1980-2000 were the nostalgically wonderful years of my missionary life as I lived in a remote village and worked among the May River Iwam people here in Papua New Guinea. In the picture above, my house was the first one up the hill from the village.  Unlike most missionaries I was an extremely slow language learner. It took me 8 years to achieve a level of fluency where I could get involved in the “real work.”  During that language learning time my co-worker (Linda Sentak Garber) and I did do literacy work, but primarily we slogged along, believing that “with God all things are possible.”  Even learning another language…...  

Life began in earnest after language learning! Though I was the least likely one on the team to lead an Iwam ladies Bible study, God prompted me to do just that.  When He gives us a task to do, He always enables us for it.  Dittos on scripture translation.  This became my primary ministry over the ensuing years.  Literacy work continued.  And I also had discipleship opportunities--sitting in on the Bible teachers’ meetings when my co-workers were away, and other opportunities … 

In 2000 it became apparent to my co-workers (John & Debbie Hutteman) that our presence with the Iwam was actually holding them back from accepting their role as leaders in the church.  We moved out to town to allow the Iwam to begin to practice the principle of trusting God to use them to lead the local churches.

During the next few years translation continued with Iwam men coming to town 3-5 times a year so we could finish the New Testament.  By God’s grace that was completed in 2008, printed, and at long last put into the Iwam’s hands Feb 2009! 

Life with the May River Iwam seemed the “ultimate,” but now moving into a more far reaching “support” role – what a privilege it is to be a part of helping other developing churches around our region of PNG with their needs!


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Contact information:

Field Address: Hope Sharp, New Tribes Mission, P.O. Box 625, Wewak, ESP  531 PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Business address:  New Tribes Mission, 312 W 1st St., Sanford, FL 32771 USA. 

E-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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