Friday, March 3, 2017

March 2017 Newsletter

   Many have asked about what individual family members are doing here, so this newsletter gives an update and prayer requests for each of us.

Display images to see this.    Steve’s been teaching a course at the Training Center here in Ukarumpa, where he’s training national translators to use the translation software called Paratext. We’re also excited to report that he’s in the process of starting to help the Titan (pronounced “tee-tawn”) language/people group of Manus Island (a PNG island) with their Bible translation. They’re one of the most eager groups we’ve seen, and really want the Bible in their language, so we’re excited to be involved with helping the Titans!

Display images to see this.    Mindy’s main job is managing the home, and while our lifestyle is similar to the States in ways, daily chores are more demanding and time consuming. For instance, local produce is available at an outdoor market, but must be bleached, dried, and stored properly, which takes more time than throwing produce from the grocery store in the fridge. Laundry’s also harder as we have to line dry it, and rain often starts by lunch time. She gets up very early to do all this and more before going off to her part-time job in the Literacy and Education Department as the office manager. She manages the logistics of the office, such as emails, answering phones, photo copying, errands, archiving literacy materials, and even sewing curtains for the office! Her gifts free up literacy workers to use their gifts, which leads to Papua New Guineans learning to read God's Word in their own language. Mindy’s a real blessing and we praise God for her!

Display images to see this.    Karah’s 19 now and enjoying her gap-year (which might become 2 years) as the medical clinic receptionist. She speaks the Tok Pisin language well and serves both expats and nationals. Karah also “job shadows” doctors and nurses and loves to observe lab work, take blood pressure, and sometimes accompany doctors and nurses out to villages for immunizations and infant care. She’s gained a heart of compassion and love for the local people and really wants to go into nursing, so college for that will be pursued when we return to the States.  She’s also involved in the Pony Club here, where 6 horses need care, and she loves serving in this ministry.

Display images to see this.    David recently turned 17, and though our other two kiddos have quickly adapted and embraced the new culture and language with little culture shock, David has had more difficulty. Change of any kind is not easy for him, so we are very proud of him for pushing through the difficulties. After missing a whole term of school while we attended POC, he had a lot of catching up to do and struggled to make it to the end of his 1st semester. However, now he’s back to his old self and his normal 4.0 GPA. He’s adjusting well, and though he’d rather be back in the States, he never complains and is trusting deeper in God than he ever had to before.  It’s excellent to see his faith grow in many ways here.

Display images to see this.    Jonathan’s 14 now, loves it here, and is the happiest we’ve seen him since California. He has transitioned, adjusted, and adapted well. He knows the Tok Pisin language, and is making friends easily. The others in his 9th grade class have made him feel very much a part of things here. Missionary kids are unique that way as they all know time is short, so friendships form quickly. It’s been a real growing up time for him, and he’s learned so many valuable lessons that he’d never have learned in the States, like new cultures, language, village living without electricity, how to build and start fires, how to go barefoot with the local kids, climb coconut trees, and so much more! He’s enjoying this adventure and growing in his faith by leaps and bounds! Honestly, we’re not looking forward to uprooting him again and taking him back to the States, as he’s very content to stay here.

   We praise God for you, our many partners, friends, and family members who give generously, lift us up in prayer, send care packages, and write to encourage us! Please know that our ministry here with Wycliffe of helping Papua New Guineans to have God's Word in their own languages couldn't happen without you. Thank you!

Prayer requests:
  • Steve to teach clearly and accurately, and students to learn, remember and use what they learned to translate more effectively. Also, for Steve to learn the Titan language, get started in general, and especially for travels to and from Manus Island.
  • Mindy to improve her Tok Pisin, and boldness to speak it more, as well as for much needed energy for each day! Building friendships with local PNG women, as well as with expats.
  • Karah is beginning the process of starting online college courses here, so wisdom and help with that as well as internet to be consistent and reliable for this.
  • David to feel more comfortable with PNG surroundings and make real friends here. Also, wisdom for future college plans.
  • Jonathan to adjust to high school well and handle the stress of an intense homework load.
  • Spiritual warfare: the Holy Spirit to guard our hearts and minds.
  • That illnesses would not hit us, or would pass quickly, as viruses abound.
God i blesim yupela (God bless you all),
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January 2017 Newsletter

The best Christmas gift ever!

   Have you ever given the gift of Scripture for Christmas? Some of us have probably given Bibles to loved ones for Christmas, but what about giving the very first portions of Scripture that have ever been translated into your language? Well, as English speakers, we missed that opportunity by hundreds of years, but some folks on Manus Island got to do just that.
 
