Posts Tagged ‘JAARS’

Something New Under the Sun

By Matt Petersen

Pastor PeterPastor Peter Marokiki had a problem. He didn’t have electricity in his remote Papua New Guinea village. Without electricity he couldn’t run his computer. And without a computer, it was really hard to work on the Arop Bible translation.

A team at JAARS, one of Wycliffe’s strategic partners, recently made something to help translators like Pastor Peter. With a flexible solar panel and a lithium battery pack, it can keep a notebook computer running all day long. And it has enough power left over to run a BGAN terminal for a satellite Internet connection.

Pastor Peter got one of these units a few months ago and it’s working great!

At about nine pounds, the solar panel itself isn’t quite as light as those designed for backpackers, but it’s more durable and only one-fifth the cost. Plus, the unit can run all day long and stores power for a cloudy day or two. Rolled up, it easily fits in a five-gallon bucket—extra protection from dust, rain, mud, and other harsh travel conditions. And its batteries should last five years or more with little to no maintenance.Solar Unit 2

“This isn’t going to fit every need,” said Paul Zwierzynski, one of the product developers. “But where you’ve got a national translator who’s really got the ability to work from home … this gives him a setup that’s basically no fiddling with it; you just plug in your computer and run … enabling more people to work who normally wouldn’t be able to work.”

More work, more translations, more lives changed—that’s what it’s all about!

For more information about the units, including purchasing information, e-mail paul_zwierzynski@sil.org.


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By Katie Kuykendall

DaltonDalton Lott is an entrepreneur with a fundamental philosophy: run your business with integrity, and always do what’s best for the customer. As a member of the Wycliffe President’s Council, he strives to apply that same perspective to his service.

“There’s no higher calling than doing something for the good Lord,” Dalton said. “I just want to try to be a little blessing.”

A true Texan from the town of Duncanville, Dalton combined his sales skills and experience with strong doses of humility, hospitality, and hard work to create Club Marketing Services—a full-service sales and marketing company that assists manufacturers who want to work with Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.

Club Marketing Services has become the industry expert at selling to those retail chains. Ask Dalton how he did it, and the founder and CEO will say with a laugh, “I’m just a poor boy trying to make a way doing different things.”

He’ll also say he owes it all to God’s provision.

“I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest comprehension,” Dalton said. By the time he was forty years old, he had become a millionaire. But to whom much is given, much is expected, Dalton added.

In less than a year, a series of events caused him to lose it all, and he had to start over. Dalton saw it as an opportunity to reprioritize.

“I had to readdress a lot of things and make changes,” he said. “You spend a lot of time speaking to the good Lord during those times.”

Now Dalton says he tithes on his business in addition to tithing personally. Hard times came and went again, and he committed to tithing more during the rough patches.

As the owner of several other businesses, he’s also found other ways to steward his resources. Dalton always volunteers his jet terminal, Jet Center of Dallas, to Wycliffe and partner organization JAARS as a place to host events and meetings.

He’s also been on several trips into the field with Wycliffe, and makes it a point to support individual Wycliffe missionaries.

“I’m a big believer that you can’t out-give God,” Dalton said. “The more I’ve been able to help and give, the more blessings I’ve received in return.”

Do you have unique resources you could steward creatively? Click here to check out all the ways you can give to Bible translation.


Editor’s Note: As a reminder, next week we begin our summer blog series that focuses on each area of the world where we work. We’ll spend three weeks on each area—for a total of fifteen weeks—sharing infographics, photos, stories, and more. Check out our social media and follow our RSS feed to learn more about each area of the world we work in, starting next week with Asia!

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JAARS will celebrate a miracle airplane  at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-in & Expo in Lakeland, Florida. You’re invited to celebrate the new plane with ‘refreshments under the wing’, storytelling, and a prayer of dedication! The JAARS exhibit is part of the IAMA Fly4Life Mission Aviation Exhibit in the Southeast Aircraft Exhibit, Lot 1 & 2, at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida.

Kodiak N77KQ will be on static display the week of April 9-14 at the SUN ‘n FUN event. The airplane will be the fourth aircraft of its kind that JAARS has sent to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to serve in support of Bible translation. 


Wondering about the miracle?

The Kodiak is a unique, powerful aircraft with the ability for short takeoffs and landings essential for the mountainous, rugged terrain of Papua New Guinea. It has an external cargo pod that increases cargo capacity and requires significantly less maintenance per flight hour. With this plane, pilots are able to deliver essential equipment such as solar panels to provide power for translators’ computers and printers, transport staff to remote villages where they can work with on-site translators, and provide emergency medical evacuations. This Kodiak and the others already deployed in PNG will ensure the next generation of Bible translators, literacy specialists, and Scripture Use workers can have safe, cost-effective air travel.

