Well - we love God and are loved by Him! We want others to have access to the Bible in their own language so they can learn about God too and decide what they think for themselves.
Do we have to go to Papua New Guinea to do this?
Obviously you don't have to go to PNG to serve God, but we believe that He wants us to use our skills to advance His work there. Over 800 languages are spoken in PNG and there are still 300 or so needing translation projects. The country is covered by huge areas of jungle, mountains and swamps, so Duncan's skills will come in very useful and Trudie can continue to teach at the High School on the centre. There are missionary families from all around the world at Ukarumpa so the High School will be a very exciting and challenging place to teach.
Why are we in the U.S.A?
We are currently based in Waxhaw, North Carolina, receiving orientation and training from JAARS. No, it doesn't stand for anything; it used to stand for 'Jungle Aviation and Radio Services', but now they do so much more that the acronym would be impossibly long, so it's just JAARS. Basically they provide practical services to support the work of Bible translation around the world, including aviation, land transportation, maritime services, whizzy IT stuff and much more.
We started off with a month long course called the 'Inter-Cultural Communications Course' which was challenging, mind-bending and excellent. All the aviation training for Wycliffe is done here and Duncan is currently doing his helicopter orientation. Trudie is taking part in aviation wives' orientation, learning to be a JAARS centre tour guide and doing a Children's Education Online orientation course to help her prepare for teaching in a new environment. We are also soaking in as much knowledge as we can from the wealth of experienced and lovely people we are meeting here.
Our apartment is the one with the sun shining on the door!
So are we having fun?
Absolutely! As we said, the people are lovely and the training is really useful. An added bonus is that we are getting to do some travelling around, as well as catching up with friends old and new. So far we have visited South Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania, passing through Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland on the way. We are also headed to Texas and California before we head home at the end of November!
When do we leave leave?
We leave for PNG in mid January 2013. It is feeling very close now and we are excited, daunted and all the rest! When we arrive we will have fourteen weeks of Pacific Orientation, including language learning and a village living phase, after which we will, God willing, make it to our new home at Ukarumpa in the Highlands.
If you are interested in finding out more about JAARS and/or Wycliffe Bible Translators, then follow the links below:
Wycliffe Bible Translators Website