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Visit to Buka and Upcoming Vote

December’s trip to Buka Island for the Solos consultant checking session turned out a little different than expected.

The hope to finish the book of Joshua fell short, since the power system for the computer had failed some months back, and there was no way to finish preparing the last chapters for the checking. Thankfully the computer had just enough juice to get the latest revision and Larry was able to print out a copy so it can be prepared for later checking, even without a computer.

Since returning to Ukarumpa, he’s also been able to find a replacement power system and battery, even though the computer is getting a bit old. Pray that it continues to work in the salty humid seaside air.

One of several surprises was an opportunity to meet with and encourage the chairman of the neighboring translation program on Petats Island. It is looking very hopeful that this mostly independent program will once again make good progress in Bible translation.

Even though the Solos team wasn’t able to finish Joshua, we were able to consultant check a number of other passages they had worked on in training. These shorter passages are now completed, and can be used by the churches to help people understand more of God’s story.

Larry is planning another trip in late February to advisor check the first chapters of Acts that the team has drafted. This is likely to be the final trip before furlough, since the Referendum on Bougainville Independence is coming up and we will not be able to travel out there around that time.

Bougainville Church

A Bit of History and Geography

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville was formerly the North Solomon Islands Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG). A civil war for independence from 1989 to 2001 resulted in autonomy and a name change, but the region still functions much like a province of PNG.

Coming up on June 15, 2019, a referendum on independence is the final step of the peace agreement of 2001. On this date, Bougainvilleans (including those on the atolls not included in the map) plan to vote on whether or not they should be an independent nation.

Whichever way the vote goes, there remains some uncertainty as to what the next steps look like. Pray for real peace during this time of transition.

This little part of the world and its people have come to mean a lot to us over the past nine years. Thank you for your part in building the Kingdom of God in what really is one of the far corners of the Earth.

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