Day 9: Finding Rest in the Daily Toil

The notion that a rooster crows when the sun comes up is largely rubbish. All the roosters I’ve ever shared real estate with are early risers that take some perverse pleasure in crowing at 3 a.m. under my house (which is on poles). The more I became accustomed to living in Uria Village, though, I realized that the insomniatic chicken was really awakened by some of our village neighbors, up and around, stirring the fire, making an early breakfast for their children, some of whom might walk two or three hours to school (and back again at the end of the day). When their kids would head off to school, they would head out for their mountainside gardens, which also might be a few hours’ walk away. The Somau Garia are mostly subsistence farmers and they must work or they will not eat. Period.

There is another toil that my friends labor under. Though I will write in more depth about it in coming posts, I will say here that my friends labor under the weight of a worldview that keeps them bound to appeasing ancestral spirits, animistic rituals, and consensus in society. This labor is exhausting to the soul and only adds to the heaviness of life. It adds a fatalism and desperation that cannot be removed short of divine intervention.

Jesus spoke to this kind of toil: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

Aruamu Child Sleeping in a Meeting

How can any of us come to Jesus for rest without having access to his word in a language that makes sense to us, that speaks to our hearts? How can we begin to know or love or follow him if we cannot know objective truth as it is proclaimed in the Scriptures? Pray for the Somau Garia translation committee and for the Owen family, too, that God will see fit to bring us all together around the task of Bible translation–that we might, together in Christ, finish the translation of the Somau Garia New Testament. Pray for divine intervention for all of us involved in this process. Pray for the Owen family, involved in building a prayer and provision team to partner with Pioneer Bible Translators in sending them out to get the job done. Pray for rest for all of our souls. We are in desperate need of Jesus’ yoke, touch, and power. Pray . . .

Join the Prayer and Provision Team!
During the remainder of 2013, we are asking God for 40 new provision team members to financially partner with us monthly, for 40 provision team members to contribute to special projects, and for 40 new prayer team members to join us. For those of you feeling called to join the provision team, click here to visit the Donate page. For those feeling called to join the prayer team, click here to drop us an email letting us of your commitment.

Rest well, today. Allow the Lord to wash over you and to heal and restore you. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face shine upon you and give you peace.


Day 8: Black Friday: The Future for Bibleless People

I was sitting at the wheel of our Nissan Patrol one afternoon preparing to take a sick friend the 40 miles to a hospital situated several miles outside of the provincial capital, Madang. He was a young husband and the father of two toddlers. He had been sick for some time with what appeared to be tuberculosis. Just as I turned in my seat to see whether or not he was ready to get going, something odd happened. The club-footed shaman named Peter hobbled up to the back of the Patrol and, leaning in, he blew a handful of grayish powder in my friends face. He started wailing and speaking some sort of incantation over him. A few guys who were standing at the back of the vehicle grabbed Peter and took him aside, warning him to control himself–or else. They slammed the rear doors shut, I pushed in the clutch and put the 4 x 4 in reverse, turning around. Peter was still shouting at the vehicle as we rolled away. Three days later, the young daddy died.

A few weeks later, as I was trying to verbally unpack what had happened with one of the men who taught me language and culture, I became angry and disgusted at the whole affair. The young husband had been to town some months earlier to see a doctor. The doctor had diagnosed tuberculosis and prescribed appropriate medication–which happens to be a certain kind of antibiotic that must be taken for several months. When the local shaman found out what had happened, he upbraided this young man for taking “white man’s medicine” and told him to throw it away, that his real problem was that he had offended ancestral spirits. The Somau Garia view of the world is much more likely to see troubles as having spiritual roots than physical ones. My friend threw the medicine away. He started follow the prescribed rituals given him by Peter. It cost him his life.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, writes the Psalmist (119:105). Peter’s worldview was one that lacked the light of God’s word. His worldview would overshadow physical realities, making all spiritual. (In the West, we overshadow all spiritual realities with physical ones, making the opposite error.) His heart was darkened by an ignorance of the light of God’s word and was not only personally deceived, he led all astray who would follow his direction.

I wish I could tell you that he was the only one. He was not. He was only one of five shamans that lived in a village of 240 people at that time. That’s about one shaman for every fifty people. It is vitally important that the 4,000 people who speak the Somau Garia language have the opportunity to have God’s word, his lamp, in the language that speaks to their heart.

