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
Through God’s provision and our partnership with AuSIL, a solid foundation for the new Scripture engagement initiative in the Torres Strait Island region is in place. In the first six months, the crew of the Coweambah established important relationships with Islander church and civic leaders while promoting the newly printed Scriptures in languages of the Torres Strait.
The growing interest among Islanders for using the Yumplatok New Testament is encouraging. There’s also a growing desire to use the Yumplatok Scriptures as a tool to accelerate translation into the actual heart languages of the Torres Strait. We praise God for all that’s been accomplished during the first phase of this project!
That said, operating in the Torres Strait for just six months has given us the chance to better understand both the opportunities and challenges that exist. In collaboration with AuSIL, we’ve decided to take some time to evaluate the situation and better equip ourselves to engage in the Torres Strait … and perhaps beyond into areas like the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. After laying a solid foundation for ongoing impact, but with several of these questions in mind, our program managers have also decided to take a new assignment with Wycliffe US.
So, while Scripture engagement and even additional heart language translation is underway in the Islands, “on-the sea” operations are currently on hold while we work with AuSIL to pray, assess, and plan the best next steps. We appreciate your prayers for the next phase of the program.
Ask God to reveal his love and transforming power to the people of the Torres Strait.
Praise God for the relationships built by Coweambah’s crew and the progress made in a relatively short time.
Pray for AuSIL and JAARS leadership as they fine-tune plans for Scripture distribution and engagement in the Torres Strait and nearby regions.
After three days in the Cairns, Australia hospital, flights were arranged for Mike and Karen Osborn to make the 36-hour return trip to Jacksonville, Florida, where they are staying with family.
Karen will have surgery on her right ankle on Thursday, April 2. Her left ankle should not require further treatment beyond physical therapy after six weeks in the cast.
Your continued prayers are appreciated.
Coweambah and crew are safely back in Cairns after motoring nearly three days through rough waters churned by Tropical Cyclone Nathan. They made the trip to address several matters, including the Osborns’ expiring temporary visas, an Australian registration issue for the boat, and the need to consider next steps in the Scripture engagement program.
After docking and while getting unpacked, Karen Osborn accidentally fell inside the boat. She broke both her ankles and dislocated a finger. Thankfully, they were in harbor with medical attention readily available. She is in the hospital where they’ve already set her finger. One ankle will require surgery, which can’t be done until the swelling goes down. Mike and Karen gave permission for us to share this as they are facing many decisions in the next few days and covet your prayers.
Would you pray with us?
Praise God that the Osborns and Captain Ben arrived in Cairns a couple of days ahead of the storm and that the boat is docked in a cyclone-rated marina.
Pray for Karen’s healing. Pray for wisdom and clarity for Mike and Karen as they decide whether they should stay in Cairns or return to the US for surgery.
Pray for JAARS leadership as they help Mike and Karen work through details and questions about insurance, visas, and other concerns.
Continue to ask God to give the people of the Torres Strait a hunger to know him better through the Scriptures in their own languages.