Monthly Archives: March 2013

Charles Kowak, Elizabeth and Granddaughter

Charles Kowak

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.”

 

Nyindrou Homeland

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?

Here is a little more about the Nyindrou people. Paul in Romans 10:14-17 asks several questions:

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.

 

12 Crucial Weeks and How You Can Help

If you receive our newsletter or keep up with us on our Facebook page, you may have noticed that over the last few weeks, we have been feeling an increased sense of urgency. We’ve been planning and praying to leave the country in January of 2014. We knew we needed to be at 100% of our monthly ministry budget a little before that in order to plan and to order plane tickets. We had some other goals in place, but January did feel a little far away.

Then we found out a few weeks ago that we need to have 50% of our budget pledged in order to start the process for our Visas. That process needs to be started in June. Since we are still at less than 10%, 50% by June was eye-opening and urgency inducing.

The following week we found out that one of our mandatory trainings, which we thought was in September actually starts the middle of July. This training focuses on cross-cultural living, lasts for a month, and takes place in North Carolina. And we have to be at 50% of our support by May 28th to complete our registration process and attend. If we don’t attend the course in July, we can’t attend again until January, which pushes us back to August 2014 before we can leave for Papua New Guinea.

Today is March 1st, which means we have just over 12 weeks to get from less than 10% financial partnership to 50%. I’ll be honest, that feels like a really, really big mountain! We are confident that God has called us to serve with Wycliffe and speed Bible translation in Papua New Guinea. We long to see Him glorified in all the languages of the earth, and we are heartbroken to think of people dying every single day without the chance to hear His word in the language they understand best. We also trust that He is sovereign, powerful, and that His ways and timing are perfect. So we are diligently working and actively trying to rest in Him at the same time.

If we are going to be at 50% of our budget by May 28th, we have three major needs, and three ways that you can help us:

1. Prayer

We mention this one a lot, and there’s a reason we do! Prayer is crucial to this or any ministry. We need your prayers, desperately! For provision, open doors, and protection from discouragement.

Prayer is not preparation for the work of God, prayer is the work of God. – E.M. Bounds.

2. Financial partners

We can’t go to Papua New Guinea on our own. We need individuals, families, and churches who are passionate about God’s glory and people having access to His Word who will send us out. God describes His church as a body, and whether He calls us to go or to stay and send, we can all be a part of His plan to reach the nations.

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. 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… Romans 10:13-15a

3. Advocates

Another huge need we have right now is for advocates. An advocate is someone who is excited about Bible translation, and wants to help us get the word out! An advocate might:

  • Host a home meeting with some of their friends
  • Invite us to speak with their Sunday School class, small group, women’s or men’s Bible study
  • Introduce us to their missions committee or pastor
  • Share our newsletter, Invitation to Partnership brochure, facebook page, or blog

These are just a few of the ways an advocate might help spread the word about the need for Bible translation and help us find new financial and prayer partners. Whether you live in Mississippi, Alabama, or somewhere else, we would love to talk to you about advocacy!

The next 12 weeks are crucial in determining when we will go to Papua New Guinea. We are so grateful to those of you are praying diligently with us! If you’ve been considering financial partnership, but weren’t sure when you should commit, pledging now will be a huge blessing and help ensure we are able to meet the necessary deadlines to go in January. If you would like to find out more about being an advocate or know of somewhere we can share, please contact us!