When Jesus began his ministry, he moved to Capernaum, fulfilling a prophecy from Isaiah, “Galilee of the Gentiles–a people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned. From that time, Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ ” (Matt. 4:16-17)

Many Somau Garia people live in the shadow of death, dwelling in the darkness of those who would lead them astray into demonic practices and fear. Will they have the opportunity to know the light of life? Will they have the opportunity to have a lamp for their feet and a light for their path? Will they have the opportunity to step out of the shadows into the light?

You Can Make a Difference!
You can make a difference by partnering with PBT in sending us to Papua New Guinea to finish the New Testament in the Somau Garia language. If you’d like to join the provision team by partnering financially either on a monthly basis or for special projects, click here to visit our Donate page. If you’d like to join the prayer team, click here to send us an email to let us know of your intention to pray with us. This will give us the opportunity to keep you informed by email as prayer needs are published.

Thank you, friends, for your ongoing prayers and support.


Day 7: Giving Thanks in Trial and Tribulation

It is impossible to know at any given moment how our trials are affecting either us or those who surround us as witnesses of God’s handiwork in our lives. During the first several months that we lived in Uria Village back in 1997, things started going haywire. I had gone from being in the best shape of my adult life to almost no ability to function. I slept 12 to 16 hours a day, was sick all the time, and couldn’t think straight. Angela was pregnant with our daughter, having to care for two little boys (3 years and 18 months, respectively) as well as me. Her heart began to sink under the weight of it all.

Garia Crowd compressed

240 of our closest neighbors were watching the drama unfold. As my health deteriorated and Angela’s soul began to anguish, our friends reached out to us. One evening, one of our closest friends warned us not to worry if we heard unusual noises near the house the next morning. As dawn broke we heard the sound of scores of shuffling feet and the murmurs of dozens of people. Every once in a while we’d hear the words “Papa God” (Father God) or “Bikpela” (Lord) float on the surface of the prayers. Around and around our house they marched, praying, asking God to intervene in our troubles. God had used our trials and tribulation to draw these people to prayer, to desperation for Him to do something extraordinary, to call upon Him for help. In reflection, we are very thankful that the Father would use our difficulties to grow the faith of those to whom we went. In the wake of those prayers came a diagnosis for me (hypothyroidism) and relief for Angela. During all the doctor visits, it was strongly suggested by the doctors that we give birth to our daughter in Australia. We went away for a few months and recovered, enjoyed the holidays, and welcomed our daughter into our family.

two men praying

I’ve been wondering lately whether or not the season we are in is not also meant for the good of others. Even as some of the Somau Garia people responded to a call to pray for us in our most desperate hour, I think God is calling believers to encircle the challenge and trial of building a prayer and provision team, to come alongside in those days when resources are short and needs are big, when our energy is spent and more must take place before we can return to Papua New Guinea. I think God is calling believers to encircle the Somau Garia people in prayer, prayer for God’s protection and provision of the people who have both waited and worked for a few decades now toward the goal of getting the New Testament into their heart language. I think that God is calling believers to encircle the whole team that a history altering transformation might take place among the Somau Garia people, that their gifts and energies might be poured out so that Jesus’ name might be known across all of northern New Guinea, perhaps far beyond the borders of PNG to the uttermost parts.

Join us!
I’m praying that as you read this you might be cut to the quick and decide to join the team. If you’d like to join the provision team, click here to see how your donations can get the Word out to the Somau Garia people. If you’d like to join the prayer team, click here to drop us an email letting us know of your desire to pray with us through this great adventure.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Day 6 — Faith and Life Off the Grid

Lightning spidering across the sky on a dry season night is mesmerizing. And maddening. The clouds that spawn the lightning hold such promise and deliver so little substance. At least that’s how it seemed in the late 1990’s in Uria Village.

Angela and I sat on the steps of our little house staring at the free light show, praying. We had been rationing our water as we watched the level in the fiberglass tank drop an inch or two each day. The clouds would usually gather in the late afternoon or early evening and spew a lot of lightning. No rain. Without rain we’d be unable to stay in the village for lack of water to drink, cook with, wash, etc. Day after day my attitude sank with the level of the water in the tank. I guess I felt like God owed me something. Pity parties are not useful models for prayer. “Oh God, I’ve come out here to the edge of the world to do this impossible work all because you asked me to. The least you could do would be to fill my tank to overflowing . . .” I’ll spare you the running commentary of whining. You get the picture.

