Published by Lindsay Steele
on August 11, 2015
(Photo courtesy Tim and Gina Matthews.)
Papua New Guinea (MNN) — If you ever felt God calling you to go somewhere else, would you be willing to sell everything you had and go?That’s what Tim and Gina Matthews did to become Wycliffe Bible Translators missionaries in Papua New Guinea.
When Tim retired from being a marine law enforcer in 2010, the Matthews decided to sell everything they had, buy a sailboat, and sail to an undecided destination to serve others in the name of Jesus.
After a bit of time, they found themselves helping to build an orphanage in the Bahamas.
But, their adventure was just beginning. Last summer, the Matthews returned to America, asking God to show them a clear path of where He wanted them to go next. They started meeting different missionary couples, one of which directed them toward Wycliffe.
They found that there was a need for someone to help with safe water transportation for the Bible translation teams in Papua New Guinea. The job description fit perfectly with what Tim had done as a marine law enforcer.
What really pushed the Matthews to go was the extreme need for translation and sharing the Gospel.“We just know that the Bible changes people’s lives. In this world, our solution is God’s Word,” says Tim. “We’d do anything we could to support Bible translation.“Their Bible was a blank piece of paper, and we just found that totally unacceptable.”
Early this year, the Matthews ventured to the Oceania country.
A church service where over 100 people came to Christ.“It was an urgent need, and we acted urgently. We’ve gotten rid of our home, our boat, said goodbye to all of our friends, and went to a place we’ve never even heard of before: Papua New Guinea.”
Over the last few months, the couple has enjoyed getting to see what life is like in the country. Currently, they are living in a village and getting involved with the people and translators.“We got to be part of a lot of different training courses where we’re training the Papua New Guineans to become translators; and by doing that, we’re multiplying our efforts,” Gina says.
With translation help coming from the locals, it makes the load lighter on Wycliffe translators.“Another thing that’s just close to my heart is vernacular media. I’ve had the opportunity to do audio recordings and record God’s Word.”Gina explains that many Papua New Guineans have Bibles, but most of them have not learned how to read it yet.
Audio Bible recordings enable them to hear the Gosplan their heart language.
Gina teaches children about Jesus at a public school.
In addition to that, the Matthews have been working with schools and churches. They’ve been guiding Sunday school teachers on sharing the story of Jesus with the kids.“We’ve witnessed lots of transformation through what’s already been done here,” Gina says. “We feel like this is the best possible way to use our time at this part of our life. And we’re just so grateful that God’s using us here.”
If you feel God urging you to go and serve, don’t be afraid to trust Him.“[The Bible] says not to sit. It says to go and make disciples, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These are things that all Christians are commanded to do,” Tim says.
Tim with children from the Matthews’ village.
“I had the abilities to do these things, and I can’t sit still when I hear that urgent call for Bible translation, knowing people’s eternal destinations depend on us acting urgently.”
Want to know how you can make an impact in the Matthews’ lives?Gina asks,
“Pray that God continues to open doors, and that we will hear that and walk through that door and help in any way we can.”
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