Why?

Why does a family of eight move to the other side of the world? It’s a reasonable question, and one we get a lot. Our answer is found in Revelation 7:9-12,

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

We believe God is worthy of glory, in every language. Yet millions of people around the world don’t have access to the Word of God in a language that speaks clearly to them.

Where?

We have the privilege of living and serving in Papua New Guinea. This beautiful island nation is located just north of Australia, and is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world. It’s also home to over 800 distinct languages, each representing a culture and people group. Over 300 of these language groups are still waiting for a Bible translation project to begin in their language. We live in the Eastern Highlands Province, in a community called, Ukarumpa.

Who?

We are the “Smiths On A Mission.”

  • David: The IT guy that started it all! Loves photography, Python (the programming language), Linux, research and learning.
  • Melissa: Wife to David, mom of 6. Rooted in Christ's overwhelming love. Lover of coffee, mountains, and good books.
  • Makaylah: 15, the oldest of the Smith crew, book lover, movie critic, and drama lover.
  • Sophia: 13, musician (violin, trombone, and drums, so far!), artist, a creative, fun-loving soul.
  • Isaiah: 10, the oldest Smith boy, explorer of nature, with a mind that is always asking, “Why?” and “How?”
  • Nehemiah: 8, energetic, exuberant, always ready for an adventure with his brother or friends.
  • Talia: 5, our social, creative, talkative, Melissa mini-me!
  • Elora: 2, the baby of the crew, convinced that we all adore her (because we do!), a problem solver who won’t let anything stand in her way.

Our story starts all the way back in college for David, in an Introduction to Missions Class. There, God laid Bible translation and Papua New Guinea on his heart. David met Melissa the following year, and we married. For more than a decade, our family was led in many “mis-directions” (although we know with God and hindsight that He was leading us, teaching us, and equipping us!). We joined Wycliffe Bible Translator in 2012, and left for our first term in Papua New Guinea in 2014. It’s our joy to support Bible translation through Information Technology.