Store Team Picture (& Purpose)

Store Staff - 8 Dec., 2015

New uniforms call for a new, updated Store & Shipping Staff photo. Smile.

Ever wondered or thought “What does a Store have to do with translating the Bible?

Well, you first must know what all of us (Aviation, Clinic, School, IT, Print Shop, Training Center, Language Resources, Construction, Auto-Shop, etc.) do here collectively, and that is essentially:

To see Papua New Guinea empowered by the Written Word and, as a result, seeing Papua New Guineans knowing and living God’s Word, leading to changed lives and transformed communities.

That said, here is our Store purpose in a nutshell:

“The Store exists to further the work of Bible translation in Papua New Guinea by providing members with the necessary supplies to live and work during their time in Ukarumpa or remotely in a village–and to do so with as little interruption as possible.”

From the Store and Shipping Departments to you and yours–Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


ps–with many thanks: photo taken by Mike Matheson (December 8, 2015)

“We’re All Going…” (Yumi Olgeta)

Facebook/Social Media often refers to archival posting with hashtags such as #wbw (way-back Wednesday), #tbt (throwback Thursday) or #fbf (flashback Friday).

With a new year I (tOdd) find I’m always drawn to recollect and to dream. It’s natural to do so, I suppose.

In recalling the past I think of where I’ve been and what God has brought me through and, in-turn, I long to see what He will do as I am invited into the moments, days, weeks, months and years ahead. None promised and certainly not guaranteed, but available to view with as much hope as one is able–or allows themselves to hold.

In 2012, our first year in Papua New Guinea (PNG), during one of my first few trips to the coastal port town of Lae (often done in one day, 6-hours of total drive-time; there and back), I found myself riding along as my Assistant Manager, Nathan, drove us down to pick up supplies for the Store as well as place orders for future pick-up and delivery. Nathan’s ‘as ples’ (his home/place) is the province, Morobe (more-o-bay), where Lae is located.

During this time I was learning (trying to anyway) Tok Pisin, the pidgin/trade-language of much of PNG. One such phrase Nathan taught me, as I asked him the classic “how would you say __” questions, was how to say “You and I are going to Lae”, or Morobe. As I played with the words and phrasing I began changing and altering and adding words. One such phrase that came up and that I began to “sing” (not to be confused with something that sounds good) was:

Yumi olgeta go long Morobe“.

Basically, “We’re all going to Morobe” (Lae, specifically, in this case). We were having fun laughing and ‘storying’ together while we passed the time during a rather tedious and not-so-comfortable drive (think of a road with LOTS of potholes). Lots.

So…with plenty of time on our hands as we drove I pulled out my smart phone and used an app that allowed me to quickly record using a rather idiot-proof music-laced template (albeit a highly repetitive one).

The result? I’m glad you asked. Smile. (Oh, and the video is as low-budget as the song, haha).

Here is, “Yumi Olgeta (Lae In A Day)


VIDEO – “Bridges”

We are excited to show you our new video! It is titled “Bridges“.

Its purpose is to give you, the viewer, more insight into the ‘what’ as to where God has placed us over the past nearly three years. There are many roles at play in ridding our world of a reality devoid of God’s Word (#endbiblelessness #eradicatingbiblepoverty).

Ours? Store Manager and Teacher/Learning Specialist.

Like I said, many roles. 🙂

Have you ever considered what part you might play if given the opportunity to serve overseas?

Perhaps you’re already serving via the various expressions of support (prayer, financial giving, campaigning/advocating, etc.) that are needed in order to make the work we and many others do possible. If so, THANK YOU!

If you’re wondering what roles are currently needed, find out here. Who knows, maybe your role is there.

Jesus, the greatest Bridge…

*video fun fact #1: the first 24 seconds of the video are shots of our hometown of Portland, Oregon (USA), which is oft referred to as “Bridge City” (and for good reason).
*video fun fact #2: check out what lands on tOdd’s right shoulder near the end of the video (3:55)?
*video fun fact #3: at the 2:18-2:23 portion of the video the first bridge picture to come up and land on the lower right of the screen is the bridge closest to our Center that actually collapsed this past August–AFTER we had created the video. A new one has already been constructed–thank You, Lord!
*video NEED fact #1: WE NEED TEACHERS (2:38-3:19)
*video NEED fact #2: WE NEED CHILDREN’S HOME PARENTS (3:20-3:28)!!!

“An Invitation To All…”

It has been said that “An invitation to all is an invitation to no one”.

Well…consider this a personal invite from me to you–yes YOU! 🙂

Thank you for your partnership in our ministry efforts with Wycliffe as we support the work of Bible translation for the millions still waiting. Each gift to our Wycliffe ministry provides the foundation we need to continue our support work with Wycliffe in Papua New Guinea.

We need our monthly expenditures to be covered at 100% before Wycliffe releases us to head back to Papua New Guinea (for those in the US wondering what that means, it’s not too different to a radio stations “pledge drive”). In addition, we have a large one-time expense amount that needs to be raised, too. Currently, we’re near 80% of our monthly costs and 0% of our one-time. Thanks for your prayers!

Thank you for your varying expressions of support of our ministry in Papua New Guinea over the past 4 years.

Ending biblelessness, together.

Click this link or our NEW FAMILY picture below, to give.

2014 FAM PIC

 (ps–that new video I’ve talked about the past few months really is coming soon–I promise!) 😉

Bread of Life Sale [VIDEO]

Hey guys–tOdd here.

