The Mesem New Testament
Neil, Kathy and Tony Vanaria serving with the Mesem People of Papua New Guinea
This first page will remain static and all other pages will be changing.
Dedication Video Added and Newsletter updated May 17, Photos updated May 1, 2013
Thank you for visiting our website to share with us in the work God is doing amongthe Mesem people. It has been our joy to be missionaries in Papua New Guinea since 1988 and translators with the Mesem people of Morobe Province since 1993. In January of 2013, the Mesem people received the New Testament in their own language and are studying it with great joy. So many have described the life changing experience and we will share those stories with you in the days ahead.
In this photo a Mesem man has the joy of reading the Gospel of Matthew. Until the early 90's the Mesem language was an unwritten language but thanks to the prayers and practical support of the Body of Christ, Mesem speakers now can read the scriptures and hold worship services in their own language. For the first time people can really understand the meaning of the good news and begin to study it for themselves.
They plan to begin translating the Old Testament after the New Testament in completed, and a book concerning customary Jewish life at the time the New Testament was inspired has already been translated. We hope to have that in print later this year.
The impact of scripture in the lives of the Mesem people is evident as people make a decision to move from the bondage of traditional animism to the freedom of living in reconciled relationship with their Creator through the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf.This freedom allows people to live without fear in the magnificient creation God has given them. The village of Ogau, seen below, is typical of the 12 villages scattered throughout the Sarawaged mountains where over 3500 Mesem speakers live,waiting for the scriptures.
The lush rain forest has spectacular 80 foot waterfalls, but the harsh terrain makes the subsistance lifestyle of the Mesem people very difficult. The people garden on this steep terrain and supplement their diet of yams, greens and root vegetables with domesticated pigs and chickens. Lack of protein, as well as lack of good health care is a consistent challenge for the people of Papua New Guinea, and in very remote areas there is no access to health services whatsoever.
God's desire is that all people, everywhere will praise His Name. Funkeka Wenge was one of the first Christians in the Mesem area and has worked with us for many years to see the New Testament completed. Now, age 68 she has held the Word of God in her hand. We will continue to update you with what the Lord is doing as we complete media and write up the amazing miracle that God has done.