When JAARS realized the need to purchase this aircraft, hundreds of friends came alongside the organization– praying, giving, and spreading the word about the seemingly impossible goal. Wycliffe Associates also contributed funds toward the cause. Toward the incredible generosity of others, JAARS was able to raise the funds needed in just twelve days!

This event will be a chance to see the Kodiak firsthand before it sets off to serve in Bible translation.



JAARS is a non-profit ministry that helps organizations around the world get practical, day-to-day support for Bible translation. It focuses on five main types of practical support: aviation, land transportation, water transportation, information technology, and media services. Visit https://www.jaars.org/ to learn more.


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By Angela Nelson

Mary Seeger* has lived a full life. She raised three children with her late husband Bob,* cultivated award-winning pecan trees, got to travel overseas a few times, and even went sky-diving on her eightieth birthday.

“For someone who grew up so poor, it just blows my mind that the Lord has let me do all these things,” Mary said.

Today Mary lives on a farm in Texas with her daughter, Sue*—the one who originally introduced her to Wycliffe and Bible translation.

In the late eighties, Sue had learned about Wycliffe and decided to move to Waxhaw, North Carolina, to work with Wycliffe’s partner organization, JAARS. When Mary and Bob went to visit her there, they were very impressed with everything they saw and even spent a month volunteering at the new homes for retired missionaries, washing windows and wielding the pick, shovel, and rake.

Through Sue, they met many other missionaries working with Wycliffe, and they began supporting several of them financially.

“We’ve always been more interested in missions than we have been in church buildings,” Mary explained.

To this day, Mary still supports those missionaries. And in order to ensure that they continue to get support for a period once she passes away, she decided to donate one of her valuable possessions—a diamond.


The diamond was a present from Bob. He had given it to her for their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and had it placed in the setting of her great-grandmother’s wedding ring.

Mary had worn it proudly for almost thirty years, but recently she kept it in her safe more than she wor

e it, for fear that she would lose it during her farm chores.

“Well, if you have something that you can’t wear and can’t enjoy and you’re afraid you’re going to lose it, you might as well give it back to the Lord,” she explained. “And since [Bob’s] passed away, he won’t mind.”

So Mary contacted people from the Wycliffe Foundation who took care of the details of selling the diamond. Half of the money went “where needed most” at Wycliffe. And when Mary passes away, the other half will continue to be distributed to the missionaries she currently supports through a Missionary Support Plan with the Wycliffe Foundation, for as long as the money lasts.

“If it lies in the safe, nobody’s going to hear the Good News,” Mary said. “And maybe the Lord’s going to use it to bring someone to Christ.”

Perhaps you have property, stock, savings, or a valuable asset like Mary did. Would you consider using some or all of those assets to help people hear God’s Word in their own language? If you have questions, the Wycliffe Foundation is happy to help. Contact them at www.wycliffefoundation.org or 877-493-3600.

*A pseudonym

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A Mazatec man sets up a recording studio in his home so others can hear.

By Terry Schram

Félix Ventura, an educated assistant pastor, joined the translation project late. The Jalapa de Díaz Mazatec New Testament had already been translated, but another step needed attention. His task was to read the translated Scriptures and think about how clearly Jesus and Paul and the others spoke Mazatec.

Doing this, he discovered that the Scriptures had much more impact on him when he pondered them in his own language, and he began to teach others to read Mazatec. He found that people who already knew how to read Spanish could extend their reading skill fairly easily if they followed the printed Mazatec passage while listening to it read very slowly, word by word. He used the book of Jonah for this because it’s fairly short and tells an interesting story. As he worked with older people, he realized that although many would probably never learn to read, they did want to listen to Scripture.

Soon Félix became so impressed with the great value of recorded Scripture that he decided to buy recording equipment and set up a small studio in his home. Now he records Scripture with three distinct purposes in mind. First, he reads the books he is currently revising and then gives those recordings to specific listeners he has incorporated into the revision process. They listen and give him feedback on how clearly it communicates in their language. Second, he reads some materials very slowly, as well as at normal speed, so people who read Spanish but not yet Mazatec can follow along in a printed text and teach themselves to read their mother tongue. Finally, he records published Scripture so those who cannot read can also have access to God’s Word.

Félix joined the translation project late, but it wasn’t too late for him to see a possibility, take initiative, and make the Word more accessible to many.

*Terry and his wife, Judith, serve in Mexico with the Jalapa de Díaz Mazatec translation project. This story was taken from the Fall 2012 issue of Rev . 7, a quarterly publication of our partner JAARS.