On February 1st I blogged about a ‘Bread of Life’ sale we did as a way to connect and communicate what we do daily in the Store as it pertains to supporting the work of Bible Translation in Papua New Guinea and the celebration and excitement we all feel when a new Bible Translation comes to our loading dock.

Ultimately, we desire to celebrate Life as given by our King, which is Jesus–the Bread of Life (John 6:48).

That said, enjoy the “video version” of the blog (it’s much better than my below thumbnail expression would indicate–hopefully). 🙂

To see more relevant videos, including a similar video as spoken in the language of Tok Pisin by one of my Assistant Managers, please visit The PNG Experience.

Bread of Life “Special”

   “I am the Bread of Life”  – Jesus (John 6:48)

As some of you know, I (tOdd) have had the great honor of managing over two dozen very dedicated Papua New Guineans in the work of a Support Department disguised as a Store & Shipping Department. That is to say, we sell everyday consumable grocery, household, house-ware & even meat department items in a ‘General Store’ setting.

When I say that we are a ‘Support Department’, I mean that we are part of a team of other such departments (Auto-Shop, Computers, Clinic, Aviation, Construction/Maintenance, Schools, etc.) which exist for the sole/soul purpose of supporting Bible Translation in Papua New Guinea. The adage “it takes a village” is evident here throughout Papua New Guinea as well as in the Centralized Support area called Ukarumpa (ooh-kuh-rum-puh).

This is important and vital work for all involved in, around & through Ukarumpa (I mean, one does get hungry, right? 🙂 ). Sometimes, though, one can feel (OK, I can feel) a bit disconnected from the ‘boots-on-the-ground’ work that is taking place out in villages and even amongst our Language workers here on Center.

I confess to you right here, right now that I have sometimes forgotten during the craziness of a day the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ that brought our family from Gresham, OR USA over to this beautiful “Land of the Unexpected”, Papua New Guinea (PNG).

But today we did something a bit different…we sought to incorporate our day-to-day work at the Store with something that recently arrived on our loading dock – Bread. Well, not the flour and baking kind of Bread, but the verse-listed-above kind of Bread—to be exact, the arrival of the Arop-Lokep New Testament Bibles that are awaiting a dedication and release later this year (in the Province of Madang)!

Arop_Lokep NT

The timing, as always, is all God’s. We (our Store & Shipping Staff) were a little tepid in implementing something on the ‘sales floor’ before because we did not want to come across as trivial or to be seen as making ‘little’ of The Word.

At the conclusion of a Multi-Language Initiative (MLI) Conference last week, we were extremely encouraged and decided at the next opportunity we would increase our daily supply of sliced bread and then offer it at 50% off. At that point, we just needed to wait for one of these ‘special’ shipments to come in. Well, the very next day the above New Testament’s arrived. OK, God. 🙂

These are special occasions that we (the Store staff) would like to see increased around here. When a recently translated New Testament or Scripture portion is sitting there in a box on the dock…waiting to come to Life for a group of people who have NEVER had the Bible in their mother tongue–their heart language!?! I mean, THIS is it! Truly, one can’t use enough exclamation points when talking about the significance of such realities.

The first time I saw a box of translated Scriptures, I immediately started wiping tears from my eyes. My eyes may have been wet on the outside but on the inside I was rejoicing with a proclamation of “Wow!” 😀

Keep in mind, the boxes on the loading dock don’t hold the latest best-seller from the current crop of best-selling authors—they contain the Bread of Life!

I’ve had the privilege of pulling popular books out of similar boxes in the past (and keep in mind that when I did they weren’t yet ‘best-sellers’; I did so when I managed Christian Bookstores)—books—such as Rick Warren’s ‘The Purpose Driven Life’, Bruce Wilkinson’s ‘The Prayer of Jabez’, Donald Miller’s ‘Blue Like Jazz’ and Randy Alcorn’s ‘Heaven’ to name but a few. With all due respect to the authors—and I’m pretty sure they’d emphatically and quickly agree—these boxes sitting on this loading dock right now are MUCH more valuable and worthy of “acclaim”.

And it isn’t just because I’m telling you about it, or because of the people involved in the actual translation work, or because I’m “too close” to the work and therefore emotionally compromised and prone to say such things, but because this is what “it” all rests on and what “it” is all about: the Word of God.

I mentioned ‘realities’ earlier.

Imagine the reality–if you can for just one moment–of not having had access to God’s Word in your language. Of not ever having had that special ‘life verse’ moment while you sit in church listening to your pastor preach from it. Or, perhaps, over-hearing this Truth in a language not your own that is geographically close to you and trying to put ‘bits & pieces’ of wisdom and knowledge next to the clarity & understanding of your tongue…trying.




That is the reality for nearly 300 languages here in PNG right now (which represents over 12% alone of the “Other languages” in the graphic above who don’t yet have Scripture in their heart language). That represents thousands of Papua New Guineans who live with such a reality.

Much great work has transpired and is currently in process–and that’s the exciting reality. We, you & I, are a part of bridging this so that our fellow brothers and sisters around the globe have access to this Living Water…which, if you ask me, has always gone great with Bread.

I’m pretty sure Peter, the Papua New Guinean translator for the Arop-Lokep language team seen here with the Bibles, thinks so, too.

Peter, Arop-Lokep Translator

It is our hope and prayer that such a small gesture or token will provide reminders and even create some awareness to the very reality of why it is we are here—from customers and Staff to our kids and ‘yumi olgeta’ (all of us).

Let’s pray we begin selling a LOT of 50% off Sliced Bread in the future! 🙂