Snapshots from Milne Bay

Helicopter pilot Gavin Jones, who serves in Papua New Guinea (PNG), shares a few photos showing flights he made recently to several islands in the Milne Bay area of PNG.

The view across Milne Bay.

It’s been another great two days of flying down in Milne Bay.

Gavin has noted his destinations in red on this Google map.

First, I spent some time on Fergusson Island with the Koluwawa people, mourning the loss of Toni Guderion, their American co-translator who died late last year. 

Debaiya village on Fergusson Island.

Toni and her husband, Brad, had worked with the Koluwawa people in Debeiya village on Fergusson for many years. We weren’t sure that the village people knew about her death, so I dropped off Michael Harrar, the regional director, and JoAnne Totome, manager of the Alotau Center. They spent a few hours with the people to talk, mourn and plan.

While I was there, I took this picture of some local kids in the Koluwawa area near Debaiya.

Kids from the Koluwawa area near Debaiya.

Next, I picked up some co-translators from the tiny remote island of Nubogeta and flew them to Alotau, the main town in Milne Bay Province. The 45-minute flight saved them 14 hours of rough and dangerous travel over open ocean followed by a few more hours by road. They have no method of communication on the island, so they have to travel to Alotau just to contact their American co-worker and work with him remotely.

Nubogeta island home of the Gumawana people.

Next, I dropped off over 300 pounds of literacy materials for the Iamalele people on Fergusson  Island. They are working on a New Testament revision. 

John and Margaret Beaumont from Australia have been working with the Iamalele people since the early 1970s.
Gavin with John Beaumont and Michael Harrar, the regional director for language programs in the East Papua area.

Michael Harrar was along on the three-day trip to visit the different language areas and help with communications and arranging logistics. Currently, there are several teams of translators who previously worked in the Milne and Oro Bay areas but who are now working remotely from their home countries (or have discontinued the work). Michael is liaising with the national translators and the expatriate missionaries.

House construction in Diodio.

I also dropped off building supplies for the Vargas, a translation family from Costa Rica who are constructing their village house in Diodio on Goodenough Island. 

The views of coral reefs are amazing, especially with the calm water. This picture was taken on the way from Goodenough Island and Fergusson Island.

Afterward, I delivered newly printed dictionaries to an area on the mainland just opposite Goodenough Island for the Gapapaiwa. They have had the New Testament for several years, but never a dictionary, until now. 

Gladstone, the Gapapaiwa translator, is all smiles after receiving the new dictionaries.

Lastly, I picked up three single ladies from Anuki and Yamap who have been working on language learning. Sonya Paoli started working a couple years ago in Yamap and Luz Maldonado and Karen Fernandez started in Anuki a little over a year ago. People have worked in these languages in the past, but these ladies will be serving as translation advisors with the PNG national translators.

Karen Fernandez and Luz Maldonado are shown here with Liza Ragsdale who was visiting them for a few days.

There is so much work going on in so many areas for so many languages, and I get to be a part of it all. To God be the glory!

Gavin Jones

Gavin Jones

Gavin Jones, his wife, Carrie, and their family support Bible translation in Papua New Guinea. Gavin is a helicopter pilot. Carrie has her degree in public health and works at the lab at Ukarumpa's busy rural clinic. Their children include 17-year-old Isaac and 11-year-old quintuplets, Will, David, Marcie, Seth and Grace.