by Diane Miller
Cell phones have definitely revolutionized the world! That was a recent conclusion of mine after having spent the first six months of 2009 teaching missionary children in PBT’s East Africa Branch and then having the privilege of returning to work with the Papua New Guinea Branch in September of 2009. Everyone seems to have a cell phone, even in countries where many folks have never owned a landline phone. That was one of the major differences I noticed upon my return to PNG where I formerly served as a teacher to missionary children for fifteen years. Having spent nine years in the States, in order to care for my mother during the last few of her ninety-nine years on this earth, there was plenty of time for changes to occur. Coming back to PNG definitely felt like coming home, but things have changed, and cell phones are one of the significant changes I noticed. At a recent farewell for a missionary from Vanuatu, I witnessed Papua New Guineas, who previously had never owned a camera or a phone of any kind, snapping all kinds of pictures with their cell phones. Everyone seems to have a cell phone—even me. I was a late comer, purchasing my first cell phone when I went to Africa in order to keep in touch with my co-workers. Fortunately I can use that same phone here, though I use it less than I did in Africa.
Another big change has been in the work I do here. I taught missionary children for a brief time after my return, until the only PBT team with school age children here in PNG returned to the USA in October of 2009. At that time I began working in the PBT publications office and doing various other tasks. I have been privileged to assist with two modules of a Scripture Use course that PBT has been conducting at a Bible training center for Papua New Guinean Christian leaders. There are opportunities from time to time to give some assistance to national literacy workers and Bible translators when they come to Madang where they can work without being interrupted by their village responsibilities. My ministry also involves a bit of caring for hospital patients who come in from the village of Angguna where one of our translators, Martha Wade, serves. Recently I have also been helping to tutor two high school graduates who were not able to enter college this year, but hope to change that situation next year after they improve their English and Math skills. Both of these young people are children of our national staff members who work here at the PBT office in Madang.
Looking for change? Don’t be satisfied with changes in technology like switching from landline phones to cell phones. You could find plenty of exciting change here in the ‘Land of the Unexpected’ and, at the same time, have opportunity to help provide the Word of God which can transform lives and have an eternal impact. The opportunities for service here are endless, but no one person can do it all. We invite you to come join in this ministry and to model the Christian life as the living epistles Paul mentions in II Corinthians 3:2. We welcome new workers with open arms and encourage each one to put their particular skills to work wherever possible. We are praying the Lord will send more workers for the harvest.
Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”