We are so excited to share that it is time for the Wade family to move to the village of Sivauna to live among the Mamusi people! Sivauna is one of about 20 villages belonging to the Mamusi language group, which includes around 6000 people.
Aaron returned from his journey on Saturday, having spent a week in Sivauna. While he was there he was able to check out the house the community has designated for our (temporary) use, which is a currently vacant medical staff house near the town’s haus sik (clinic). It is a two bedroom place with a water tank and indoor plumbing – two conveniences we weren’t expecting! There is a small solar power system that drives a couple of indoor/outdoor lights, and we’ll bring our own solar gear to power our computer and radio equipment. The road from the airstrip goes right up to the front door, and we’ll be within easy walking distance of anywhere in the village (population about 350).
A huge priority in the first few years of any language project is building community support for the project. If the language community is not firmly behind language development, and Bible translation in particular, it has very little chance of being accepted and used when it gets finished. Last Sunday while Aaron was in Sivauna, there was a community meeting after church in which community leaders explained what we were coming to do and why (not for the first time, but for reinforcement’s sake), encouraged everyone to help us in any way they can, and raised the idea of nominating three men to come attend workshops with us in Kokopo over the next few years as part of the Bible translation team. Throughout the week people often stopped by to give Aaron food from their gardens, offer help with his initial language research, or just introduce themselves and chat. By the end of the trip there was even serious talk about building a house on church property to be used as our home as well as a translation team office! Needless to say, we and our leaders are extremely encouraged at the apparent level of community support!
So now we are in the throes of planning our first stay in the village, which will be about 6 weeks – mid-March to beginning of May. There are meal and lesson plans to finish and lots of food to dehydrate. The plane we will be traveling on has 400 available kilograms (<900 lbs) of cargo capacity, which is not much, considering we have to bring our own furniture, equipment, kitchen supplies, and some food. We can send things sea freight if we need to (the passenger ship Aaron rode on last week carries cargo as well and makes weekly runs to our area), but we are trying to minimize our cargo to the bare essentials.
When planning the amount of time we will spend in the village, we have to work around the scheduled Bible Translation workshops in Kokopo (for 7 different languages including Mamusi), rainy season, Aaron’s online classes, and not yet having a permanent village house to stay in. And obviously, moving our family of seven around is no small task. As of right now we are planning on residing in Kokopo for the Mamusi rainy season, which should happen when we will already be here for two workshops, each lasting a month with 12 weeks between. The rainy season ends at different times each year, but in October or November we hope to return to the village and remain until Christmas. We are trusting the Lord’s timing in all of that and praying that he will maximize our opportunities and impact during our time in either place with the Mamusi. He continues to show us that His plan often looks very different than our expectations. Here are some photos from our brief and wonderful time in Kokopo.
We’re so grateful for those of you walking this journey with us. We have sweet times of prayer together almost every morning at breakfast when we pray for the partners supporting us and for the other missionaries we support. We feel connected with so many of you through Facebook and other communications, and we’re thankful for access to the technology that makes it possible.
We have learned that changes to our cost of living and transportation means our monthly ministry budget is going to need to increase. Our updated budget is about $350/month above our current pledges. If you’ve considered increasing your gift, or committing to give regularly for the first time, we ask you to prayerfully consider your part in Team Wade. Please let us know if you’ve got questions about this or would like to know how to partner with us.
All our love,
Aaron and Rebekah Wade
Evie, Abel, Judah, Zeke, and Silas