‘This old house’

POSTED ON 2011-08-25
  by Dena McMaster

The 26-year-old house had been home to many missionaries over the years in a Siawi village in Papua New Guinea.

Most Siawi homes last only three or four years and so this house had become a landmark. When the decision was made to demolish it, the Siawis began planning how they could use each scrap of lumber.

“Nothing was wasted. Nails were salvaged and straightened, boards were carefully separated from the termite-eaten bush poles, and pieces of plywood were especially treasured,” wrote missionary Linda Krieg.  “Even the bathtub was seen to have value to people without indoor plumbing – great ingenuity. And ingenuity abounds among the Siawi people, and they know how to get good benefit from things.”

Though tearing down the house benefitted the Siawis materially, the real reward is that the house is no longer needed. The Siawi believers are learning to function on their own and soon missionary presence will not be necessary.

The last family ministering among the Siawi left earlier this year and Linda is staying in the village until she finishes translating the Scriptures into the Siawi language. She and the Siawi translation team are currently translating the book of John. Soon she and two men on the translation team will do a final comprehension check on 2 Corinthians with the aid of an experienced missionary skilled in translation. This is the final step before printing the book.

Pray for the Siawi church leaders to grow in their knowledge of the Lord and to lead with compassion and fairness. Pray for Linda and the translation team as they continue translating God’s Word.

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