Have you ever thought of using your maritime skills to further Bible translation? There is a need for someone(s) in other ports in Papua New Guinea to oversee boat operations and related programs to meet transportation needs related to Bible translation, literacy and community development. Read on to see what is happening in the Milne Bay Province. Perhaps God is calling you to be a part of His work in Papua New Guinea!
If you'd like more information, contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Tim Scott
"The most precious cargo you can have is people and the Kwadima II makes it possible for people to move safely throughout the Milne Bay Province by water."
The MV Kwadima II is a 40 foot boat that will accommodate up to 35 passengers and room for up to 15 tons of cargo. It is managed out of Alotau by SIL-PNG. The primary function of the Kwadima II is to move language development and translation teams to and from remote areas. Many of these areas do not have regular maritime travel and are not easily accessible by smaller boats. It is not unusual to have trips of up to 24 hours or more.
Courses such as VITAL (Vernacular In Translation and Literacy) and other workshops held at the combined SIL-PNG and BTA Training Centre utilize the boat to bring in language workers from many different areas. Safety is a primary concern when selecting water transportation. Since most local travel occurs on smaller boats which are often overloaded or depart without proper water safety equipment, many passengers prefer to use the Kwadima II. But safe travel is not the only advantage. Many of the workshop and course attenders arrive on time for the courses because the "normal" travel by boat is dependent on the inconsistent departure times and available boats.
Since boat maintenance and water travel is expensive, charter loads are scheduled to subsidise the cost for the non-profit workers who use the boat for affordable transportation. When the boat is not booked for passenger travel for language development and translation, it is kept busy providing safe and reliable delivery of goods and people to many areas around Milne Bay Province.
The Kwadima II is managed by Tim McIntosh who has 20 years of maritime experience. While Tim loves the sea, being a manager doesn’t mean that he gets to skipper the boat. In fact he only gets to go along infrequently. The waters in and around Milne Bay are treacherous with many reefs and strong currents and requires navigation by those who have experience in these waters. The boat is skippered by a Papua New Guinean captain and first mates who have excellent safety records.
Although the boat is primarily used in the Milne Bay area, it has travelled as far as Tufi, Buka, and Mortlock Atoll.
One language worker states, "Our primary means of getting in and out of the village has been by taking the Kwadima II. We are very thankful for the way the boat is well maintained, for the trustworthy and competent crew, for the hard work of the boat manager—and on those 14-hour boat rides, extremely thankful for a boat with an operational toilet!"