High on a lush mountaintop in Papua New Guinea (PNG) stands the village of Kora. People live in simple houses made of roughly cut wood and a thatched roof. They raise crops of yams, bananas, and sweet potatoes.
Most of the older people can’t read, and they speak only the local language, which we call wontok [one talk]. Teaching them the Bible was a challenge. But your mission offerings have made it easier. Many adults come to the children’s Sabbath School to hear Bible stories. We now have flip charts, modern Picture Rolls, to illustrate the week’s lessons. These picture rolls were given to us because people around the world gave a special Thirteenth Sabbath Offering a few years ago. The flip charts help focus the attention of children and adults while they hear the stories.
Recently we received MP3 players, audio devices that contain the entire Bible plus children’s lessons on them. Because the Bible and the stories are in pidgin, I listen and then translate the story or Bible text into the wontok. For those who understand pidgin I turn up the volume so they can her the story in pidgin, and then I translate it so everyone can understand it.
I teach the kindergarten Sabbath School, and the lessons are on the MP3 player. So if I can’t get a Sabbath School lesson quarterly, I can still hear the story and tell the children. To the children, it’s like listening to the radio, only they’re hearing God’s Word.
Another important mission project has vastly improved the lives of the people living in Kora and in similar villages across the rugged Papua New Guinea terrain. Several years ago the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped purchase a mission plane for PNG. The plane brings us our Sabbath School supplies, drops off missionaries or other church officials, and sometimes carries seriously ill or injured villagers to the hospital just 30 minutes away. Without the mission plane, it would take days of difficult and dangerous hiking to cross several mountain ridges to the nearest town.
Recently another Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped raise funds to open medical clinics in several isolated areas. The offering will help thousands more hear God’s Word on MP3 players and will help buy Bibles for children to share with their families across the South Pacific.
The people of Kora and across the South Pacific thank church members in places they’ve never heard of for helping in so many ways to teach them about Christ.
Nelson Urina is Pathfinder leader and Sabbath School teacher in Kora, Papua New Guinea.