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History: Previous Mission Work

We left Cleveland, OH in a snow storm just before Thanksgiving in November 1969. We were 22 with 2 kids and one on the way. We believed God wanted us to serve Him in what was called then The Territory of New Guinea. We had only one supporting church and went
through some challenging times; getting set up, meeting nationals, learning the trade language, etc.

In 1970, we moved to the Highlands and located in the Chimbu Province which was the most densely populated province. The next year we milled lumber, built our house and started language and culture study in the Elimbari people group of about 25,000. By mid-1974, Jim
had reached proficiency in the language and we were ready for our first furlough.

Upon returning the next year, all the kids were in boarding school and Kathy started full time language and culture study while Jim worked on literacy primers, taught literacy, started witnessing and finding out it’s pretty hard to do without Scriptures, so he translated Genesis and a series on the life of Christ.

The church was born and slowly grew in number and maturity. In 1984, it was decided that I should translate the New Testament. It was one of those many times I wrestled with not being adequate to do the job. It took a lot of grace and a lot of work to see its completion 10 years later.

Our children graduated in 1986, 87 and 88 and they all wanted to graduate from here, so we had a 7 year term that time. We did help out looking after a school dormitory on two occasions during their schooling years.

We left the Elimbari tribe in 1996 to help on the NTM leadership team, where we ended up for 17 years. During that time we were assigned to help out in the government representative position in our capital, Port Moresby. As the Highlands Chairman, we were in charge of developing Sobega, the new headquarters. There were 3 houses built when we started and by 2011 the site plan was completed with 19 houses, a workshop, print shop and office. We averaged a house and a half a year and finished debt free. Praise the Lord.

We were getting older and wanted to have more contact with church leaders around the country so we wrote a proposal to our leadership team and they accepted it. From that time until now we have been involved with translating Bible teaching lessons, we have 9 volumes in Pidgin English, the trade language of PNG and the largest language, we have 6 of the 9 volumes also translated into simple English, several other books translated and printed training pastors how to use our Bible Lesson series. The first Course of our series has been recorded and can be heard on 3 Christian radio stations and our books are being carried in two Christian Book Store chains. We have other church groups asking us to train their pastors and install our lessons as their curriculum.

Two foolish young people that were reckless enough to believe God by faith and accept His grace for all the different stages and ministries of our lives. Only God could do all these things through humans. Praise Him!

Thank you for your interest in the Tanner's ministry. They appreciate your prayers and support. Their field address is P.O. Box 1079, Goroka, EHP, Papua New Guinea. You can contact them by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Financial gifts should be sent to New Tribes Mission, 1000 E First St, Sanford, FL 32771-1487. Checks should be made out to New Tribes Mission with a notation saying "for Jim & Kathy Tanner."

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