Note from GapFill.org’s Founder: The Webers have returned from their visit to see the Bimin people in Papua New Guinea and are full of stories of God’s Blessings. Thank you GapFill donors for your support in helping to make this trip possible. May you be blessed as God’s Word is heard throughout PNG on solar powered Audio Bibles.
Update From the Webers
We are back from our trip to Papua New Guinea! And full of wonderful memories! Each of us (Christiane, Thomas and our son David, 16) has a different story to tell, but the consensus is that it was a great time of having time for friends! We boiled liters and liters of water to make tea and coffee, ate crackers by the kilo and swapped stories with our friends and “family” out in our village in the remote Bimin area (in the Star Mountains of Papua New Guinea) as well as with colleagues and friends at the base, Ukarumpa. Just to be able to sit down and share about each others’ lives, of experiences over the last three and a half years in which we had not seen and barley heard from each other, was totally worth the trip. Hugs, shaking hands, looking at each other and marveling at the fact that we really had come this far, back to our home of 20 years, were part of the experience. And we are so thankful to our Lord God for his love and protection – both in PNG and in Switzerland.
For David, this was a trip of catching up with school friends and village family, an opportunity to do things he was not allowed to do three years ago because he simply was too young then: using adventurous public transport, staying out till curfew… to name a few. Attending the High School graduation of good friends of his was also a treat.
For Christiane and Thomas, seeing our “grandchildren” and children among the Bimin, hearing about their accomplishments at school, rejoicing with them in their successes and crying together about losses was priceless. And on the other side, spending time with some of our “parents” knowing that we may not see them again on this earth, simply because life expectancy in PNG is not as high as in Europe, was really special and bitter-sweet.
Audio Bibles Distributed
A highlight of this trip was the distribution of 230 solar powered MP3 Audio Bibles with 20 books of the BimWeng New Testament on them. We were able to supply a number to the school, they are being used in their library system. To prepare students from the even more remote parts of the language group to carry another quantity of the Audio Bibles home into their villages and instruct key people with the usage, we spent an afternoon at the (only) local school and taught teachers and students how to use these simple MP3 players and had a lot of fun together.
More of the Audio Bibles were distributed to all 20 villages, mainly to people who have never and will most likely never learn how to read and write because of their age and other contributing factors.
The Old Testament Translation Continues
Spending time with the men who are continuing to translate God’s Word into BimWeng (only a small part of the OT has been translated so far), we heard about their daily struggles, but also their plans to keep on with the translation. We were able to encourage them and spend time with all our co-workers and their families as well. They even made a special meal for us, prepared traditionally in a ground-oven.
Back in Switzerland, we are now able to keep in much better contact and get news from the Bimin area regularly, thanks to cell phones. We can also send and receive texts. Bimin itself does not have direct reception, but there are “sweet spots” with reflections of the geographically next tower. Another new development going along with the cell phones is the possibility to load the audio files of the NT as well as the Jesus Film, which was dubbed into BimWeng in 2005, onto micro SD-cards so people can listen to the text and watch the movie!
We are grateful for God’s protection during this memorable trip and to all of you for contributing financially and with your prayers to make it happen! Thank you!