2 x 2,000 gallons

2 x 2,000 gallons

A few weeks of this ritual began to take its toll. My selfish demands were going nowhere. God will not be mocked or manipulated into doing my will. To fully appreciate what I am about to tell you, you have to understand the design of my office. It is 11′ x 11′, has large windows on three sides (airflow), and a corrugated zinc-alum roof with no ceiling to muffle any sound from above. I sat down at my desk, opened my Bible, but didn’t read a thing. Instead, I bowed my head and allow the broken, submitted prayer to flow. “Father, you are God. You brought us here. It’s up to you whether or not we remain in the village or go to town to wait for rain. You do whatever is fitting to You. I’m your servant, not your master.” And as I prayed, it sounded like someone was shooting the roof of my office with BB’s. Slowly at first and then a torrent opened up and a month’s worth of rain came in an hour. The boys ran outside, splashing and dancing jubilantly. I stood in the office door and just stared at the rain, slack-jawed. Angela laughed.

Living life off of the grid is standard fare for most Bible translators. It can be wonderful and terrible but almost always faith-building in some way. When we built our “permanent” house in 2000, we installed two 2,000-gallon fiberglass tanks to catch rain water off of the roof. We had several solar panels mounted on a home-made solar tracker. Inside the house we had an 800-watt inverter that changed the direct-current power of the deep-cycle batteries into alternating current that our laptops, stereo, and other appliances could use. For high-load items like our washing machine and power tools we had a generator like what you buy at your local home-improvement store. Our refrigerator and stove ran off of LP Gas (Propane). Not all of it worked perfectly. LP gas refrigeration is a little dicey and very finicky. Even so, these “conveniences” make the task of Bible translation doable. Why?Solar Panel Example compressed

The simple answer is that without them we would spend all of our time washing clothes in the stream, maintaining subsistence gardens, hunting, fishing, carpentry, etc. The men who work alongside us in the task of Bible translation have large extended families that do extra so that they can give time to ministry. We do not. We have Maytag and Makita, DeWalt and ProWatt and Toshiba–and once upon a time, Nissan. Many of these items will need to be replaced or repaired when we return. Would you like to join us in making this possible?

Would You Join Us?
If so, click here to go to the Donate page where you will find instructions about how to partner with us financially. If you’d like to come alongside us in prayer, click here to drop us an email letting us know of your desire to do so. Between now and the year’s end, we are asking God to connect us with 40 new monthly financial partners, 40 special projects partners, and 40 new intercessors.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Day 5: The Wheels of the Work

The kids had been asleep for a few hours at the other end of our twenty-foot long house. Angela and I were drifting off to sleep, talking quietly, listening to the night sounds of the jungle surrounding our little house. Our dog’s intense barking broke the peace of the moment and signaled to us that something was up. “Brother Todd,” a voice called. Our neighbor was braving our 110 pound Rottweiler-German shepherd to get close enough to get our attention. “It must be serious,” I thought to myself.

“Send Angela, her friend is in trouble. We think she is in labor, but something is wrong. We need help.” Angela immediately leaped out of bed, threw on some clothes, grabbed her Maglite and headed out the door. I was close on her heels. A few moments later she gave me the news. “Maybe a breach, birth. I didn’t think she was due just yet.” We would discover that it was something more life-threatening than that. I instinctively looked toward the path out of the village. It had been raining a lot and the road was pretty saturated. “Lord, what do I do? Can you get the 4 x 4 out of the village? I need help!”

Nissan Patrol being washed

The Nissan Patrol that played a part in this particular adventure.

We jumped into action. I ran to the house, gathered myself and my things and began loading what I would need in our Nissan Patrol 4 x 4. Angela attended to her friend. Her friend’s relatives got themselves together. I backed the vehicle down close to their “camp”. Angela’s ailing friend, nine guys with knives, and me piled in and headed into the dark, forbidding jungle. Through the bog, onto the main track, through the creek, over the mountain. Sloppy, sloggy, digging new ruts. We were really tearing it up. By grace we made it out to the main road and were headed to the hospital in Madang. Even on the main road, we needed to use power to both axles as the main road is gravel, filled with ruts, potholes, sinkholes, landslides, even stretches where the road is simply what I would call a clay bog, if you can imagine. We made it into the hospital just in time. Our friend was hemorrhaging and needed emergency surgery to stop the bleeding. The baby wouldn’t come for another month!

Tiap Road Ruts

This is perhaps more dramatic than many uses of our 4 x 4, but represents the importance of having the right gear to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a place where there are few resources (like decent roads, hospitals close by, or even electricity in rural areas). The 4 x 4 in Bible translation ministry, as we do it in Papua New Guinea, is a vital tool to help the helpless, get us to and from the village, and support the translation and literacy program in myriad ways. We are looking at options currently–what kind of 4 x 4 will meet the needs of the ministry that God has placed in our hands.

