Only Sixty-Six

By Rachel Greco

Some people say that every new language is a new people, even if only 66 people speak that language. Cliff Davis would love to introduce a language group—even if it’s made only of 66 people—to the God of the Bible. “I don’t care if it’s only 66…they want to walk with Jesus, and they want the Bible,” Cliff said. This is one reason he’s excited to move with his family from working with YWAM* Ships in Kona, Hawaii, to Madang, Papua New Guinea (PNG), to start a new base of operations for YWAM. 

The luggage that the Davises took with them to PNG.

Cliff and his family had served in Kona for just over five years by training young Bible school leaders. Although he enjoyed it, he hungered for something more. 

God used a new initiative within YWAM called End Bible Poverty Now (EBPN) to satisfy that hunger. EBPN’s goal is to provide at least 1,000 languages that don’t yet have Scripture with 30 recorded and written Scripture passages: 10 selections from the Old Testament, 10 from the Gospels, and 10 from the rest of the New Testament. EBPN’s purpose is to provide, in both audio and text formats, a comprehensive overview of the biblical narrative in about 90 minutes. The passages will be given out via SD cards. 

YWAM has set up a base in Madang to better coordinate with EBPN to reach the language groups in PNG. Cliff will manage that base and oversee the projected translation work for 24 of the 40+ target language groups in Madang Province.

He will travel to villages, establish healthy relationships with villagers, maintain those relationships, and help them record passages of Scripture. In order to do this, as well as keep operations running in Madang, Cliff needed at least one vehicle. 

The house where Cliff and his family will stay in Madang and operate their projects from.

With help from people like you giving to JAARS Land Transportation Solutions, we have purchased a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Ford Dual Cab Ranger for Cliff and the base in Madang. 

One of the vehicles JAARS funded

A Brazilian couple who has been serving in PNG for several years by translating and conducting training courses will use one of the vehicles. The couple will be stationed in Madang but will drive out to villages, initiate relationships, and set up outreaches. 

The two vehicles will enable Cliff and his team to get out into the area and connect with people who need Scripture. “These vehicles are a blessing; they’re massive,” Cliff said, “because we are mobile. To go there and have two vehicles right out of the gate, it’s so cool.” The vehicles were being refurbished at the SIL Papua New Guinea center in Ukarumpa, but they should arrive any day in Madang, ready for Cliff and his teammates to use. 

But getting to Papua New Guinea has been fraught with difficulties for Cliff and his family. They were ready to fly to Madang in early August, their lives packed into 10 bags, which they took on their first flight to Los Angeles, California. They had three days to receive approval from PNG needed to fly into the country … but they didn’t receive it, and their flight was delayed until August 26. 

When the Davises realized they wouldn’t be continuing their flight to PNG, God moved friends and coworkers to provide them with housing and transportation in California. The family was able to focus on rest, reflection, and restoration—values that will help them better serve language groups—even those made up of 66 people—in Papua New Guinea! 

Join us in praying that God will prepare the way for the Davis family in Papua New Guinea and that his word will land on fertile hearts. 

*Youth With a Mission