Excerpts from the Martins' Memos - March, 2023

Martins' Memos


Texas, USA

March 2023

The Chosen: Jason appears in the filming of the feeding of the 5,000

We were excited to finally watch all 8 episodes of the third season of The Chosen last month. We didn’t really expect to see Jason among the thousands that volunteered at the two-day filming event in Midlothian Texas – about 20 miles from us. After the release of Episode 8, we couldn’t find him, but Jason was able to pick himself out of the crowd in a scene that lasted only 2 seconds. The scene below shows where Jason was located – within earshot of Thaddeus – as Thaddeus was echoing Jesus’ words to part of the crowd too far away to hear directly what Jesus was saying in the parable of the sower (“...other seeds fell among thorns – and the thorns grew up and choked them...”).

The Manus Bible Translation Organization Met March 6-8 2023 on Manus Island

The Manus Bible Translation Organization (MBTO) met together this month for two events: (1) To plan the future of Bible Translation for the 30 language groups of Manus Province, PNG, and (2) To celebrate the retirement of Charles Kowak as Program Coordinator for Manus Province – so Charles can devote more of his energies to translating the Nyindrou Old Testament. The National Executive Director of the PNG Bible Translation Association, Tony Kotauga also visited Manus to attend the meetings.

Timothy Kundrake rejoins the Nyindrou Translation Program

Those of you who have followed our ministry for many years may remember Timothy Kundrake. He was the main Nyindrou translator that we advised from 1981 until we went on our second furlough in 1990. Later, in 1991 Charles Kowak was trained and took over the main translator role for the Nyindrou Translation Program.

In 1989 Timothy had suffered a moral lapse and was not able to continue as translator at that time, even though he repented shortly afterwards. After we returned to PNG in 1991, Charles sensed that God was calling him to leave his career as school teacher (after 27 years) and once trained, he became the main translator for the Nyindrou program. Just last month (February 2023) we were surprised and delighted to get an email from Timothy who apologized for leaving the program many years earlier, and asked if we would approve of him rejoining the Nyindrou program – to help Charles in his efforts to translate the Old Testament, and also to work on a revision of the Nyindrou New Testament. We gladly welcomed Timothy back!

God's servants in the Nyindrou Translation Program need our prayers

We also found out that same week that Charles’ sister had died of a sudden and severe case of Pulmonary Tuberculosis. And moreover, Charles has told us that Timothy had come to town from the village seeking medical care for severe congestion and shortness of breath. It was at this time that Timothy wrote to us about rejoining the Nyindrou Translation Program. He got tested for Tuberculosis. The tests were apparently inconclusive, but he is taking strong medications from the Lorengau hospital to treat it as an active infection.

Timothy's wife Leni, their son Lokes, and Timothy

And, of top of those news items, Charles and Timothy both told us that Timothy’s son Lokes had recently been traveling with some companions by motorized boat from Madang town back to Manus Island – a somewhat perilous journey of 250 miles of open ocean - when apparently they ran out of fuel against strong head winds, and they went adrift at sea. We know of many instances where Manus sea travelers have disappeared when their boat breaks down at sea and strong Northwest winds and squalls cause them to drift away from Manus Island out into the open Pacific Ocean. Many who went adrift were never heard from again. But, God had mercy on Lokes, his companions, and his family. After drifting for a week at sea, Lokes and his friends were spotted and rescued by a fishing vessel that happened to see them adrift at sea. Needless to say, both Charles and Timothy would appreciate all of our prayers. We believe the enemy doesn’t want to see the Nyindrou translation work to advance, and is actively fighting against it – but we are confident that the Lord will provide healing and keep us all safe, healthy, and well equipped to do His will!

The self-sacrificing cargo carrier, and our holiday in Key West and the Bahamas

We went on our holiday last month, and invited Lenore’s brother and his wife to go along with us on a Royal Caribbean cruise out of Galveston Texas to Key West in Florida, and the Bahama Islands. It was a delightful time of relaxation as well as friendship and fellowship. As usual at the start of our trip, we had asked for the Lord’s protection and guidance as, we made our way by car to San Marcos TX to pick up Lenore’s brother Wayne and his wife Glenda, then the four of us traveled on to the Galveston area on February 17th. While passing through Houston in stop-and-go traffic on Interstate 45, we were suddenly rear-ended by a large SUV. We and the other driver pulled over to inspect the damage and exchange insurance information.

The SUV that rear-ended us – note radiator and other fluids draining onto the road surface.
The SUV had to be towed away for major repairs.

Our car with the self-sacrificing cargo carrier in the hitch on the back.
The carrier projected us from injury and significant damage
in the collision.

Our holiday in Key West and the Bahamas was great.
We especially enjoyed
our fellowship with Wayne and Glenda,
and our
the dining room experience with our wonderful waiters.

