When a MAF plane lands at a remote airstrip, our pilots often open their Bible Box.
But if people are not present when the plane lands and the pilot opens his Bible Box, they miss out. However, Bibles bought at the airstrip travel further – thanks to dedicated brothers and sisters in Christ who care about their people living even more remote than they do.
I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Joyce finished her talk, encouraging the people gathered to hear her that true life was to be found by putting their trust in Jesus. This was the fourth day of meetings in the village of Fiamok, a remote village five days' walk from Telefomin.
Joyce and her sister Vero had spent the past four days encouraging the church and people of Fiamok. They had given Tok Pisin Bibles to the pastors, audio Bibles to the old, illiterate, or blind, children’s English Bibles to the Sunday school teachers, and basic items such as soap, salt, reusable sanitary pads, and clothes to the people there. This was the end of the journey. Tomorrow, they would head for home. But what a journey it had been!
Carrying Heavy and Precious Goods Across Adventurous Jungle Paths
Nine days previously, Joyce and Vero had set out on their mission trip with their mother Dipni, and friend Sena, to visit four remote villages. Between the four ladies, they had carried eight heavy bags of goods to be given to the people in these villages.
The main purpose of the trip was to deliver much needed Bibles to the pastors of the churches in the villages of Sitamin, Kanamka, Inamptimin and Fiamok. It is hard for them to get even basic items in these villages, much less Bibles. These villages have no airstrips, so the only way to get there was to walk.
The four ladies did not have an easy walk. First, they had to cross the raging Sepik River on a bridge that was little more than a tightrope of vine with some rickety side supports. Somehow, they managed to ferry the eight bags across with none of them plummeting into the river far beneath them. Then they had to traverse two huge mountains, crossing a river with no bridge at its lowest point near the bottom of the second mountain. They were met by a man from Kanamka who walked with them as far as his village. They stopped for one night each in the three smaller villages of Sitiman, Kanamka and Inamptiman where they gave Bibles to the pastors and distributed some other items.
An Answer to Prayer
In Sitamin, they met an older lady who was blind and gave her an audio Bible. She was overjoyed and shared with them she had been praying for 11 years for an audio Bible. She was a widow with no children, and completely reliant on her relatives to look after her. She had asked relatives when they were walking to town if they could buy her an audio Bible. But money is very hard to come by in these remote villages and is used to buy food and other essential items.
She was crying as she thanked Vero for the Bible, thanking God for answering her prayers that now she could hear the word of God.
More Thankful Recipients
Joyce and Vero also gave an audio Bible to the pastor’s wife who could not read. She too was very thankful that she could now hear God’s Word herself.
They also gave English children’s Bibles to the pastor. The believers at Sitiman don’t have their own church and meet in the Elementary School building.
In Inemptamin, they could bless two blind deacons of the church with audio Bibles. These deacons were thankful for the opportunity to be encouraged by God’s word and encourage others with these Bibles.
The children loved the pictures in the English Children’s Bibles that were given to the Sunday school teachers.
There are only two young men in the whole of the four villages who have completed enough schooling in English to be able to read the Bibles and translate them for the children, but they will use these Bibles to teach the children.
Most of the pastors have no higher than a grade four education, so can only read in Tok Pisin.
Caring by Sharing
Joyce and Vero and their companions came back from their trip tired, but very thankful they had blessed these bush communities. They are planning to go back again sometime in the future, to take more Bibles and encourage and strengthen the churches there.
Joyce and Vero live in bush material houses themselves, with no electricity or running water, and neither of them has completed schooling past grade 6, yet they realise because they have an airstrip in their community, they are greatly blessed.
They have access to education, healthcare, basic trade store items, and Bibles. They know the joy of having a relationship with Jesus and have the heart to share that with others. They want to share the little they have with those who have even less.
Teaming up to Take God’s Love beyond the Mountains
Bernie and the other MAF ladies in Telefomin were privileged to contribute in a small way by donating the Bibles, soap bars, and clothing and others sew reusable sanitary pads for the people in the villages. Joyce, Vero, and their companions did the hard work of getting them to the communities.
The impact of having an airstrip at a community here in PNG is huge, and we are thankful that MAF can be here to help the smaller bush communities that don’t have enough money to use commercial operators.
We are thankful that we can support local missionaries like Joyce and Vero in taking God’s word and love beyond the villages with airstrips and helping God’s blessings to extend past the airstrips.
MAF’s Bible Box Ministry
MAF’s Bible Box ministry was established a few years ago and is still in high demand. The stock of the Bible Box often sells out at the first landing strip of the day.
The Tok Pisin and English Bibles, Audio Bibles, and other Christian resources are provided by MAF Technologies and are heavily subsidised thanks to MAF’s global donor family so the people in the remote villages, where money is precious and hard to come by, can afford it.
In 2021 our pilots sold 1,922 Bibles, 420 audio units, 309 SD-cards preloaded with Christian resources, and 110 Biblical handbooks.