And we were off! Our team began the journey to Arop at the beginning of this month in order to begin a 1 Timothy translation workshop, linguistics/language study, TEE (Theological Training by Extension) and Audio recording activities.(Above) Our final stop in the Kodiak plane after refueling in Wewak (and picking up our teammates Luke and Laura) was Lumi, where a New Testament was done by the Staleys a few years back….
After only three days of being in Papua New Guinea, our intern Luke had a chance to see a lot of the countryside as we flew from the highlands to the Sepik! As you can see from this picture, he had already began learning Tok Pisin, the trade language here.
What fun to have pilot Steve flying us to the Sepik again! We have a deep respect and admiration for this guy and his amazing wife. When Jacob and Jenny Beth were born, one of Jacob’s middle names was after Steve. (the other one was for Ben’s beloved Greek professor, Scott.)
Our pilot Johannes once again expertly flew us into Arop village. In the picture above, he gave our team safety instructions before the first shuttle.
Since the shuttles required a lot of shifting of body and cargo weights, we ended up leaving a few of our teammates and a lot of cargo behind in Lumi while we went on the first helicopter shuttle. I felt badly leaving Luke behind on his first few days in PNG and was relieved when he and the team made it safely to the village a few hours later!
Ellie, Jenny Beth and Jacob sat with their Auntie Jess
…while Noah sat up front with the pilot
…an unusual opportunity to sit next to my favorite guy
…and the helicopter lands in Arop for the third time!
Since it took several hours and several attempts to complete this blog post (our internet was going in and out!) I had a chance to reflect on all of the people God placed here in Papua New Guinea to get us to the 1 Timothy workshop.
Noah and Ellie’s teachers prepared school materials and met with me to go over the work my kids would complete in the next four weeks. Also, there were the hostel parents who welcomed Josiah for his third hostel stay. They are currently looking after Josiah while we are gone.
There were friends on the ground giving me practical help with looking after the twins and making meals for me while I was busy trying to dehydrate and pack up our cargo.
Additionally, we had the Wewak managers who bought our bulk food and packed it for us so that we had less cargo to bring from Ukarumpa. The store managers in Ukarumpa ensured that we had the items there we needed to pack for our four week stay.
Then there was the host of aviation personnel, from the computer support guys to the mechanics and engineers who worked on the plane and helicopter used to transport our team. Then there was the helicopter coordinator Noel, who spent literally hours making certain that the weights could even out so we could get all of us and our cargo to the village. I felt a little sorry for him when I realized what a hassle he went through to complete that task!
Oh, and there were the pilots Steve and Johannes, who I already mentioned in this post. Thank you, God, for the people supporting translation teams like us! Without them, translating 1 Timothy in the Aitape West Translation Project would be impossible.