Will You Join Us?
We are on Day 5 of a campaign meant to add 40 new monthly financial partners, 40 new special-needs financial partners, and 40 intercessory prayer partners to the team. Would you join us? If you’d like to partner with us financially (either monthly or on a special-needs basis) click here to visit the Donate page. If you’d like to partner with us as an intercessor, click here to drop us a note sharing with us your intention to do so.
new Landcruiser

The model of Toyota Landcruiser being sold in PNG currently.

Thank you, friends, and blessings to you!


Day 4: Ten Years in the Making: Reflections on Translating Mark

Getting the Word Out Somau Garia Style

Getting the Word Out Somau Garia Style

I think of the guys pictured here when I think of ten years translating the Gospel According to Mark into the Somau Garia language. Don’t picture for a minute a “brave” and lonely translator sitting alone in his study day after day, bent over the desk, scribbling away. My style of working the text over is all about team work and getting people working together rather than doing it all myself.

When I think of the ten years of translating Mark I think of James, pictured on the left. James leads by force of character rather than force. His soft-spoken word carries weight in his community as does is wisdom. I think of Wilolo, also known as Wai (pronounced “why”). Wilolo is longsuffering, faithful, always ready to help. Ezekiel, in the faded red cap, is the father of the group in many ways. His vision and intense passion has turned his Christian name into a name that characterizes his fiery, prophetic personality. Kenny, in the blue shirt, seems ver stern at first, but softens when drawn into a translation problem to be worked out or giving counsel on how a phrase will be understood by hearers. Sominak you met yesterday. Stanley is kneeling on the right. Stanley has been with us from almost the beginning. He once survived being bitten by a Death Adder while attending a worship service being held during a week of translation. God kept him from dying that night and he is still at work today, helping translate Luke and Acts. The man in the colorful, PNG shirt is named Siramia. Siramia is a natural clown, of the physical sort like Dick Van Dyke used to be in younger days. Siramia has fallen on hard times and needs your prayers.

For five years these men taught me their language and their way of life. I knew nothing of their world. They taught me how to count on my fingers, how to hunt pig, how to carve a garamut drum, how their people see the world and all those important events like birth, finding a wife and death. For the next five years I taught them what I knew about how to translate the Bible and together, we drafted, tested, corrected, back translated, checked, and published the Gospel According to Mark in the Somau Garia language. Together we celebrated on Easter 2007 as we sang and danced and sold copies to the 1,000 people who were in attendance for the event.

In September this year, on a visit to Papua New Guinea, I spent time with them again. Ezekiel and I were talking one day. “Ezekiel, we have ten years to finish the other twenty-six. Can we work hard enough to get it done in that amount of time?” Only God knows but we are marking the next ten years for completion of the Somau Garia New Testament.

The biggest hitch in this plan is building the team. In order for Pioneer Bible Translators to be able to send us, we need to build a team of prayer and provision partners. To that end we are setting aside the days remaining in 2013 to connecting with 40 new monthly financial partners, 40 new special needs partners, and 40 new prayer partners. We started the campaign last Friday. As of this afternoon, God has provided two new prayer partners. PTL!

Would you join the growing team?
If you’d like to partner financially with PBT in sending us out, you can do so by clicking here, which will send you to the Donate page. If you’d like to partner with us in prayer, you may email us by clicking here.

Thank you friends!


Day 3: Alphabets and Alphabet Makers

Sominak Yuna

Sominak Yuna

I have a friend named Sominak who lives near Uria Village. He is gentle, intelligent, thoughtful. He has a charming way with people and immediately puts children at ease. He is a school teacher, a leader of teachers. When Angela and I first moved to Uria Village in the late 1990’s, Sominak was working with several other teachers to develop reading primers for Somau Garia speaking children. The idea was to develop a whole library of simple story books, introducing letters, vowel sounds, and simple words along the way–richly illustrated so that young minds could connect the images with the words on the page.

Sominak is gifted at taking the 16 letters of the Somau Garia alphabet and making them interesting. He is an artist who did most of the artwork for the primers, so he can draw a lot of fun cartoons on the board. Imagine having a teacher draw an amazing picture on the blackboard and letting you come forward and write the name below the picture. He knows how to draw the best out of people.

