Islanders need Gospel by plane; funds needed

By January 4, 2013

Papua New Guinea (MNN/WAS) — “Kodiak moments” were created last year when the purchase of three KODIAK aircrafts enabled Wycliffe Associates Bible translators in Papua New Guinea to deliver God’s Word to 7,000 native Yopno speakers.

But they’re not done yet.

Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that involves people in the acceleration of Bible translation efforts, is raising funds to purchase a fourth KODIAK aircraft for service in Papua New Guinea. Bible translation projects there are underway for more than 190 language groups.

$2 million in funds are needed. Wycliffe Associates hopes to raise enough funds by January 31 to help purchase the new aircraft. They have received a matching challenge for the first $42,300 received: gifts toward the aircraft’s purchase will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

There are 830 living languages spoken in the nation, which occupies half of the island of New Guinea, east of Indonesia between the South Pacific Ocean and the Coral Sea.
But more than 300 language groups in the nation do not yet have a single verse of Scripture.
Due to Papua New Guinea’s difficult terrain of mountains and jungles, approximately 80% of Bible translators rely on air travel for transportation to and from their remote translation locations.

Traveling by land is difficult or even impossible in many areas of Papua New Guinea, which comprises 600 islands. Without an aircraft, it can take up to five days to reach some language groups.

“The Kodiak is a critical tool to reach language groups who are crying out for God’s Word,” says President and CEO Bruce Smith, a former missionary pilot. “Insurmountable mountain peaks, dense rainforests, and hard-to-reach islands in Papua New Guinea make sharing the truth and hope of God’s Word time-consuming and extremely difficult.”

Developed with the rigors of the mission field in mind, the KODIAK can take off in under 1,000 feet at full gross weight and climb at more than 1,300 feet per minute. It carries more than three times the load than other planes previously used for mission work, and it uses jet fuel, which is less expensive and more readily available in Papua New Guinea than avgas.

“I see the KODIAK as an incredible opportunity God has given us to pierce the spiritual darkness of Papua New Guinea by accelerating Bible translation,” says Smith.

Through a growing global network, Wycliffe Associates is striving to overcome local limitations of time and resources to achieve the goal of beginning the translation of God’s Word in every remaining language that needs it by 2025. Last year, the organization mobilized 3,103 volunteers and staff members to accelerate Bible translation in 73 countries.

Click here to help Wycliffe Associates provide the Gospel to people in Papua New Guinea.

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