Besides great beauty and evidence of God’s creative hand, they are where the remote, often forgotten people of the world live. And they’re all geographical barriers to Bible translators who desire to reach those people with God’s Word.
Other realities endanger translation work: washed out bridges, unreliable commercial boats with a history of capsizing, political strife that makes travel unsafe.
Translators working in these settings don’t have ready access to tools and travel solutions that can get them where they need to be—safely, securely, and able to work. Tools like aircraft, boats, motorbikes, or four-wheel-drive vehicles.
That’s where we come in. No single solution is right for every travel situation, so we collaborate with our partners—to do research, develop plans, and provide effective solutions. To help translation workers overcome the transportation barriers that keep them from reaching communities hungry for the Word of the Lord and enable them to focus on translation.
That’s just the beginning, though. We continue to fund and deploy aircraft to solve critical translation challenges around the world. But we’re increasingly working with mission aviation partners on alternative solutions like equipment leases, redeployed or loaned aircraft, charters, operating or reserve funding, even airfare subsidies. Our overriding goal: solve transportation needs as fast as possible; focus on solutions that are locally appropriate, sustainable, and that represent thoughtful stewardship of the gifts that make it possible.
When they have no access to aviation service and public transportation is nonexistent or unreliable and overpriced, a motorbike or four-wheel-drive vehicle can be a critical resource.
Without JAARS, this might mean catching a crowded, dilapidated commercial ferry or using hazardous, poorly maintained local watercraft. So we work on solutions. In some cases, that might mean providing safety equipment and training, which you can read more about below. Other times, we might supply an appropriate, well-equipped boat to a mission partner overseas. Or instead, deploy a boat and crew and continue to support, operate, and maintain it for the partner.
We’re also developing the option of building partnerships with local organizations who can own and operate safe vessels while we assume responsibility for scheduling, safety protocols, fares, and program funding. In all cases, safety, sustainability, and stewardship are the critical factors.
Translators John and Marjo Brownie, for example, will have better, safer options than the small dinghy that sank as they traveled to a small island off the coast of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. Reliable aviation transport will aid mission workers, like the family whose eight-minute flight in Papua New Guinea saved them from a 12-hour trek over rugged, dangerous mountain terrain.
But the real beneficiaries of our work—always—are the families, communities, and people groups that can be reached safely and efficiently to receive the Word of the Lord.
We invite you to come alongside us—in prayer, with advocacy, and as “gospel patrons” who can help fund this eternal work. Then, translation workers as an extension of the Church will be enabled to share the transformative power of the gospel with all who are hungry for God’s Word.