Village Update October 2020

“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; Make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; Tell of all his wondrous works!” -Psalm 105:1-2

To our dear partners,

I love how His Word shows us what our worship should look like. I (Rebekah) am studying the Psalms with some ladies here in Ukarumpa and was reminded this week how important it is to recount, in detail, what He’s done for us! It’s so easy to let life whirl us along and forget to glorify Him for the many things He’s done and promised to do. Thanks for worshipping with me as you read this.

When Aaron left for Sivauna a couple weeks ago, we were confronted with the reality that he would be going in alone to teach, mentor, and handle logistics for a very intense translation training course. Our first plan had involved an experienced and gifted Papua New Guinean teacher, Steven Ttoqopogo, going and coteaching the entire course with Aaron, but this is indeed the land of the unexpected! Some unforeseen circumstances prevented Steven from being able to join Aaron when he departed October 7th. Through prayer and meditation on the Word, we both had peace about Aaron going to Sivauna alone and knew that we would see God move and work in His transcendent ways.

We communicate using radio at 6 AM some mornings. Fortunately the cell tower in his area just started working today, so I may not have to walk down to the radio room anymore.

His first week there, he called using the satellite phone and let me know that 13 participants were there to take the course! Four of them were women (a miraculous development!), and the students came from 5 different villages with a hunger and excitement to learn about Bible translation. The first week was filled with study skills and hammering in the Biblical Timeline to help them understand the bigger picture and remind them that the translation cannot stop at the New Testament! Aaron said this week that their hunger and brilliance is growing, even as the coursework gets much heavier and harder. Thank you so much for praying over this course! Your prayers are being answered. Through a labyrinth of logistical details that Regional Center Managers here in country helped me navigate, God has amazingly made a way for Steven to join Aaron today (Friday)! The final week of teaching will be a wonderful opportunity for Mamusi translation students to hear firsthand from a Papua New Guinean translator who’s seen the difference the Word truly makes in hearts and places. If you’ve given to the new Mamusi Bible Translation project fund, thank you! This is exactly the type of thing we want to keep facilitating for the Mamusi church. It’s humbling and so fulfilling to get to be your hands and feet here, even when our hearts get heavy and we’re longing for our families and churches. We are so blessed to be here. But don’t stop reading, there’s more!

We (you and we) have been talking and praying about the Jesus Film for a few years now, and it looks like we’re about to round one of the final bends in this particular journey. When Steven arrived in Sivauna today, he was accompanied by Stanley Gereo, a recording technician with the Islands Scripture Media Ministry. During the final week of the course, Aaron and Stanley will be able to set up his equipment and begin the long ordeal of dubbing the Jesus Film in Mamusi there in the village. When Aaron and Steven return to Ukarumpa, Stanley will stay behind and finish the dubbing with the course participants. Who but God would orchestrate this when there are key leaders at our village house who are passionate about the translation moving forward? These dear souls will be the voices that the Mamusi people hear when they watch the Jesus Film someday! When Aaron gets back and fills you in himself, I’m sure he’ll have his own photos to share.

Steven (translation instructor), Stanley (recording technician), and Lisbeth (Bible translator, also currently serving as a center manager due to lack of staff) preparing to leave! It took a lot of work to make this happen! Thanks for praying for more Center Managers in our country!

I must confess to you that part of me thought that the Lord would want to sweep this year under the rug like many of us are tempted to do. But His purposes and faithfulness and power that we’ve seen in years past surely proclaim the very opposite! 2020 is an ordained year for the Mamusi people. Thank you for actively choosing to be a part of our Wycliffe ministry by giving your prayers and resources, past, present, and future! There is still so much more to come on this journey. God is mighty and His plans are perfect. May you seek Him continually and find fulfillment and peace there.

“With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.” -Psalm 78:72

Sporting some new TN attire that came in a shipment full of gifts! Silas said that packages can help you remember that “somebodies love you.”

Boaz helped us lead worship at the river baptism of some special friends.

These sweet cheeks are your reward for reading diligently to the end. 🙂


  1. Donald Trew · · Reply

    Praise the Lotd. We have been prayy during the time for course.


  2. jerribalkon · · Reply

    Praying. I have Able picture on my mirtor and my Wade prayer card in my Bible. Wish I had money but just have prayers. Melody Joy Balkon is engaged to Simon Barrett Fell and getting married 1/30/2021 and Minuet Joy Balkon Wilson and her hubby DJ are having a baby 5/3/2021. So 2020 is giving us good things too.


  3. Chad Shepherd · · Reply

    We had missions Sunday today. Just a great reminder of the things we have no control of, but
    things we have a part of. Grateful to be a part of gospel work with you guys.
    Prayers for health and perseverance.


  4. Lisa Rosser · · Reply

    2020 is good for us, too. Met Pete Cheney on Jan 5th, will be married Dec 5th. He has told me so many stories about your family. We are keeping you all in our prayers, esp these next few weeks.


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