I Spy…

By Rachel Greco

Towers of cargo waiting to be loaded into the container

I spy… a warehouse crowded with towers of boxes! Welcome to the JAARS Purchasing and Shipping warehouse, where a game of I Spy could last for hours. Let’s revert to our childhood for a few moments, shall we?

Boxes filled with clothes that will be heading to Venezuela

I spy… four giant boxes bursting with clothes. A Bible translation consultant has organized a clothing collection for those suffering in Venezuela. The JAARS warehouse is their home until a way is found to ship them to a Venezuelan pastor who’s also a Bible translator so he can divvy them out to his church members.

Loading an exam table into the container

I spy… a gurney and two exam tables swathed in plastic wrap. They are headed to the medical clinic in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to enable clinic workers to provide the health care translators and other support workers need in that remote area. A worker in PNG had reached out to a contact in the States who donated the medical equipment. The donor shipped the equipment to JAARS, and we will ship it via sea freight, along with hundreds of other boxes and crates, to PNG.

I spy… dusty airplane floats used to land airplanes on water. Our Brazilian Bible translation partner has shed them from one of its planes, so Purchasing and Shipping are storing them until they’re needed elsewhere.

I spy… rows of closed containers waiting to be shipped to six different countries in Africa. Inside the containers are backpacks bursting with a treasure trove for those waiting to hear the gospel in their own language: projectors, batteries, screens, loudspeakers, connecting cables, and the JESUS film on tiny SD cards in dozens of different languages. CRU partnered with the International Media Services department at JAARS to dub and produce the films for these African languages.

JESUS films waiting to be shipped to Africa

“At the moment,” Shipping Coordinator Bruno Keller, says, “we are a little bit wrapped up in government red tape.” There is high duty on these projector units because there are so many of them, so it’s been a struggle to find the cheapest and best way to ship them. “I realize this is not by might or power, but by the Spirit,” Bruno relates. “Sometimes I come out here and pray for these boxes.” Would you join us in praying that God opens the door for these JESUS films to be sent out to Africa so people can see and listen to Jesus in the language they understand best?

The puzzle-playing begins

I spy… six men solving a Tetris-like puzzle with cargo of all shapes and sizes. These men—who are all at least sixty years old—climb up and down ladders, hoist themselves onto boxes, drive weight-heavy forklifts, and wrangle their prey into nooks and crannies inside a 40’ long, 9’ tall container. There is only one way into this container, so once a pallet is in, it stays in… and all of the cargo must fit. This adult puzzle-playing occurs every three months, when the men pack every package and box they’ve collected for mission workers—everything from furniture to mowers to gym equipment—and organize it into a container bound for Papua New Guinea. This container will arrive by sea freight in PNG around June, to the great delight of the mission workers who ordered the cargo.

“It’s just awesome to be a part of this,” Clark Harm remarks. As he checks off the hundreds of boxes being stacked into the container, he realizes that he too has a ‘hand’ in Bible translation.

Bruno explains the purpose of this department: “We ship things to those serving overseas, whatever it is, so that they can function over there.”

Just like the pieces of cargo that fit together into the container, the men are pieces in the puzzle of Bible translation. How is God using you in the puzzle of Bible translation or missions? We’d love to spy you on the JAARS campus sometime! View the many opportunities to join in the Bible translation movement here.