Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my guys at CAM (Construction and Maintenance)! Thanks for all your prayers and partnership this last year that allowed us to serve in the many areas that we do!
For those of you that are trying to keep up with what I, John, am currently doing here, here's a breakdown:
We live in Ukarumpa in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Ukarumpa serves as a central hub for the numerous Bible translation projects across PNG—a unique land of over 800 languages. Do the languages sound similar? Well, I'm sure that some of them might, but here's an example of my regular morning greetings: Banram (in Gadsup, which a majority of my CAM guys speak). Wanram (still Gadsup, back side of the mountain). Doa'i (for all of the Tairora guys). Rondai (for Joseph and Mavis). Yangam (in Engan for Angie). Avi'ai (in Fore', I think, for Nonte and Aaron). And of course, Moning Nau for everybody else in Tok Pisin. Whew!
I work at CAM where we look after Ukarumpa in all its many facets so that the Bible translators can do their work to the fullest. Within the CAM department, there are multiple sections including Housing, Maintenance, Industrial, Building, Utilities (Electrical and Plumbing), Agriculture (cows and trees), and Sales (Hardware, Joinery, and Sawmill). Why so much? Well, we are in the middle of the jungle really, so we either have to make stuff ourselves or order it and wait months. I've worn many hats since arriving here, but for the last year-and-a-half I've been looking after the Maintenance and Industrial sections, and working as a community liaison for contract work under my Assistant Manager title. The Maintenance section is responsible for everything that's NOT a building. That includes roads, grounds, fencing, and drainage (keep in mind that our annual rainfall can be over 100 inches per year!) among other things. I've been pushing to change our section name to Terrestrial Section, but it hasn't caught on. My Industrial guys (Amos & Lemech) take care of our all our CAT equipment down to our lawnmowers and weld everything in between. As Assistant Manager, I work with all of our neighboring villages and leaders to distribute help via contract work (extra jobs that our employees don't have the time or capacity to do), and do it in the most amiable and equitable manner.
I wanted you all to see these guys because even though we are here to support Bible translation, I see them as my greatest ministry. The discipleship work that we do here reaches out into their villages and and is affecting change in their families, churches, and communities across PNG to the glory of Jesus Christ. In this new year, please remember to pray for Ete, Poi, James, Lloyd, David, Marcus, Michael, Andison, Willie, Tama, Nonte, Amos, Lemech, Joseph, their wives, and 39 children. Your prayers and partnership are going to great lengths here in Papua New Guinea and we want you to know it.
May the Lord bless your families and ministries in 2018 in incredible ways!
John, Kristi, Nori, Banner, and Millie