Friday, September 19, 2014

Hiking in New Mexico

A few weeks ago my family and I went camping in Red River, NM. It's a beautiful, sleepy, peaceful town. You should check it out if you've never been. Here's some pictures for your pleasure.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Translating in Papua New Guinea

Well, it looks like the Lord is leading me to serve Wycliffe in Papua New Guinea. My assignment hasn't been confirmed yet, but I am praying that it will be soon!

Here is a soul-convicting story about the great needs of translation in this island nation written by a translator serving in Papua New Guinea.

"I was standing in the middle of a big logging camp upriver from our village home in Papua New Guinea (PNG). My bare feet had long since disappeared in boots of wet sticky clay. On one side of me stood Adau,the leader of the translation team we work with. On the other side was an old man from a village near the camp. I also had two American college students with me. They had come to PNG for a month to get a taste of mission life.

"It was clear that the old man wanted to talk to me about something very important. After finding a language they both knew, Adau began to translate the old man’s message. He said, 'I know that you live downriver there to help those people translate the Bible into their language. And I have heard that another couple lives way up by the headwaters of our river, and is helping those people up there to translate the Bible into their language. But here in our place, we want the Bible too, and we don’t have anyone to help us do it. Can you tell your bosses to send someone to help us too?'

"Before I replied, I turned to the two American college students. 'Come closer and listen to what I am going to have to tell this old man,' I said. 'I want you to remember this conversation, and when you get back home tell the people in your church what you’ve heard.'

"As they moved closer, I started to answer him, but I couldn’t help but hang my head as I did so. 'You know there are many, many languages in Papua New Guinea,' I said. 'And to translate the Bible into just one language takes many years of work. We would really like to send someone to help your people translate the Bible too. But we don’t have extra people available. Very few people are coming to Papua New Guinea to help in translation now, and those few have to be shared out—not just in this province, but among all of the other provinces too. So I will tell my bosses about your request, but at this time we don’t have enough workers to be able to send someone to your people.'

"The old man was obviously not satisfied with my answer—who would be?! Perhaps he couldn’t understand why God would talk to others but not to his people. What would you have said to the old man if he had asked you? Maybe, indirectly, he is asking you. He was appealing to the wider Church to help give them access to God’s Word. What will your response be?"

-Published originally in InFocus Vol.14 No. 2

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cloned Humans

 Replication: The Jason Experiment
 by Jill Williamson
  Genre: Christian YA Science-Fiction

"Martyr-otherwise known as Jason 3:3-is one of many clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that the has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to 'expire' in less than a month. To see the sky. 

"Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars. 

"As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures-the one for which he was produced, and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he's ever known." 

I had a difficult time as a pre-teen and teenager finding 'Christian' novels that weren't cheesy, filled with bad writing/plots, or boring. I didn't want to saturate my mind with the godless, hormone-driven, cussword-filled teenage books that one often (though not always) finds on the book-shelves. But it was just difficult to find specific Christian books that looked entertaining and deep. Has anyone else had this problem? 

Replication, however, is a cute, humorous book that I wished I could have enjoyed when I was younger. Williamson keeps the cheesiness/superficiality to a minimum, although she does have God talk at one point. Why do Christian authors often do that? I've never heard the Lord speak clearly like that before, but all these characters just happen to hear him so well. Anyways, Abby is fun and real, and Jason stole my heart with his sweet innocence. There is also plenty of adventure/mystery in this novel, even though most of it couldn't have happened in real life (probably). The author does a good job of portraying the world as a clone would see it and using (or not using) words the clone would know. 

The characters in this novel face real, deep issues without the author preaching at anyone, and while keeping its lightness. I didn't find any major flaws with the book, and it was a delight to read. It's suitable for children 12 and older, and I give it a 3.5 out of 5. 

What I learned: It's important to know that not everyone sees the world like you do, and we shouldn't take the little, beautiful things for granted.