Vowels: A, E, I, O, U. Consonants: K, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, W, X, Y. These are the elements of written Somau Garia. These letters can be combined to make a story about a snake in the jungle or a man who takes off his arms and legs and head to warm them in the sun (weird) or to write Bible verses like the following, “Yesusue pa kapia xekerina kisamaira wati, nupo tatiwopi kanikina, ‘Tini nonomi weinikitari kouwa. Kakixanari taiyeri nikaku. Xuwe. Xoiteu Waiwai Purotai Wese paiya, muanum nono nikau.’ ” which in our mother tongue reads, “But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.’ ” Mark 10:14, Somau Garia translation; ESV

While Sominak’s primary role over the years has been literacy, he has given much of himself to the translation of the New Testament into the Somau Garia language. The Gospel According to Mark has been in use since 2007. The remaining 26 books await translation. Men like Sominak await their translation. The Word of God in the language of the heart has the power to transform a people.

Angela and I long to be in Papua New Guinea again soon, working alongside friends like Sominak, getting the Word out to a people needing the power of the gospel at work in their lives.

Will You Join Us?
Now through the end of 2013 we are asking God to raise up 40 new monthly financial partners, 40 new special gifts partners, and 40 new intercessory prayer partners to see the Word of God be available in the mother tongue of the Somau Garia people. If you’d like to partner financially with us in this venture of faith, you can click here to visit our Donate page where you’ll find instructions on how to do so. If you’d like to join the cadre of prayer partners, click here to drop us an email informing us of your commitment.

Thank you for reading this post. Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving of yourself to get the Word out to a precious people whom God loves very deeply.



Day 2: The Word Became Flesh . . . and the Word Came to Uria

We are Hishands and feet.

The last few days I’ve been writing about dreams and visions, but there is a time to take vision and give it hands and feet. That’s what God did when fulfilling the promise He’d made to Abraham all those years ago–that he would bless all nations through him.

The promise was for the Son to leave his dwelling above and make his dwelling below, on the earth. The promise was for the Son to limit himself to live life as a man: a man who tired and hungered and bled and died–and lived.

God didn’t drop a golden scroll out of the sky with which to teach mankind how to be reconciled. He sent Jesus to fulfill the promise, to walk the walk, to talk the talk, to die the death, to rise to life again. He sent Jesus to cry with widows, to laugh with wedding guests, to whip the backs of thieves selling religion in a place of prayer. He sent Jesus to heal the sick, set the oppressed free, to bind up the brokenhearted, to declare the year of the Lord’s favor. He sent Jesus to seek and save the lost.

Likewise, today, he doesn’t drop his Word out of the sky in indigenous languages throughout the world with instructions on how to be reconciled. He puts hands and feet and serious limitations upon his witnesses and He sends them out with the testimony of Jesus and with all the skills need to take an ancient set of writings and translate them into those indigenous languages. He gives hands and feet to the Life, He gives missionaries to show the Way, He gives Bible translators to show them the Truth.

Like Jesus leaving his home “country” to become hands and feet with us, so we go as Jesus did to become his hands and feet in Uria, to bring the Word to the Somau Garia people. In 2007 the Word did come to Uria, when the Gospel According to Mark was dedicated. 26 more books remain. Much life remains to be lived, tears shed, people brought to be reconciled to Him.

Pray today with us that in this season of celebration, God the Father will give the Somau Garia people reason for special celebration–by raising up 40 new monthly financial ministry partners, 40 new special needs givers, and 40 new intercessors to pray with us through the joys and sorrows of translating the New Testament into the Somau Garia language of Papua New Guinea.

What's God Calling You to Do?
If you feel the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart strings to partner with us financially, either monthly or with a special gift, click here to visit our Donate page where you will find instructions on how to do so. You can also click here to write Todd an email regarding your desire to partner. If you’d like to partner with us in prayer, click here to drop a note to Todd and Angela.

Thank you for your generosity and prayers. Pray fervently!


Day 1: Dream Becomes Vision Becomes Reality

Dreams can by misty and formless when they are becoming visions.

Dreams can be misty and formless when they are becoming a vision.

I look back and I see the dreams of yesterday, though mostly formless, possessing enough clarity to bring excitement and motivation to the dreamer. I look in the mirror and I see a very, very clarified dream, energetic and motivational and orderly. I see a vision worth living and dying for. Reflecting on the dream and living in vision, I try to picture the future–how it will all play out, what it will look like when the vision is embraced by others, transformed into something of its own by a community of fellow visioneers.

