Monday, September 1, 2014

Dramatic Eruption

Recently Mount Tavurvur erupted in Papua New Guinea.  It is located in Rabaul, in eastern PNG, far away from us.  Papua New Guinea sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where high volcanic and seismic activity is the norm. The volcano spewed a thick tower of ash that reached as high as 60,000 feet above sea level. In 1994, Tavurvur erupted at the same time as nearby Mount Vulcan, destroying Rabaul. Most of the ash is expected to fall over uninhabited areas.

Photo taken by Theresa Wilson

Photo taken by Theresa Wilson

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

School fire

Monday morning we got a call saying that there was a fire at the Aiyura High school.  This is a high school for nationals and not the school our kids go to.  We got there about 8:15 and found out that one of the girls dorms was on fire.  It had been going for about a half an hour when we got there.  We immediately started spraying it with our 1 1/2" hose and had started to get it under control when we ran our of water in the tank on our fire truck.  We tried pumping water from a couple of water tanks but they soon ran dry.  We had to drive the truck to a nearby stream to fill the tank and unfortunately the fire roared back to life and engulfed the whole building while we were gone.  We also cut the PVC water main that supplies the campus and let it fill a ditch and used a pump to spray the fire.  At this point we were just trying to keep it from spreading to nearby buildings.  The 5 of us spent about 5 hours fighting the fire and were exhausted by the time we were done. 

Nobody was injured in the fire but the 45 11 and 12th grade girl who lived there lost everything they had.  There is a collecting being taken up to help the girls. 

The back side of the dormitory
One of the rooms engulfed in flames.  Don't worry, I just took this picture through the window and didn't actually go into the building while it was burning. 
The intense heat melted everything anywhere near the fire. 
Me putting out the hotspots
This is one of the other dorm buildings taken a few years before the fire.
The girls laundry burnt while hanging on the line
This is what was left after we put the fire out

The intense heat even melted the glass from the window slats

One of the guys found this Bible in the remains

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Broken Bridge

As many of you have heard, the bridge linking our mission center with the rest of the world has had some serious problems.  Earlier this morning it completely collapsed as a fuel truck was crossing it.  As far as we know there were no fatalities. For now we have no way to get fuel, groceries and other supplies to our centre.  Thankfully the one store on centre is well stocked right now. 

Lots of opportunists filled their containers with diesel fuel from the truck.

We thank the Lord that there was not a public motor vehicle crossing when the bridge collapsed. Sometimes trucks carry up to 50 people at a time. 

Friday, July 18, 2014


Here is the status of Bible translation around the world.  There are nearly 2200 translations in progress, and under 1900 languages likely needing translation.
More people have more access to Scripture that at any other time in history.
In 1999, there was an average of 25 translation starts per year; now it is 75 per year.
In 1999 the average New Testament took over 20 years to complete; today the average is under 10 years.

We praise God for the 143 Bible translation projects started last year.

It is also encouraging to see the progress in completed Scripture translation and the projections for the future.
                1930-2009            =             80 years                  718 translations completed
                2010-2029            =             20 years               1,600+ translations completed (projected)

It is great to be a part of Bible translation here in Papua New Guinea.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


This last week we went with friends on a four day family vacation to Lae, a city about a 4 hour drive from our mission center.  Lae is famous for being the last place Amelia Earhart took off from before she disappeared.  We  spent hours in the pool at the mission guest house where we stayed (the closest pool is 2 hours away) and we shopped.  The upside is that groceries are cheaper in Lae and there is more selection so we really stocked up.  The downside is that it takes so much longer to buy things there than it does in the US.  At one store it took about 20 minutes just to complete the transaction for about 5 items we bought.  That one really tried our patience.  Even though Lae is a rough town in a 3rd world country it was very refreshing to get away and we all had a great time.  With the exception of 2 trips to a tiny nearby town this was the first time our family has been off of the mission center since January! Thank you to those of you who prayed for a safe trip!

We now have a little kitten named Cocoa.  We plan on letting her have kittens.  Many Papua New Guineans want to have cats to get rid of the rats.  Rats will eat holes in their clothes where they have spilt food so many people walk around with clothes with holes in them. We are hoping to educate people on how to take care of and feed a cat before we give it to them. 

Paul and Laura

We desire to see Papua New Guineans knowing and living God's Word, which leads to changed lives and transformed communities.

Our new kitten, Cocoa

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Arop Lokep Dedication

Here in Papua New Guinea when a New Testament has been finished and printed there is a huge celebration.  It is a time to celebrate many years of hard work.  Recently the New Testament was completed and here are some pictures of the celebration.  This language group was Arop-Lokep in the Madang province on the coast.  We were not able to attend this dedication but others have shared their pictures.

The celebration represents  the culmination of a lot of work to get the the Bible to the speakers of the Arop Lokep language.  It is satisfying to see this and know this is why we are here.

The landing strip where most of the guests arrived

One of the SIL Kodiak airplanes

Men dressed in traditional clothes singing and celebrating

A family reading the NT in their language for the first time

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


When we came back in January I volunteered to be on the fire crew.  I had no prior experience but I was willing to learn.  We have about 8 guys that are part of the crew.  We each carry a radio and have a separate extension in our house that rings when someone calls to report a fire.  We have training one morning a month and we each have our own full set of turnout gear at the fire house.  We also have a fire truck that is a 1970 Japanese model that has been modified to carry extra water since we don't have many hydrants on centre.
Fire billowing out of the windows just before the fire truck pulled up

Saturday morning the fire phone rang.  It is a party line so we let it ring 3 times and then everyone is supposed to pick up.  When I picked it up I heard that the sauna was on fire!  The sauna is about 100 yards from our house so I ran down it and saw smoke billowing out of the windows.  I was the first one there and I checked to make sure nobody was in it and started to fill buckets from a nearby faucet.  I soon realized that the fire was too big for this.  A few minutes later the fire truck pulled up and we got the hose out and started spraying water.  We could tell the fire was in the walls so I put a hole in the wall and pried out the window.

I was impressed at how well we all worked as a team and got the fire out.  Nobody was hurt and and we were able to save the building.  All the training we have done paid off.
Me getting the pump ready on the fire truck

The fire crew in action

This is me during training

Jessica in front of our 1970's vintage Japanese fire truck
Michael on rode along with me on a training exercise