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interrupting work

February 25, 2017

Here’s a fun story from a few months ago:

My goal Tuesday morning was to talk to some of the young men from our village and share the Dughore language materials I’ve been putting into cell phone format. The young men in our village seem to be a group that is particularly not interested in church. Unfortunately this seems to be much too common for young men throughout this country. However, they are also one of the demographics most likely to have a cell phone.

So that morning I spent a few hours chatting with several young men. I sent to their phones several literacy book stories I had recently converted to cell phone format and an audio recording of some Bible stories told in Dughore. After a couple of them left, I chatted to one of them for a while. He has come back to church recently, and we talked a little about how to help reach his peers. Not that we came up with any great answers, but I was really encouraged by our conversation.

On Thursday a couple of these young men joined a handful of adult men to carry timber from out in the jungle down to the bay by our village. [See this link for photos of cutting timber.] There were several men working, so they expected to be done by 10am. Apparently, however, after their first load, one young man (who doesn’t go to church) pulled out his cell phone and began playing the audio recordings of Dughore Bible stories. They started to listen to them and then began discussing some of the words used – was this the right word? Should a different word be used? What was the meaning of this phrase? A while later they realized they should get back to carrying timber. Then this process repeated after the next load – everyone listened to more of the Bible stories and more discussion ensued. This continued until the cell phone battery died!

The man recounting the story told me the day was well gone by the time they finally finished carrying timber – he guessed 3:30 or 4pm, instead of the expected 10am finish. I joked that I needed to apologize for interfering with their work, but I said I was actually elated to hear that they were all listening to and deeply discussing the Bible stories. And especially that this was started by a young man who doesn’t seem to show much interest in God.

I’m excited to get more material translated into Dughore that we can share with people here. Please pray for God to make people hungry for His Word, for our language learning, and for God to guide the work here.



John’s parents are here!

February 22, 2017

I need an excellent photo to revive this blog after my unintended absence from online happenings. Thankfully, we’re having some good photo opportunities:

John’s parents are visiting us in our village home for the month of February! In this photo, we’re all wearing shirts from their extended family’s Thanksgiving. Though we weren’t able to join them for the holidays, they brought the shirts to us. They also brought Christmas presents and cards from them, other relatives, and several friends. Thanks to all who sent along Christmas joy!

If you can’t tell which son is which, I completely understand. From left to right, their ages are now 4, 2, and 6.


the death of a great man

November 10, 2016

It’s been a sorrowful week here. A great translator, teacher, leader, and colleague passed away at age 49. David Tago and his wife had lived in Honiara most of the time for the past few years. They worked to oversee the translation of the Old Testament into their own language. Read about his family and work here, here, and at Joanna‘s Nov 4 post.

Above: David and his youngest daughter enjoy ice cream at the end of a two-week-long workshop in July. John was able to attend that workshop with David. (photo credit: Joanna Choate)

David died late Wednesday night after a few months of illness. Our family had planned anyway to go to Honiara on Thursday for a short stay. We were glad to be able to attend the funeral service and some related events.

Above: His youngest daughter plays quietly near one of David’s teenage daughters during their father’s funeral on Friday.

Please pray for his wife and four children.


[tags: funeral]

photo for the day – Little G running at sunset

October 18, 2016

Little G likes to run around in this clearing by the ocean. Some evenings, kids use it as a soccer field.

photo for the day – Sun Store

October 11, 2016

Every month or two, I grocery shop in a town on a nearby island. Small shops line that town’s main road. This is one of the most charming.

photo for the day – girl and her baby brother

September 30, 2016

This sweet girl is a helpful big sister to her baby brother. Her mom is from Kolombangara but now lives in Honiara. I was able to stay overnight with her family last night and took this picture after breakfast this morning. They are a sweet, hospitable family.


photo for the day – checked luggage

September 28, 2016

Our luggage patiently awaits the plane’s arrival. This is the all of the checked luggage for all of the passengers who boarded with me. (The white bucket and the black tote are mine.)