Rough waters are much easier to face with a good boat and safety gear.
The only way to a village might be canoeing across open ocean. Or catching a crowded, run-down boat out to an island. Most vessels don’t even have life jackets. With the right help—whether it’s a safety kit, a small boat, or a large vessel for a whole region—translation teams can stay safe on the water.
How JAARS Fits In
We visit our partners, assess their travel challenges, and help them choose the best boats for their situation. If they need a large boat, we’ll help them plan, launch, and run the program. We also teach people how to swim, use safety gear, and give first aid.
How You Can Help
Tim McIntosh from our maritime services department leaves August 2 on a trip where he’ll be evaluating the water travel needs of four language groups in north central Brazil. During the two-week trip, he’ll be traveling with colleagues from ALEM, our translation partner in Brazil, by motorcanoe on two different rivers.
- Please pray for safe travel to and from Brazil.
- Pray for good weather, safety on the river, and good communication.
- Ask God to grant wisdom as Tim and colleagues from ALEM assess the travel needs and challenges of translators who must travel by boat to do their work.
- At a gathering of local ministers, arranged by the Thursday Island Mayor Napau Pedro Stephen, the team shared the vision of Islanders engaging with the Bible in their own languages. According to one senior pastor, the gathering "stirred up the ministry of the body of Christ like a breath of fresh air." Later, attendance at a language symposium organized by the Torres Strait Regional Authority and the Department of Education and hosted by the Gab Titui Cultural Centre afforded an opportunity for the AuSIL team to speak with Islanders gathered from all over the Torres Strait. Islanders shared their dreams and hopes for ongoing use of their languages.
- On a visit to the city library, the team provided a Yumplatok Bible, Islander praise song CDs, and a list of all materials available in Islander heart languages. The librarian, Mavis Bani, was very excited about having more materials available in Islander heart languages, especially the praise songs.
- A Christian book store is now stocked with a display copy of the Yumplatok Bible and several Yumplatok children’s books after a contact from the team. These materials can be ordered through the book store.
- An article in the Torres Strait News, a major source of news in all the islands, and an interview with one of our team members on a local radio station effectively described our mission of Scripture distribution and engagement to a wider audience.
- A meeting with John McSweeny, supervisor of Torres Strait Island schools, provided helpful information about the use of local languages on various islands and about Yumplatok’s use as a spoken language.