Getting started
We joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1983 and arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 1987 to work with Wycliffe’s sister organization, SIL. We began work in Arop village, learning the Arop language and beginning to train some Arop men as Bible translators. By 1993 we had published the book of Mark and Arop people were beginning to read it and use it in churches. From 1994 to 1998, the Arop translators continued working on the translation while we served as the Regional Directors overseeing the work of 25 other translation teams in the Sepik region of PNG.

Tragedy strikes
When we returned to PNG in early 1998 from a furlough, we were getting back into the Arop translation project full time. But then tragedy struck. In July 1998, Arop village was completely erased by three giant tidal waves. Half the people who speak the Arop language were killed, including one of the Arop translators and many of our Arop friends.

A new opportunity
When the Arops rebuilt their village inland from their old beach location, we rebuilt our house and also a new translation center there. We and the Arop translators started asking the Lord to show us how we could include three coastal languages that are related to Arop in the translation project. Soon some unrelated inland or ‘bush’ languages began asking to join in. By the time the new, expanded translation project was started in 2001, 11 different languages and dialects were participating.

Vision for multiplication
In this new experimental multi-language Bible translation project, we are continuing to train Papua New Guineans who are translating the Bible into their own languages. But it doesn’t end there. Our vision is to see those Papua New Guinean translators train still more of their fellow Papua New Guineans from other language groups to be Bible translators for their own people.

Technology speeds the process
After three years of giving the translators on-the-job training in translation, we began training them to use Adapt It software to take advantage of the similarities between languages.


More info available:

For more details on how the translation project works, see AWTP (Aitape West Translation Project and our newsletters.

For information about how you can be part of our ministry, click on Partnership.

If you need a brief summary for publishing purposes, see our brief intro page.

For more information about Wycliffe, go to or call 1-800-Wycliffe.