   You might be saying to yourself, “Beep, beep, beep, back up the truck! Manus Island? Where’s that? I thought the Clovers were in Papua New Guinea!” Well, read on!

Display images to see this.     Manus Island is off the northern coast of the Papua New Guinean mainland, but it’s still part of the country. There are approximately 30 languages on Manus and the smaller islands around it, but only a few of these languages have any published Scripture. But God has been moving. He’s been stirring up the hearts of men and women from about half of the languages on Manus to work on translating God’s Word into their own mother tongues. Praise God!

Display images to see this.    In December, I (Steve) had the opportunity to go to Manus Island with another Wycliffe translator, Jerry Pfaff, to help him run a translation workshop for two weeks. During this workshop, we helped people from 8 languages to work on translating God’s Word into their own mother tongue. By the end of the workshop, each of these languages had at least their initial draft of 10 chapters of Genesis completed (they started work on these at the previous workshop).

Display images to see this.     Jerry and I also had the special privilege of helping some of them as they worked on translating Luke 2:1-20, which is the Christmas story. When the workshop was over, some were going back to their different villages with the plan to share, for the first time in their own language, the story of the best Christmas gift of all time: the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world.

Display images to see this.    Our family enjoyed our first Christmas here in PNG, and we hope that your Christmas was blessed too. We also hope that it was filled with the wonder of God being born in human flesh on a mission to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, because that is a merry Christmas.
 
Please pray for: 
  • God's wisdom and guidance as we explore the possibility of helping the Titan people of Manus Island to translate God's Word into Titan.
  • God to strengthen us, protect us, and help us through the many challenges of serving here and missing home.
God i blesim yupela (God bless you all),
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

Monday, December 26, 2016

December 21, 2016 Newsletter

Display images to see this.    They came from all over Papua New Guinea (PNG). Fourteen Papua New Guinean men and women, representing several different languages, all journeyed to the training center here in Ukarumpa to attend the Paratext 1 course (Paratext is software used for Bible translation). They came to learn skills that will help them as they work tirelessly to translate the Word of God into their own languages. Before they came, some of them were working on their translation using pen and paper, which is a very slow and difficult process. Not to mention that paper doesn’t often last very long in a village due to weather and other factors. Now, however, these folks are returning home equipped with the most important basics of how to use this powerful Bible translation software to translate God’s Word.

Display images to see this.    Steve was fortunate enough to get to personally help two men from the Kala language to learn these skills during the few weeks that they were in Ukarumpa. It was amazing to see their progress during the course. At the beginning, they knew nothing about Paratext. However, by the end, they were able to use it to work on their Bible translation and were planning to teach their fellow teammates back at home!

Display images to see this.    All of those who came to the course were so very thankful for all they learned. It was a huge blessing to be a part of helping them learn, and thereby helping to multiply the work of Bible translation here in PNG.

   By the way, Steve just got back from a blessed time of helping with a two week translation workshop on Manus Island. Look for our next newsletter to find out more about what happened there!

   Thank you for continuing to partner with us in our Wycliffe ministry. Your faithful prayers and giving allow us to be here to help the Bibleless people groups in Papua New Guinea, and we can’t do it without you! We wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a blessed 2017.

Please pray for: 
  • Clear direction for Karah as she looks into her options for college.
  • More effective translation of God's Word for those who attended the Paratext course.
  • God to be glorified in all we say and do, and His kingdom to be advanced.
  • God's direction and wisdom as we look at possible language groups to help.
God i blesim yupela (God bless you all),
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

Friday, November 4, 2016

November 3, 2016 Newsletter

   Our training at the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) is complete, and we are now at our place of assignment in Ukarumpa, which is in the highlands of Papua New Guinea!
Display images to see this.   Looking back at our final stage of training at POC, we lived in the village of Balin for four weeks with a wonderful Papua New Guinean family (our wasfemili). Buhabi, his wife Siafin, and their eight kids know what it is to grow all their own food by the sweat of their brow, live without electricity or plumbing, cook meals over an open fire, and build their own home and other things from materials they grow and cut themselves. They also serve others, give generously, and trust God in all of it. Experiencing life with them was an absolutely unforgettable experience as we saw firsthand what it is to live and build relationships with local Papua New Guineans.
   It was also a hard, and quite stretching, time for our family as we got out of our comfort zone, but we are very thankful for it.  During our time in the village, we got to see firsthand the importance of the people of Balin (and every people group) having the Bible in their heart language, and just how much their language truly means to them.
   Our wasfemili really helped us to learn more Tok Pisin (an important trade language for us to do ministry here in PNG), and worked hard at teaching us. However, it was when they started teaching us some of their own heart language (called Amele) that their eyes really lit up. Amele speaks to their heart on a much deeper level than Tok Pisin (a 2nd language for them) or English ever could! Our knowledge went from our heads to our hearts as we engaged with them on such a special and personal level!
Display images to see this.   Currently, we are transitioning to life here at Ukarumpa, the main center supporting the work of Bible translation, literacy, Scripture use and more, in this country. Besides our serving in the ministry of Bible translation, Karah is helping in the medical clinic as a part time receptionist and will be getting real life experience by going into the villages with the medical team. Our boys are adjusting very well to their new culture and school at Ukarumpa International School. They are making friends very quickly as they have been sincerely received and welcomed by their peers.

