My oh my, it’s March already. You have not heard from Corinne and me before now because we just kept pushing with our final editing and proof reading of the manuscript of the revised Hamtai New Testament until we finished it. We just decided to wait until some good news could be shared with you all, something more final. So here it is.

Just this morning we met with our men at the New Tribes Mission Communications Department and made a final decision on what type of binding and paper to be used in the New Testaments. They had obtained printing quotations on the various types available, and it was up to us to decide which one we would go with. We had thought a hard cover would be good, but our Hamtai church leaders said they prefer the soft vinyl covers. So that is what we decided to order. Some advantages of that type of cover are that the 1094 page volumes will not cost so much and they will be lighter weight.

 The next decision was, how many we need to have printed. Our people are so enthusiastic about getting the new edition of their New Testament that some wanted us to print 10,000 copies! We certainly want there to be enough so that all family members can have their own copy. Trying to make sure there are enough copies for all for the coming years is a blessed decision to have to make. How much more encouraging that is than having to make sure we don’t have a surplus lying around to go bad. We think 10,000 or even 7,000 copies would be difficult for them to store and prevent any damage to them. (Cock roaches, rain, mold, rats, etc.) Then the leaders told us to do whatever the funds allow, so we decided to have 5,000 printed. To solve the storage problem, we may send part of the shipment now, and store the rest here until they need them or until they have room to store them. Then later, a reprint would be possible.

We have enough funds in the Hamtai New Testament Account to cover that many. Then as they sell them for a nominal price the funds can be put toward a reprint if needed. Our communications staff here will get the order off next week, along with the full text. The printing will take at least 4 weeks. Each book will be shrink-wrapped for shipping and storage, but we want to buy plastic bags to send with them so that their New Testaments and extra papers can be carried more easily.

As you know, we plan to go back to Papua New Guinea when the New Testaments are finally printed. The staff want us to be here to inspect at least the proof copy to find any possible mistakes. So that makes our departure date uncertain. We would like to be able to leave here April 11th and stop on the way in Vancouver B.C. to attend our granddaughter, Janelle’s wedding, and then go on from there. However, the New Testaments probably will not be ready by then. We ask you to pray for the Lord’s direction and timing regarding all this. Also, the books should go ahead of us.

Our flights to PNG via Hong Kong will cost perhaps $2,500 each. We would fly via Australia, except that recently we were disappointed to learn that our substantial amount of frequent flyer points with Qantas had expired because of inactivity.         

Can you tell we are excited to have come to this point of progress? We are indeed. It was good to see the New Testament books in the rack with OK stickers (approved for printing), eventually on all of them.          

We thank all of you who have prayed and supported us along the way.  We ask you to pray for the following points.
  1. That the printing will go well, and that the Lord will show us how to ship them quickly to PNG. We may be able to have some of the books shipped directly to the container.
  2. For our fares to PNG and the travel expenses within the country. The road into our tribal home has been worked on by the road machinery and is useable now. Praise the Lord our vehicle is there for our use.
  3. That we will be able to get a visitor’s visa enabling us to stay in PNG for longer than 3 months.
  4. That some minor health issues will not hinder us from ministry on this trip to PNG.
  5. That we will be able to spend time in our house in our former village to do some teaching.
  6. I have already started to edit some Old Testament verses which are in draft mode, Pray for good progress preparing them for printing.

Pressing on,  

Tom and Corinne Palmer