fairy tales that go on for days. What "This part is mine" and "This part is yours" truly means in regards to sharing a piano bench.

We had piano-bench sharing down to such a science, you have no idea.

However, I don't think she ever thought that, among other responsibilities, she'd use those skills teaching a group of children of new Wycliffe members during the Pacific Orientation Training Course in January 2012. Because she had no current village assignment, Wycliffe asked Catherine to be part of the staff during the next POC after Catherine's, and she accepted.

(Actually, you might remember some of her stories from her posts Of Star Wars, Toads, and Hospital Tag and Reflections of a Human Buoy.) 

 While those posts did have a lot of great pictures, as always, there were many more that never made it in. So here are a lot more photos from POC January 2012, though if you want to see even more, just head over to Facebook!

As always, click on the pictures. Something magical will happen.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Story about a Wee Little Man... and the Church

“Look! Look! Can you see him? I think he’s coming!”

I jumped up and down, straining to see. “Look at the size of that crowd... wow, just look at all those people. I can’t see anything!” I shielded my eyes from the sun and craned my neck, stretching as high as I could on my tiptoes. “Oh no! I’m just too short! I’ll never get to see Jesus!!”

Suddenly, I froze, then slowly turned around. “Do you see that tree!?” I pointed excitedly at the chair on the far side of the room and tried to keep my makeshift turban from slipping over my eyes. “I bet if I climbed that tree, I could see Jesus!”

To the amazement of the workshop participants, I scampered over to the chair and proceeded to “climb” up the tree, until I was balancing on top of the wooden seat. “Aiyah! Jisas em i stap aninit long diwai bilong mi nau!” (Oh my! Jesus is underneath my tree now! ). This was a re-enactment of the story of Zaccheus like they had never experienced before!

We were halfway through the Church Engagement Training Course, and I, along with another intrepid staff member, were demonstrating to the participants a variety of ways they could make Bible stories come alive in their children’s ministries—including one-person dramas, puppets, songs, and classroom skits.

Thirteen participants representing six different denominations from around the outer islands, from pastors and priests to theological school lecturers to translators, attended the week-long course held this past June at the Kokopo regional centre on the island of East New Britain.

In this course, the participants were learning skills such that they could better educate their communities, congregations, and schools about how they can use their own languages (tok ples) in church and with the Scriptures. Through the format of the workshop, they were able to practice giving lectures and holding discussions, spanning topics from Scripture memorization to music in ministry to the process of creating an alphabet! The course then finished with the participants giving Bible translation awareness presentations in five different local churches of four different denominations.

Upon conclusion of my week-long holiday in Cairns, Australia, I flew directly to Rabaul (with an interlude in Port Moresby that you read about earlier!), to serve on staff at this course as kitchen manager and person-of-all-work :) (more about those stories later!). It was an incredible honour to spend two weeks in Rabaul with these godly men and listen to their burning excitement to encourage the people around them to become personally engaged with the Word of God. In addition, I was blessed to watch them rejoice in the opportunity to cross denominational lines (often very rigid boundaries in PNG) and work towards unity through the opportunities to dialogue late into the night.

Church engagement is a critical component of Bible translation. Without churches understanding the value of using a Bible in the language of their heart—their mother tongue, the work of Bible translation is relegated to back shelves and mouldy boxes... and those who desire to clearly see their Saviour find themselves like Zaccheus, coming up short and gazing from a distance through the branches of a tree.

Bible translation is more than vowels and verbs; it’s about engaging people with the Word of God, allowing it to change their lives and bring them into relationship with Christ.

And sometimes, that includes includes hopping on and off a wooden chair, speed-changing hats (from turban to classic-Jewish-head-shawl thingy), and attempting to deepen my voice (a hilarious joke, I might add) to differentiate characters as I switched between a wee little man and the Son of God who “has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”