Papua Wycliffe

Moskona Bible Translation and Scripture Use Project

Location: 

  • The Moskona people are located roughly in the centre of the Bird’s Head region of West Papua Providence, Indonesia
  • The Moskona area consists of medium to low mountains and hills interspersed with swift-flowing river

Main Activities: 

  • Scripture Use Activities such as adult literacy classes, village Bible school classes, Bible translation, Sunday school classes, ladies meetings etc.

Purpose: 

  • Assist the Moskona people to apply the Scriptures to their lives and understand God’s plan of redemption.

Interesting Facts:

  • The Moskona people are semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers who in more recent times have settled into villages under government control. Today they are largely subsistence farmers with some hunter-gathering still taking place. Until the Gospel arrived each nuclear family lived in tree-houses. There was constant fighting between the clans and taking slaves and cannibalism was common.
  • Traditional beliefs are centered on appeasing the spirits of the forest. The fear of witchcraft is widely prevalent among all sectors of society. Although the Gospel was brought in by evangelists from another tribe during the 1970’s, syncretism is rife. Even many of the church leaders are gripped by the fear of being the subject of a witchcraft attack.

Challenges: 

  • The main challenge is that of transportation. The terrain is extremely difficult to traverse with the only access being via small aircraft, with the closest town being 40 minutes flying time away. Transportation is made even more difficult as there are no mission aircraft permanently stationed in the nearby town, thus necessitating a much longer flight from another town.
  • Another challenge is that of the strong ties to traditional Moskona beliefs regarding the spirit world.

Dreams: 

  • To publish the New Testament in the purer Moskona dialect.
  • To translate and publish a shorter Old Testament.
  • It would be wonderful to have trained pastors and church leaders in the village churches.
  • We would also like to start Village Bible Schools and adult literacy classes in other villages.

Needs: 

  • As travel costs are high, assistance with these expenses would be greatly appreciated.
  • Our current financial support has diminished due to exchange rate fluctuations with our home country.
  • One young person has indicated he would like to go to seminary and return to the village to serve as a pastor. It would be wonderful if financial sponsorship for him were available.

Prayer Requests: 

  • Pray that the Moskona would come to fully understand God’s plan of redemption and that many would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus as Lord.
  • Pray that God’s Word in the heart language would speak to the Moskona, helping them to be free from fear of the spirits of the forest.
  • Pray that the Lord would raise up many of the young people to become leaders in the church.

Contact Info: 

Email: adabbott@wycliffe.net