Simon Savaiko - Literacy Point Person and Language Programme Coordinator (LPC) for Central-Gulf-Western Area and New Guinea Islands-Bougainville Area

I come from a very small family. Working as a hunter, my father raised money for my school fees. I was only the second person from my Barai tribe who went to high school and that is where I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. After high school, my parents stopped me from returning to town and taking a job, so I came back and stayed in my village.

While staying with the tribe, I served in a small cooperative society for three years. Through the wisdom and blessing of God and the work of village leaders, our village has seen many positive changes. God has blessed the village with a school, a health centre, an airstrip, and the Barai Non-Formal Education Association (BNEA) program, as well as many other things. Later on I realized that none of these things were sufficient to save the Barai people.


Now I am serving in Bible translation and literacy work because I believe in the WORD of God. Matthew 24:35;says God's Word will remain forever, and the best gift that I can give to my people is the Bible in their mother tongue. God used John 6:27 to call me to be involved in the Bible translation: “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.”  “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”~Acts 4:12.  I truly believe with my whole heart that Papua New Guinea will be changed only by the Word of God. Money and education and development without God will only destroy PNG.


The Bible is a big and holy book, and if I look at it from a human point of view, it is too big for me to work on. However, God is a God of the impossible; things that are impossible for men are all possible for our loving God. Luke 18:27. When I started to translate the Word, it began to transform my heart, as Romans 12:2 says: “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  My ten years of Bible translation work has been the highlight of my life. 


The second aspect of my life, getting married and raising children, has been amazing as well. My wife and I have trusted God to help us serve Him in BTA. God has always been faithful to provide for my boys to be able to attend school, and now two of them are in their third year at Pacific Adventist University. This is just one of the blessings that I see in our lives as we continue to faithfully serve God through BTA.


I see that when a person reads the Word in a language that is not their own, it is difficult to understand; the meaning may not be completely clear. But, God has created our languages, and He wants to communicate with us. (1 Corinthians 14:10). The Bible is God's voice for us, and it is my desire that all be able to hear Him, through the Word, and communicate with Him in their own language.