Charles Kowak is a Papua New Guinean Translator on Manus Island, one of the most remote areas of Papua New Guinea. Charles worked with Wycliffe translators Bill and Lenore Martin to complete the Nyindrou New Testament in 2002, but Charles knows that having God’s Word on pages of paper is not enough. The Word must be in the heart in order for it bear the fruit that God intends.
Carle & Victoria Gustavison worked in Papua New Guinea for 13 years in vernacular media. This is Carle’s account of Charles:
“I am in awe of the extraordinary things that Charles does to see that his people have God’s Word in their hearts. Victoria and I have gotten to know Charles quite well as Victoria has worked with him on numerous Scripture use projects and I have helped him with some of his computer and audio visual needs. But those are small contributions indeed compared to the eight hour journeys over turbulent seas in a small row boat that Charles has made in order to bring God’s Word to the Nyindrou people on isolated Pacific islands. Or the twenty-four hour journey on a crowded cargo ship standing the entire way, while catching a few minutes of sleep leaning against a fellow traveler, in order to attend a Scripture use workshop that Victoria was putting on at Ukarumpa some 400 miles away.”
Could you imagine making an eight hour commute in turbulent seas in a small homemade row boat? I couldn’t. Would you consider God’s Word important enough to risk your life?
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
(Romans 10:14-17 ESV emphasis added)
So how will they hear? Here is Romans 10:14-17 in the Nyindrou language:
14 Ya, buku none iri batehei budon tiri handru ba-en tan bwe, na saba san handru kameh iri aloh nyaran i san ta salom ma ndremenya iy ta seben? Ya, i buku none iri banuhun sahou ta nyalan bwena bwe, na saba san handru kameh iri atehei budon tiri handru in tan? Ya, i buku none iri lau batiye sahou mwasin bala tiri bwe, na saba san kameh iri anuhun? 15 Ya, i buku none ndramak basuni oro lau rayah bala len bwe, na saba san kameh oro lau nane atiye sahou doh? I buku ndratorowenei udu bolo buk ndrabun,
“Lau sekesek handru ta anyolom ma anuhun ndramak atiye sahou mwasin.”
- Pray for the Nyindrou people that the Old Testament would soon be finished.
- Praise God for his loving kindess to Charles.
- Pray that God keeps Charles safe.