06 Dec 2010

Wayne and Gail Updates

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Dear Family and Friends,

It’s been awhile since our last update. We came back to the island in late October and began our 4-month long lock-in (not leaving Biem until early March). The lock-in is partly due to bad ocean weather as well as our desire to put in more time in language and culture acquisition. The Biem people often asked us about the “outside” world. They marveled at how we lived in a 9th floor apartment in Taiwan (they often just shake their heads in disbelief). They wondered how people can survive the snow in Canada and asked us again and again how exactly did we fly from America all the way to PNG. We miss all of our passport countries but at the same time, this little island called Biem is where we call home now. We want to thank all of you for your prayers, encouragements and support in partnership to bring the gospel to the Biem people.

Medicals. Wayne survived several painful episodes of kidney stone in the bush. The pain was excruciating to say the least but they finally passed. Two liters of water is part of my daily diet now. Abby got malaria again but recovered quickly.

Culture Events. Gail cut a garden with a bunch of ladies on a steep hillside overlooking the Bismarck Sea. Wayne had some sea turtle intestines for lunch on a fishing trip with the guys. Abby and Kala started a small garden near the house and planted pineapples, pumpkins and some greens. Gail also learned to sing a Biem song called “Yataroma”. Yataroma is the name for the Eastern shore of the island.

Anu nimaire Yataroma
Yataroma kaleo ipanai
Yataroma game iora
Amar ikatak be malin dirai
Amar ikatak be game iora
Yataroma, Yataroma
Yataroma ragog anu

This is our place, Yataroma
Yataroma, the moon shines upon it
Yataroma, the East wind breezes by
The sun rises and the sea so calm
The sun rises and the East wind breezes by
Yataroma, Yataroma
Yataroma, a plentiful and joyful place…

The people sing this song on their way to the gardens. It expresses their longing for a “perfect place”. Biem, however, is anything but a “perfect” place. The community is filled with jealousy, slender and covetousness. Stealing is rampant. There is a sense of abandonment by the local government, we are the “forgotten” people. Folks live in fear of witchcraft and the spirit world. “Yataroma”, in its truest sense, does not exist and the people know it.

We cannot wait for the day where we can tell the Biem people, in their language, that God has prepared a much better place for those who put their trust in Him. Revelation 21:4 reads, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. They will be no more death or mourning or cry or pain, for the old order of things have passed away.” As we spend time learning about “the old order of things” in the Biem people, there is a great expectation of the One will “make everything new”. We have no idea how we will translate “heaven” into the Biem language but we are getting closer to that day. Please do not stop praying for the Biem people…we are certain your prayer is part of God’s master plan of bring salvation to this island.

Update on the Biem Boat project. The boat is in production! With many of you giving to this need, we were able to put down in the initial $10,000 down payment for the boat. The price tag for the boat, trailers, shipping to PNG was around $83000. At the end of November, we have received 36% of the funds with another 36% pledged. The Biem team is excited and grateful to see the Lord meeting this need. We hope to complete the production in early 2011 and have it ready for shipping by April.

Thank you again for being part of the Biem work.

In His Lamb,
Wayne, Gail, Abby & Kala

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