God’s dream of people from every nation, tribe, people, and language, before the throne worshiping God in gratitude for salvation, gave us our vision of going in response to God’s dream and doing our part to empower one tribe, one people speaking one language to be part of the festive throng. God-willing this vision becomes a reality for a people working and waiting for the New Testament to be available in their language.

The present reality is that the Somau Garia have only the Gospel According to Mark available to them in their mother tongue. Important, but incomplete, this is only the beginning. These dear friends need the Scriptures in their heart language to be able to grow, be transformed, to win the battle over sin and death.

I was talking with someone yesterday about how important it is to our country than men like Martin Luther and John Wycliffe and William Tyndale risked their lives to translate the Word of God into the language of the common people in their respective countries. How different all of our histories would have been had these men been to afraid to risk all to get the Scriptures into the hands of ordinary people.

Today you have a chance to participate in changing the future of an entire people through getting the Word out in their heart language. Would you join us?

How to Partner
If you’d like to be one of forty new monthly financial partners, click here to go to our Donate page. If you have any questions, you can drop Todd an email at If you’d like to make a year-end, one-time special gift to help PBT get our family to Papua New Guinea, click here. If you’d like to be one of forty new intercessory prayer partners, click here and we will get you set up.

We are praying for forty new financial partners, forty new intercessors, and forty one-time gifts to help insure that the Somau Garia people will not have to wait any longer than is necessary to have the Word available in their heart language.

Thank you! and Blessings!




His Dream, Our Vision

If our dreams are intensely personal, they are also intensely fragile. But whisper a dream and the whisp might snuff it out. Our dreams are choked by the weeds of life: health or sickness, good relationships or bad ones, opportunity or lack, that which we can control and that which we cannot. Our dreams are intensely fragile.

His Dream

His dream–singular, piercing, soul-wrenching, awe-inspiring–is woven with different fabric. His dream evades capture, overcomes obstacle, penetrates enemy territory and liberates the heart of man, freeing it from enslavement to sin and self, offering life and love, even power, in its place. His dream is revealed little by little from the earliest syllables of Genesis through to the end of the Book.

It is John’s uncovering (Apocalypse) of God’s dream that speaks most powerfully to me, revealing ultimate things. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ “

In that day, man in all his variety and uniqueness, will be represented before the throne–praising God for salvation. Not for money or ease or convenience or entertainment. For salvation.

His dream pierces my right to be selfishly indulgent. His dream rips me from my excuses and forces me to consider the 6,877 languages and language groups of the world. His dream fixes my gaze on today’s 209 million people speaking 1,967 languages that do not have adequate access to the Bible in a language that speaks to them. If only His dream allowed me to look at faceless masses representing vast numbers of people–then I could ignore it, overwhelmed by the size of the group–but NO!!! His dream paints familiar faces on the canvas of my mind. This canvas is alive. These faces are tribal people, uttering exotic words in the mountain jungle where they live. They are our friends with whom we’ve had many adventures, joys and sorrows, victories and losses. They are our loved ones with names like Lim and Torenimas and Natika. The are people without the Bible in their heart language. They grow the coffee you drink in the morning and the chocolate you eat at Christmas. They cultivate vanilla which goes in all those wonderful holiday treats. They are people that God dreams of standing around His throne–wearing white robes, clean before his eyes. Their eyes are fixed on the Savior, on the throne, on Him.

Following the Dream

Close friends from Uria Village, Lim Auwi and his family.

Close friends from Uria Village, Lim Auwi and his family.

His dream compels us to do the same, to step forward in promise, eyes fixed on the Lamb that was slain, wavering between falling like a dead man or crying out with the throng, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb. . . Here we are, Lord, send us! We will go!”

Ahead is forty days, friends. When you drink your coffee in the morning, think of the Somau Garia people, without the Word in their language. When you eat your Christmas chocolates, dream His dream and see those people gathered around the throne, eyes fixed on Jesus. When you mix up a cake or bake cookies for your loved ones, remember our loved ones on the side of Mt. Somau. When you celebrate family during these remaining forty days, take your buoyant celebration before the throne of God and cry out for the people of God’s dream. As you pour out your love to friends and family over these forty days, remember us, too. Forty new financial partners. Forty new prayer partners. Forty special gifts for getting the Word out to the Somau Garia. Pray. Love. Give. Dream. Envision.

To respond in some tangible way to this challenge, click here to visit Donate page on this website or click here drop us a note at and let us know of your prayer commitment.