A little bit about Papua New Guinea
Trip Start Jun 02, 2005
12Trip End Aug 12, 2005
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Papua New Guinea was under German and British control from 1885 until 1902 when it switched to Australian hands. PNG gained its independence in 1975. That was only four years before my parents moved to the country in 1979 to work with Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Between 1988 and 1997 there was a secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville that ended only after claiming about 20,000 lives (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/pp.html)
During part of the the civil war, my dad was the Regional Assistant Director (or RAD) for the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) in the province that includes Bougainville. At one point he had to evacuate all of our Bible translating teams from the area. Still, there were times and areas where it was safe to live and work. My family got to go out to the islands a couple of times, too, to see how the work was going. We lived on Buka Island, which is immediately adjacent to Bougainville, for a short while in 1994. PNG Defense Force soldiers roamed town with their rifles, and stood on the guard at the airport. We felt safe, but Papua New Guinean friends told us stories of times when there had been violence in their area.
Most of my growing up years were in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. My parents held administrative roles at our missionary community, Ukarumpa, in the support of Bible translation. I love Ukarumpa - It is a beautiful community of faith and expectation, made up of real people (with real struggles and joys) from all over the world, united by the common dream of seeing God's Word in the minority languages of Papua New Guinea.
Enjoy these pictures that I have uploaded from my growing up years, and be on the lookout for new ones from this trip.