God i blesim yupela (God bless you all),
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

Friday, August 26, 2016

August 27, 2016 Newsletter

Our apologies for not getting this newsletter out sooner, as we have been very busy adjusting to our new life here in PNG.

We are in the middle of our training at the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) and every day is an adventure outside of our comfort zone.
Display images to see.Going for long hikes up and down steep, skinny, and beautiful mountain trails is part of the program to get us in shape and ready for life and work in this country where walking a long way is just part of a normal day.
Display images to see.We've also been improving our swimming skills in the ocean, which is important in a land where crossing rivers on foot or going from one island to another in small boats that have been known to capsize is another part of life here.
Tok Pisin is the main trade language in PNG, and is very important to know in this land of over 800 languages. We have been working hard to learn it and to learn about PNG's history and cultures.
Display images to see.Here we are using the Tok Pisin we've learned to shop for some kaikai (food) at a local market.
On Sunday, we celebrated with a local congregation how the gospel first came to PNG over 100 years ago. Revelation 7:9, "After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands," came to life a bit more as God was worshipped in six different languages, and some of the people were dressed in white and using fans made from palm branches. The pastor spoke of losing your life for Christ and the spread of His gospel, encouraging other Papua New Guineans to be missionaries. Amazing to see the Holy Spirit at work!

Display images to see.Another vital part of our training here is spending time getting to know a local Nobnob was famili (host family). They are the most humble, hospitable and generous family! We have been enjoying meals, playing cards, "tok stori" (sharing about our lives) and reading the Tok Pisin Bible together. We also stayed the night at their home last week, and will do so again this week. What absolutely precious experiences we've had sharing our different lives together.

Soon our family will move to another part of the province to live for 4 weeks in a village. There we will put all of our training to the test as we are completely immersed in village life, communicating only in Tok Pisin. After that intense month, we hope to be ready to move into our assignment in Ukarumpa.
Lukim yupela bihain (See you all later), na God i blesim yupela (and God bless you all),
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

Monday, June 27, 2016

Learning to Read God's Word

The following video shows the importance of literacy and the positive impact the Bible is having among the Obura people of Papua New Guinea. It also shows how excited they were to receive another printing of the Bible in their own language.

Video by Janeen Michie
Courtesy of the PNG Experience.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Preparing for takeoff!

The Pacific Orientation Course (POC) is a go, and we have purchased our plane tickets! We fly out of the U.S. on Sunday, July 10th, to begin our long journey of moving our family to Papua New Guinea (PNG) serving in Bible translation to help those still needing scripture in a language they can understand. Praise the Lord for the ways He has worked in and through our lives to be on mission with Him. Your prayers have helped make this all possible. Thank you!

"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.-Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

Our greatest need at this moment is prayer, because Karah's visa for PNG still has not been sent back to us. Please pray that her visa would be approved and sent back right away, otherwise she will not be able to leave the country with us.

Please pray for: 
  • Karah's PNG visa to be approved quickly and that we would have her passport back before July 10th!
  • God's wisdom and peace over us as we work on final preparations.
  • God to give us traveling mercies and get all of us and our luggage to PNG.
Blessings,
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

Thursday, June 2, 2016

How do computers help with Bible translation?

Years ago, before portable computers and the software now used to do Bible translation, translators used to do everything by hand. They often kept all of their language data, such as words and their meanings or other notes, written on 3x5 cards that were stored in shoe boxes. Can you imagine having to search through thousands of cards each time you needed some information?

Over the years, technology has improved a great deal, and many talented software developers have created programs that made those 3x5 cards in their shoe boxes obsolete. This has enabled translators to create better translations and finish them more quickly. So, what once took twenty years or more can now take half that or less depending on various circumstances, such as whether or not the Bible exists in another dialect.