We were amazed that the cargo carrier attached to the hitch on the back of our car took the entire force of the collision, and our car itself didn’t suffer a single scratch! The much larger SUV that hit us, however, had to be towed away. The cargo carrier fortunately was empty and sacrificed itself to protect our car! The damage to the SUV however, was significant, as the cargo carrier went straight through the lower gap below his front end grill work, and sliced through part of his radiator and probably other vital parts, pouring out fluids and steam all over the roadway. We all praised the Lord that no one was injured. I was also grateful for His providential timing too - as I had decided not to remove the empty cargo carrier and leave it in San Marcos once we found that all the luggage fit well in the back of our Prius, leaving the cargo carrier empty – but ready to protect our car.

What to do when it gets cold and icy in Texas: Heat the house with wood, cook your food with the hot sun and share it woth others!

As we demonstrated in our August newsletter, it is not hard to think about using the heat of the sun for something profitable like solar cooking when it is hot in this part of Texas during the Summer. But, did you know that solar cooking works almost as well when the temperature outside is closer to freezing? The insulated cardboard box solar oven can still can get above 300 degrees F even in cold weather - as long as the sun is still shinning!

View out our dining room window
during the ice storm in February

Lenore warming up by our wood burning stove insert placed in the old fireplace.

The solar box oven cooking a large pot of stew. Can you smell the aroma?!

Last December we installed a wood burning stove insert into our old fireplace. That was good, especially since we also had a big ice storm earlier last month. We’ve been able to have a number of solar cooked meals over this past Winter using the simple cardboard box solar oven shown in the picture above. Joel and Becky’s family have been coming over weekly on Monday afternoons to have dinner with us.

Joel tutors Mari in the basics of computer programming, Lenore tutors Lily in reading, and Sammy and I do some little project in the workshop – while Becky prepares dinner for all of us. If the sun is shining those days, we will also supplement Becky’s meal with some solar cooked stew. Today as I write this it is a Monday, and we have a large pot of stew out in the solar oven which we’ll share with our kids and grand-kids.

Adapt It work continues

I (Bill) am the lead developer of the Adapt It software project. Since our last newsletter in December 2022 the team has been working on a new release version 6.11.0 – a major feature and bug-fix update. The Adapt It team has been mostly on holiday at various times since the first of the year, but we are eager to get the new release finished, tested, and distributed soon. Pray that all of us on the Adapt It team can best utilize our time and resources. In addition to my Adapt It work, I've been advising Charles – and now also Timothy - who hope to make more progress in translating the Old Testament, and a revision of the Nyindrou New Testament that was published and dedicated in July 2002. I have not heard recently from Belden. Please continue to pray for Belden too, and for Charles and Timothy, for strength and healing as they all face serious health issues, and opposition from the enemy.

Your servants in His Joy and Peace, Bill and Lenore Martin

 “And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause. (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)

Praise Items:

Prayer Items:

ž We praise the Lord that His Word continues to be translated around the world, and that His Word is not “bound” by the pandemic nor by political strife.

o Pray that God’s love and power will be revealed through the translated Word as it speaks of Jesus, to the hearts of all who would listen to Him.

ž We praise the Lord that Timothy Kundrake has rejoined the Nyindrou Translation Team, and wants to help Charles in translating the Old Testament, and do a revision of the Nyindrou New Testament.

o Pray for Charles, as he grieves the loss of his sister, and that his blood pressure can be well controlled.

o Pray for Timothy and Belden's health issues and efforts in Bible translation. Pray for Timothy’s full recovery from TB and a great working relationship with Charles.

ž We praise the Lord for the fresh commitments that were made at the MBTO meeting among all the national translators working in Manus. We’ve still not heard from Belden for several months.

o Pray for Belden and all the Manus translators as all surely have many challenges and opposition to overcome in their work. Pray that Belden would be able to make good progress in checking and revising the draft of the Harengan New Testament.

ž We praise the Lord for the many good reports of how the Lord is using The Chosen around the world to bring people into a fresh, new relationship with their loving savior Jesus. We’re glad that Jason was able to have a part as an extra in the Season 3’s finale, Episode 8.

o Pray for The Chosen cast and crew and all involved, that the crowd-funded series will continue to have great impact around the world, and introduce many to the living Christ - that they may truly come to know Him as their Lord and Savior. Pray for the multi-season project as they plan to translate the episodes into at least 600 languages!

ž We praise the Lord that Jason was able to negotiate with the hospital for a reduction in their charges for Nella’s hospital stay, and pay it off over time.

o Pray that I (Bill) will be able to get some lower back issues and the neuropathy in my feet evaluated. The UT Southwestern medical unit canceled my evaluation for unknown reasons.

ž We thank the Lord for Ephesians 3:20 and give praise to “him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.”

o Pray for Joel and Rebecca who have sold their house in N. Arlington Texas. For now, they are renting a home closer to the kid’s school in South Arlington, and looking to the Lord for future guidance.

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