Papua New Guinea

In the last 9 years, Elna and I have moved house 8 times. That’s almost every year! Not wanting to break the pattern, we hope to move two more times in the next year so that we will have moved 10 times in 10 years of marriage.

No, I’m not joking.

The next step for the Mitchell’s

In May of this year (2016) our church was introduced to the ministry of Finisterre Vision and the families of Grace Bible Church (Tempe, AZ) that have gone to preach the gospel, plant churches, and translate the Bible in the Finisterre Mountains of Papua New Guinea. Elna and I immediately considered joining this work.

I love the biblical languages (though I have much to learn and refine in this field) and Elna is gifted in her ability to homeschool our children and take care of our medical needs in a remote area such as the Finisterre Mountains. More importantly, we both want to see the Bible translated and the gospel preached in all the nations.

In South Africa we have 11 official languages. The Bible Society of South Africa has been involved in 18 translations and 12 revisions (1). We are  in the privileged position of having the Bible available to us in all our languages. Papua New Guinea, on the other hand, having suffered more from Babel than we, have more than 800 languages/dialects. Much translation work has been done in PNG and much is ongoing. But, there still more to be done. We want to be part of that work.

Bible translation and church planting in the Finisterre Mountains

Working with Finisterre Vision, our home church—Grace Fellowship Pretoria—is sending us out to do Bible translation and church planting in the Finisterre Mountains.

In a nutshell, here is what we want to do:

  1. 6 months training in Phoenix, Arizona with Finisterre Vision and Grace Bible Church.
  2. Go to PNG, learn the trade language, and start work on identifying a tribe to work with.
  3. Move in with the chosen tribe and learn their language over a two-year period.
  4. Preach the gospel chronologically in the tribe’s language.
  5. Translate the Bible into the tribe’s language.
  6. Plant a church in that village and work on raising biblically qualified leaders who can lead the church.

This is approximately a 10-year commitment. Nothing in light of eternity!

Fund raising

Our focus at the moment is on raising support for our work in PNG. Our fundraising has started and through God’s gracious provision we have had several donations come in. Over the coming months we will continue to raise support for both one-time needs and expenses and for ongoing monthly support.

Pray

Please pray for us, our church, and the people of PNG. We will go in the strength of the Lord and preach the gospel, but he must prepare the soil of men’s hearts to receive the perfect Word of life.

Keep reading

This is the first blog post of what we hope will be many. Please browse our blogs and website for more information. . .

Sources:

(1) http://www.biblesociety.co.za/index.php/en/what-we-do/translation-projects (Accessed 2016-09-02)