One year ago, I wrote to you and introduced the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Bible Project. Since that time, God has blessed in an amazing way! He has allowed us to raise more than 1.1 million dollars, print and ship 330,000 Bibles to PNG, and begin the actual distribution to school students.
I asked Dr. Steven Maldoff, BIMI's Southeast Asia Director, to give you the details of what has been done, what is being done, and what remains to be done. I trust that you will be blessed by reading the report he gives below.
As the President and General Director of BIMI, I want to take this opportunity to say a very special "Thank you" for your participation in this project. Your prayers and financial support are appreciated more than you know. Please visit www.facebook.com/bimifb and/or www.bimi.org/png for videos and future updates. Pictures may be seen here. May the Lord richly bless you!
David H. Snyder
Papua New Guinea Bible Project Update
The excitement was definitely in the air on June 16, 2017, as a crowd of pastors, church workers, and Christians gathered in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG), to await the arrival of the first container of Bibles. When the truck with the 40-foot container finally pulled into the church lot to drop off its contents, shouts of praise and exultation to the LORD were lifted up. Some began to cry as they expressed with their emotion the feeling of gratitude that God had chosen their nation to benefit from such an open door of getting the Gospel and the Word of God out to the students.
Once Alan Brooks and I took ownership of the container, we could not wait to open that container door and see with our own eyes these Bibles, customized especially for PNG. It was the culmination of countless prayers by Christians across the world. Likewise, this represented the first portion of the investment made by a multitude of churches, colleges, schools, and organizations. The Bibles looked very sharp with the PNG national symbol, the bird of paradise, glistening on the front. Now the work of distribution was to begin!
Over the next few days after receiving that first shipment of 55,000 Bibles, we gave the Bibles over to the many local PNG Baptist churches that were assisting with the outreach to the schools. Now the task turned to the preparing of each Bible for the actual distribution at the schools. Each box had to be opened, the Bibles individually pulled out of their plastic wrapping, and then each stamped with the contact details of the church. Some churches were needing to process over 4,000 Bibles. That is a lot of time-consuming work! Yet, they would have plenty of people volunteer to assist and they would complete the task in just a few hours.
Whenever our BIMI team and the PNG folks from the local churches would arrive at their nearby school to prepare for the distribution, the enthusiasm levels by the staff and students would be quite evident. At most of the high schools that were visited, we would hold a 30-minute assembly. During this time an introduction and explanation of the Bible would be given, followed by a thorough presentation of the Gospel. It was so thrilling to see the attention that was given by the students to what was being said. There were moments when we would be speaking to upwards of 1,000 students, and one could hear a pin drop—so focused they were on what was being preached. Once the students received their own copies of the Word of God, it would be a common sight to see many start reading straightaway the introductory pages, where a written presentation of the Gospel was to be found.
In the time that we had before the PNG school system went on a two-week break at the end of June, we were able to visit almost all of the schools in the National Capital District. The remaining schools will be completed once the term resumes. Nearly 15,000 Bibles were given out to teachers, school administrators, and high school students.
The scope of the project will expand far and wide as well. By the end of this month, the remaining five containers will arrive into the country, bringing the total number of Bibles in country to 330,000. These will be sent out to the local churches in the 21 provinces of PNG for them to distribute in their nearby high schools. Hundreds of thousands of people will be challenged with the Gospel and receive copies of the Word of God. What potential fruit may come forth from all this outreach! Pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of thousands and that they would respond to the message of salvation.