Click here to read more about how technology has impacted Bible translation.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 13th, 2016 Newsletter

Display images to see this picture.
The Clover Family Newsletter
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Eph. 3:20-21 (NKJV)

A time of preparation
Since reaching 100% of our ministry budget, we've been hard at work on preparing to move our family to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in July. It is an exciting, and also stressful, season in our life where God's teaching us more of what it means to follow Him. For us, this means we're selling and giving away lots of material possessions as we focus on moving to PNG. We're seeing prayers answered through God’s divine and creative ways for our stuff to be a blessing to others.

When we first get to PNG, our first 3 months will be a time of training. This will take place at either the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) location in the lowlands, or if sufficient staff is not available, an alternative orientation course will be held at Ukarumpa. Please pray for sufficient staffing for the original course. We’ll find out on May 25th where the course will be held, and then we will be able to buy our airline tickets.

Please pray for:
  • Sufficient staff for the Pacific Orientation Course.
  • God's peace and wisdom as we prepare to move to PNG.
  • Many buyers to come out to the garage sale.
  • Wisdom for our travel plans and for how, and what, to pack.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.”  -Psalm 115:1

Blessings,
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

It's not too late! You can financially partner with us by clicking this link:
https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/CloverMission

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Two more languages receive God's Word!

The people of the Southeast Ambrym and Paama languages of Vanuatu now have the Bible available to them in both written and audio form! Praise God!

Leigh and Barbara Labrecque and their children (Leigh pictured) spent many years living in Vanuatu to work on translations with these two people groups. Now they get to see their dedication. Congrats!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Never the Same

If you have read the Peace Child by Don Richardson, or even if you haven't, you will want to watch this video that shows the power that the gospel has had among the Sawi people of West Papua, Indonesia. Watch what happens when Don and his family return to visit the Sawi people, 50 years after what took place in the Peace Child. Powerful.



Thursday, March 31, 2016

A book that quenches thirst?

Young Bashkirs in their national costumes
In early 2015, the Bashkir people of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan received the New Testament in their heart language. The vast majority of the Bashkir are Muslims, and the translation team that worked on the New Testament expected that only the small number of Bashkir Christians would read it. 



These translators were very surprised to discover, however, that the New Testament (which Muslims call the Injil) was received with great excitement by Bashkir Muslims!

One Bashkir Muslim wrote, “I was incredibly excited upon hearing on Bashkir TV that you’ve published the Injil in the Bashkir language. I have no doubt that the Injil in Bashkir will help quench the spiritual thirst of many people and help them to attain true knowledge of the Creator.”

Another wrote, “Yesterday at last I got the Injil! Thank you and all the translators who worked on the Word of God! I have already started reading, it’s simply wonderful!”

It is exciting to see God already using His Word to lead the Bashkir people to Christ! Please pray that many more Bashkir will read the New Testament, come to Christ, and receive the living water they need to quench their spiritual thirst.

"But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." -John 4:14

You can read more about this story on the Wycliffe website by clicking here.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Did you feel that?

Everyone’s faith just had a huge growth spurt! Yay, God!! Our monthly budget is fully funded! Papua New Guinea (PNG) here we come! Let’s all rejoice and praise the Lord who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think.

Thank you to all of you who have been so faithful in your prayers and finances in our continuing journey. We would not be able to go anywhere without all of our wonderful partners in this work, and we can't thank you enough! Be encouraged as you grow in faith during this mountaintop moment. The LORD has not failed to hear and respond to all of our requests. Remember this moment with us as a testimony of His unfailing love for all of us and that His faithfulness endures forever!

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name goes all the glory for Your unfailing love and faithfulness.”  -Psalm 115:1

Steps ahead: Now that the finances are in place to get us there and keep us there, we can focus the next few months on all that is needed for our departure. We will follow up in upcoming newsletters with details, but for now, let’s all just smile, praise and worship Jesus for this miracle!

Thank you, everyone, and may you have a blessed Easter! He is risen!
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

If you want to read about what we will be doing over in PNG, click here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Are you ready for this?

You have been praying, and God is answering! Since we last shared, the remaining monthly need to reach 100% of our monthly budget has dropped to $137 in just a few days! This is so encouraging, and may God receive the glory!

Please continue to pray with us that the remaining monthly financial partnership commitments will come in by the end of March so we will have time to prepare to move to Papua New Guinea in July. God hears your prayers! Please keep holding us up in prayer, much like Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses, so that the battle to help the Bibleless can be fought and won.

Display images to see picture.
Will you partner with our Wycliffe ministry now for this need? Remember, no amount given is too small for God to use. To partner financially, click here to start giving now.

Click here to see answers to questions you might have.
 
Thank you again for praying for us!
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Are we there yet?

