Nine years of work in Papua New Guinea is over – Sunday school books in their native language bring joy to churches
Marianne and Esa-Matti Pyykkönen have reason to celebrate. The couple have been doing missionary work in Papua New Guinea for nine years and now an important phase of their work has been completed. They have translated and edited the Book series Pearls of the Bible into the tok pisin language. The series consists of six teaching books and six picture books and has previously been translated into more than 30 languages.
The population of Papua New Guinea is very young and is divided into more than 700 tribes and languages. However, the child and youth work of Fida’s partner churches is still in its infancy. In 2013, the ALC Pentecostal movement invited the Pyykkönens to develop activities for children. The 50-year-old Pentecostal Church, started by Finnish missionaries, has also taken steps in recent years to develop its missionary work.
The Pyykkönens have produced Sunday school materials and trained teachers. When completed, the book series will be unique. There are hardly any books available in the country and people are not used to reading. The training of Sunday school teachers was started right at the very beginning: how to hold the book in the right way, and how to illustrate the teaching.
The fruit of the work are the enthusiastic Sunday school teachers. When the first three books with pictures were completed in 2018, they rushed to buy the books for their use during the Pentecostal movement’s national children’s ministry days.
The whole future of Papua New Guinea is in the hands of todays children. Let’s pray that when the book series finds its way to small jungle villages, it would be a blessing for the children, the church, and the whole community.
– Many people cried with joy when the wonderful materials were made available to them. The Pyykkönens felt that their work was appreciated, Marianne says.
The coronavirus pandemic restrictions slowed the training work. But the book project progressed, and by the end of 2021 it was already certain that the book series would be completed this spring. Marianne and Esa, who will return to Finland in June, know that the work is not over, but the locals now have a good toolbox to take the children’s activities forward. The main idea of the work right from the very beginning has been God’s love for children. Marianne raises the topic of prayer:
– The whole future of Papua New Guinea is in the hands of todays children. Let’s pray that when the book series finds its way to small jungle villages, it would be a blessing for the children, the church, and the whole community.
Read more about 2021 in Fida’s annual report.
Missionwork in Papua New Guinea. Read more at here.