We have been home here in the USA since June. A very hectic time with all the traveling we have been doing. We are now in our home area of southern WI for a while.
Jodi and I are often asked do we find it strange to be back here in America after our 2 ½ years in Papua New Guinean? Even though we have anticipated much of the cultural differences the answer yes, at times we find it peculiar.
One adjustment for me concerns a common practice in Papua New Guinean of a women and men to carry a “bilum” which is a kind of string bag. I miss my bilum as I am very accustom to carrying my things such as water bottle, gum, pen, sunscreen etc… in a bag where ever I go. I struggled here in the US on how to carry my stuff, until Jodi found a perfect US culturally correct bag for $5.
A big cultural difference I see is PNG attitude toward the Bible as compared to America’s. Today there is a movement in the Papua New Guinean Churches to get a Bible into every bilum. This is no frivolous pursuit. PNG has over 800 languages. Most people groups in PNG do not have a Bible in their own language.
There are about 190 translation projects in progress and another 280 that are waiting for translation work to begin. This quest for a Bible for every Papua New Guinean is not a small venture but they are hungry for God’s Word.
I wonder how many Americans realize the privilege that is ours to have such great access to the Bible. For myself, counting only my Holman Christian Standard Bible translation, I have four copies: book form, on my cell phone, on my Kindle, and on my laptop. Then add to that the many other translations I have only magnifies my privilege. Our pastor this Sunday said it best, (paraphrased) America will be without excuse on judgment day because we have such great access to God’s Word.
Have you read it today?