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