We are so excited and encouraged to share with you that we are now only $327 per month away from our goal of being able to serve the Bibleless people in Papua New Guinea! YAY GOD!

Here we go again on the edge of our seats anticipating what God will do. Do you remember the excitement last summer when we needed to be at 50% of our budget to continue? We all rejoiced when the Lord provided and we watched the body of Christ come together in faith to join in what God was doing. We are now in the final wave of monthly partnership team building as we draw closer to reaching our FINAL financial goal of 100% of our monthly budget.

Please continue to pray with us that the remaining monthly financial partnership commitments will come in by the end of March so that we will have time to prepare for our move to Papua New Guinea in July.
Display images to see picture.
Will you partner with our Wycliffe ministry now for this need? Remember, no amount given is too small for God to use. To partner with us in our Wycliffe ministry, you can click here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Why translate the Old Testament anyway?


Once the New Testament has been translated for a Bibleless people group, is it important to translate the Old Testament? Yes! It's very important, and Catherine Rivard, a Wycliffe translator currently working with the Kamano-Kafe people in Papua New Guinea, wrote a great blog post about why it is so important. Click the link below to read more!

Beyond Imagination: Why translate the Old Testament anyway?: Recently, I’ve been asked about the relative importance of translating the Old Testament for languages here in Papua New Guinea (PNG)...

Monday, March 7, 2016

Still much to do

The Napo Quechua people group of Peru has long suffered from alcoholism and violence, but a team of national translators has been working on translating the New Testament into their language. The team desires to bring hope and transformation to their people through faith in Christ. They know that the Napo Quechua need the same opportunity that we English speakers have: to hear God speak the message of hope and salvation to them in their own language. Watch the video below to hear more about this work.


Friday, March 4, 2016

March 1st, 2016 Newsletter

Display images to see this picture.
The Clover Family Newsletter
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Eph. 3:20-21 (NKJV)

Faith comes by hearing...

The Southeast Ambrym people of Vanuatu are looking forward to receiving the Bible in their own language for the first time. Later this year, their Bible will be dedicated and they will also have audio Bibles. Steve has been given the opportunity to help prepare the audio files for those audio Bibles, and he is excited to play a small part in helping the Southeast Ambrym to be able to hear God's Word in their own language!

Everyone should have access to God's Word in their own language, and we want to help with Bible translation and training. But, to do that, we need more partners who will pray and give faithfully each month to our Wycliffe ministry. To read about partnership, click here.

Much has happened!

Since our last newsletter, God has moved in amazing ways, drawing many people to partner with us in our Wycliffe ministry. We now only need $377 more coming in each month to reach 100% of our monthly budget. We thank God for all of you who have prayed, given, encouraged, and advocated for us. We are humbled and encouraged with the spirit of giving from so many. All glory and praise to God, who is the provider of everyone!

If you would like to start giving now, click here to partner.

Please pray for the following:
  • We would reach 100% of our monthly budget in March.
  • Opportunities to share with more people.
  • That our family would trust God through the difficult times and decisions ahead of us.

Blessings,
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover

Thursday, February 11, 2016

How do people react when they receive God's Word in their language for the first time?

The Kimyal people of West Papua, Indonesia reacted with excitement, tears, and heartfelt words and prayer at their New Testament dedication. Watch the short video below to see their reactions for yourself. It's a powerful reminder of why Bible translation is so important!





We look forward to the day when we will be able to move to Papua New Guinea to begin helping with Bible translation and training, but we can't do this alone. It takes a team of committed prayer and financial partners to do this ministry. Please prayerfully consider joining us in our Wycliffe ministry to help end Bible poverty. Click here to read more about partnership and how our budget works.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

When are you leaving now?

The dates that we shared recently in our newsletters related to our budget and when we are leaving for Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been confusing for some, so we wanted to try to clear things up.

Here are things at a glance:

MARCH: Reach goal of 100% of monthly budget and prepare to move to PNG.

MAY: PNG will need final confirmation that we are at 100% of monthly budget.

JULY: Arrive in Papua New Guinea and start 3 month orientation.

More details:
Early to mid May is when the folks in PNG will ask us whether or not we are at 100% of our monthly budget. There is a waiting list of missionaries needing to attend the 3 month Pacific Orientation Course (POC), and if we aren't at 100% of our monthly budget by May, we will lose our spot and not be able to go in July.

So, why are we saying we hope to be at 100% by March? The reasons are many, but it boils down to the simple fact that there are many preparations we can't make until we know we are truly moving in July. Once we get to 100% of our monthly budget, we will be cleared by our supervisor to buy plane tickets and begin the myriad of other final preparations to move our family overseas.