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.

Monday, February 8, 2016

January 29th, 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)


What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Like this age old question, some may wonder if the Word of God needs to be translated so that the Bibleless can become Christians, or are some Christians already and need the Word to grow? It's both. There are some like Mariano who need to have God speak their language so they can hear for the first time and come to faith in Christ. Others like Zaverio thought they knew what it was to be a Christian, but having the Word in their own language opened their eyes to the truth.

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.

What still remains?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Wycliffe's 2015 year in review video

The 2015 Year in Review video is now available! In this short video, Wycliffe USA President Bob Creson highlights the progress made in Bible translation during 2015 and thanks those who have been a part of this work. He also includes updated statistics about how many missionaries are working around the globe, the amount of money donated toward Bible translation, how many translation projects are ongoing, and more.

Click the video below to watch.


Monday, January 18, 2016

The Kope people now have the Jesus Film in their language!

The Kope people of Papua New Guinea now have the Jesus Film in their own language! Take a look at the short video below to hear about it and what it means to them.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What if?

P66 - An early Greek manuscript
"ουτως γαρ ηγαπησεν ο θεος τον κοσμον ωστε τον υιον αυτου τον μονογενη εδωκεν ινα πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον μη αποληται αλλ εχη ζωην αιωνιον."

What if no one had ever translated that verse and you had to read it in the original Greek? 

Or, what if the following was the only translation available to you?

"sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam aeternam."

What a great verse! Isn't that a blessing to you? Does that help you to know God and grow in your faith? No? 

That's a rough idea of what it might be like for people whose language is one of about 1800 that don't have even a single verse translated yet.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Beyond Imagination: Sunglasses on Mars

I read a funny blog post by Catherine Rivard (a Wycliffe missionary working with the Kamano-Kafe people of Papua New Guinea) and thought I would pass it along. 

You can read it by clicking the following link:

Sunglasses on Mars

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The year in review: Bible translation

The work of Bible translation continued in 2015, and more languages received God's Word for the very first time. Towards the end of each year, new stats are published to show updated statistics on how many languages have scripture and how many are still waiting for a translation to begin for them.

Here are translation stats, as of October 2015:

There are about 1,800 languages still likely needing Bible translation to begin.
554 languages have the complete Bible.
1,333 languages have the New Testament (and some additional portions).
1,045 languages have just portions (one or more books).

Since the previous statistics were reported in October 2014, 23 more languages received a complete Bible, 4 received a New Testament, and 22 languages received at least some portion of scripture, all for the very first time. That means that people from 49 more languages can now experience at least some of God's Word in their own heart language for the very first time.

All of this adds up to a total of 2,932 languages with at least some Scripture! Praise God!