Big Event!

Pigs. Grunts. Little squeals. Swooshing grass skirts. I stuck my head out the window from the translator’s house into the cool mountain air. Fancy headdresses. Colorful feathers. Beads. Grass skirts. Gourds. Overloaded string bags. Rattan skirts. And more pigs. Nearly 500 pigs! Pig feasts are held for important events. And this was a big event.


My favorite copilot! On our way to Kosarek for the big event. Photo by Mike Martin

What was the big deal? In January we were in the village of Kosarek nestled up in the central highlands at 4,500ʹ to celebrate with the people the 50th anniversary of the first time a missionary came to their valley. We hiked an hour up to a monument that had been built on the arrival spot, and we listened to a recording from that first missionary, Mr. Zollner. He said he wasn’t sure if he was going to be killed. He wasn’t! He said they “planted a small seed (the gospel) and now it has grown into a large tree full of good fruit.” How cool is that?


Morning fog clings to the side of the valley before starting our hike to this neighboring village, seen across the valley. Photo by Michael Brown


With friends at the site of a monument erected where first outside contact was made with missionaries 50 years ago. Photo by Michael Brown


Pigs are an important part of tribal culture. It is the ladies’ job to tend to them. They brought in nearly 500 pigs for the feast to celebrate the coming of the gospel. Photo by Michael Brown


One of dozens of pits used to cook the pork. This is the preheating of the rocks. Photo by Michael Brown

The Kosarek people had a long ceremony memorializing that event (the coming of the gospel) including a really neat reenactment of the first contact done by kids who attend a Christian school operated by our local ministry partners.

And yes, the pig feast was good: meat and sweet potatoes wrapped up in banana leaves and roasted with hot rocks in a pit. As honored guests, we even got served the head. Felt real special. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from various people:

“We don’t have much in life, but we have God’s word.”

“We only endure because of the foundation of God’s Word.”

“We used to live in darkness. But because the missionaries came 50 years ago we live in the light.”

“We can sleep at night in peace with no fear because of the gospel.”


And my favorite quote: “Some of us have curly hair, some have straight hair,” and at a loss for words and looking at Susan, “some have all different kinds of hair!” Photo by Brad McFarlane


Every good celebration includes lots of dancing and singing! Photo by Brad McFarlane

Mike Martin, our good friend and Kosarek translator, also had a time to present the New Testament manuscript to the church leaders. He gave them a challenge—in their language— about using the Scriptures. (I couldn’t understand that part.) The Kosarek New Testament is currently in line at the printer. Coming soon!


Sneak peek at the Kosarek New Testament! Photo by Christine Brown


Friend and Kosarek translator, Mike, presents the New Testament manuscript to the church elders. The translation has been sent off and is waiting at the printer. They are hoping to have a dedication ceremony later this year! Photo by Brad McFarlane



Brad McFarlane

Brad McFarlane

Brad is a missionary pilot with YAJASI, our partner in Papua, Indonesia. He and his wife, Susan, have served there since 1997.