Committed to spreading God’s message, Félix Ventura records Scripture for oral learners, Scripture revisers, and new readers.

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The route to Sentani, Papua, from Kathmandu, Nepal should take about seven days.

By Angela Nelson

Last September, Wycliffe suffered a tragic loss when pilot Paul Westlund and two passengers died in an airplane accident in Papua, Indonesia.

The plane lost in the crash was one of three that was used to ferry translators, supplies, Bibles, and other passengers throughout the mountainous terrain of Papua. And while Paul himself could never be replaced, the team had to search for a replacement airplane to carry-on the important work.

Today we’re praising God for providing not just one, but two planes to add to the fleet in Papua. After a great deal of time and effort, the team purchased a lightly used Pilatus PC-6 Porter from Switzerland with insurance funds from the accident. The second Pilatus PC-6 Porter was purchased from an airline in Nepal, using generous donations.

This morning pilots Nate Gordon and Brad McFarlane were scheduled to leave Kathmandu, Nepal, in a white Porter with green and gold stripes. It’s the beginning of a seven-day journey to ferry the little plane nearly 5,000 nautical miles to Sentani, Papua.

Not far behind them is the second Porter, also on its way to Sentani. It left Switzerland August 21, being ferried by Swiss pilot Daniel Eicher.These short-field aircraft are crucial to Bible translation work in Papua. A few weeks ago, Nate wrote about a day he flew the Ketengban Old Testament translation team in one of the other planes:

“As I thought about that flight, bringing the entire OT team out to Sentani for a couple weeks of checking their drafts with their translation consultant, I was struck by how tenuous this whole thing is. Suspended 10,000 feet up in an empty sky, a single engine pulling a pair of wings over a seemingly endless stretch of impenetrable rain forest…it was easy to feel incredibly vulnerable. All our eggs in a fragile aluminum basket.

“This endeavor of reaching the remotest parts of the earth with the Good News of Jesus feels just like that most of the time: ridiculously fragile. The only way this work will ever succeed is if God undergirds it, protects it, and prospers it. But it is His work and it will bear fruit.”

Please pray for the pilots as they ferry the planes this week! Visit Nate’s blog for updates on the flight.

Pilots Nate and Brad with the Pilatus PC-6 Porter from Kathmandu, Nepal

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Paul Westlund 1954-2011

A Memorial Service for Paul Westlund has been arranged as follows.

December 30th (Friday), 2011

*Updated location

Grace Church of Dupage

27W344 Galusha

Warrenville, IL 60555

(630) 393-7344

4:30 p.m. through 6:00 p.m. -Fellowship Time
A time to gather with friends, family and those who knew Paul.

6:00 p.m. – Formal Service
For more information please contact Kari Law at muddydancingshoes@gmail.com.

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Photo taken by Merle Busenitz

By Katie Adams

JAARS delivered a third Quest Kodiak airplane to Wycliffe personnel in Papua New Guinea on Monday afternoon, October 10. A crowd gathered to greet the 33-foot long aircraft when it landed on the Aiyura airstrip in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea.

For most people, a brand new aircraft landing to aid the Bible translation effort in Papua New Guinea could mean progress, adventure, opportunity, and hope. The sight of the shiny, blue and white wings and silver propeller and the sound of the powerful turboprop taxiing on the runway brought excitement to the workers who will depend on this airplane to do their jobs. For Kristen Brewer, they brought something far more personal—a connection to the family she left seven thousand miles away.

Kristen and her husband, Jeff Brewer, are Wycliffe personnel who have lived in Papua New Guinea since 2008. Jeff is an aircraft mechanic and Kristen is a stay at home mom for their three children. Her father has worked in the Quest factory where Kodiak aircraft are built in northern Idaho since 2007. For Kristen, every Kodiak is a little piece of comfort bridging the gap between her and her parents.

“When I see a Kodiak land for the first time, I just always think that it started in my parents’ town,” she said. “My dad may have even touched it. It’s just amazing to me that a small plane can fly all the way from them to me. It makes the world seem smaller and my family not seem so far away.”

Now one in a fleet of seven aircraft on the ground in Papua New Guinea, the Kodiak will be used to fly people to and from remote villages, transport cargo, perform medical evacuations, and provide other support for more than 175 translation programs in-country.

As of 1999, translation programs around the world were starting at the rate of about one every eighteen days, meaning there wouldn’t be a program underway in every language until the year 2150. Wycliffe’s introduction of Vision 2025—the goal to see a translation project in every language by the year 2025—increased the pace dramatically. Today, translators begin a new program about every five days.

Of the roughly two thousand languages around the world that still need a Bible translation started, there are about three hundred in Papua New Guinea alone. In a country like this, rich in steep mountains and rolling hills that make traveling long distances on foot or by vehicle cumbersome, air travel becomes a crucial part of the translators’ ability to meet the urgent need for Bible translation.

The Kodiaks are being phased in to replace two existing Cessna 206 aircraft, which are older, more expensive to use, and carry less cargo. The Kodiaks can seat ten passengers, but typically seat eight after loading cargo. Unlike the other two Kodiaks, this latest addition has a cargo pod located underneath the airplane that solves that problem.

“Now that we have one Kodiak with the pod, we’ll be able to load it to maximum capacity and carry more people,” Kristen said. They are expecting pods to be delivered for each of the other Kodiaks as well.

Quest lists its base price for Kodiak aircraft at $1.6 million, which doesn’t include shipping and related costs. The aircraft can only be paid for by donors willing to contribute to the translators’ efforts, said Chuck Daly, vice president of global transportation services at JAARS.

The Brewers and fellow personnel in Papua New Guinea are hoping to streamline their fleet even further with the addition of a few more aircraft. A helicopter will be delivered next spring, Chuck said, and he is hoping a fourth Kodiak will also be delivered next year.

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Paul Westlund

Wycliffe USA’s partner organization – JAARS, Inc. confirmed that an aviation accident took place early this morning in Papua, Indonesia; the pilot and the two Indonesian passengers were killed.  The cause of the accident is unknown.
The aircraft was a Pilatus Porter PC-6 operated by YAJASI, an Indonesian partner organization. The pilot, Paul Westlund had been flying in Indonesia for nearly twenty-five years.  Paul is survived by his wife and two children. No further details are available at this time.

(Photo courtesy of Clive Gray)

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By Rachel Tidwell
Wycliffe USA

Jono was hanging around the outskirts of the Wycliffe booth at Urbana ‘09*, and I honestly remember thinking that he didn’t look that interested in stopping to talk about Bible translation. Regardless, I decided to try to pull him in and engage him. As I began the conversation, I quickly learned that he was an aviation management major in college, and was attending Urbana trying to figure out if there was ANY way that he could use that degree in missions. As he was walking around the exhibit hall, numerous exhibitors kept pointing him to Wycliffe, an organization he had really never heard about. He decided to drop by our exhibit.

I told him about JAARS, one of the Wycliffe partner organizations that provides technical support services, including aviation. I slowly watched his demeanor change from skeptical to animated. I shared how JAARS is an integral part of the bigger picture of Wycliffe and our heart for languages and Bible translation, and he practically beamed with excitement.

He interrupted me and said, “You are never going to believe this. I speak six languages and have a genuine love for learning languages. It comes pretty easily to me AND my mom is a translator at our home church in Aruba, so I totally get what you are saying about heart languages!” We were both floored at the connection. He went on to share that the night before he stopped by the Wycliffe booth, he was talking to his roommate and feeling pretty dejected. He said that he had been convinced that missions was what he was called to but he didn’t think that aviation management could be used in missions. He was preparing himself for the fact that he might have to tell his parents that all the money they put into his education was a waste, because he wasn’t going to be able to use that degree on the mission field where God was calling him. Jono became really excited when another colleague and I shared about aviation opportunities with Wycliffe.

As we continued to talk about where God might be leading him, he became pretty convinced that Wycliffe is the answer. I asked him where he went to school, only to be amazed again at the connections God continued to make between Jono and our ministry. As a student at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla., he is close enough to our Orlando offices that he’ll be able to come visit and check out aviation opportunities and Bible translation. Jono is not only majoring in aviation management, but also taking courses in music, and he seemed interested in the idea of ethnomusicology, the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts, and how Wycliffe believes in reaching people with the Gospel through multiple forms of culture.

My conversation with Jono gave me goose bumps and my new friend literally jumped with excitement. It was clear that the Holy Spirit was present in our conversation and as we prayed together before he walked away, I was reminded of something: Jono left our booth with a clarity he did not have when he came and I know that isn’t due to anything I said or did, but simply because God is moving here at Urbana.

God is calling students to Him and revealing plans for them that He has already prepared. Wycliffe is excited to be a part of Urbana this year.

URBANA is the 22nd student missions conference presented by Intervarsity Fellowship, drawing students from across North America and Europe to St. Louis this week. For more information on Wycliffe’s participation at the event, visit http://facebook.com/WycliffeURBANA09.

To read another Wycliffe team member’s account of his time at URBANA, click here.

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