When his motorcycle hit a large rut in the road, Bruce Hansen knew his day was not going to go according to plan. With 20 kg of Bibles in his backpack he hit the ground hard and pain shot through his shoulder. Those Bibles were not going anywhere today.
As a boy in Canada, Bruce honed his riding skills, little knowing that 40 years later he would deliver supplies to Bible translators in a remote Papua New Guinean village – by motorcycle. Alex and Lois Vincent had worked with the Tairora people in the Eastern Highlands since 1958, and although Bruce was a pilot by day, his weekend motorcycle rides often took him to the village, 19 miles over dirt tracks. After the Vincents retired, Bruce and his friends continued to visit the villages, and when the revised Tairora Bibles needed distributing, they were the obvious choice. On Easter Monday, Bruce and two friends loaded up and set off.
But now, propped up by the pack of Bibles and in pain, Bruce wondered how he would get home. A passing driver just happened to be heading towards Ukarumpa, with a half empty truck. Within minutes Bruce was on board. But the Bibles were going in the wrong direction.
Bruce knew he needed a new plan to get the Bibles out. A week later he discovered that pastors from the area were meeting at a nearby village, including many from Tairora. Despite his broken collarbone, Bruce joined them, and after sharing about the Bibles, he witnessed God’s plan unfold.
The head pastor challenged his colleagues to take on the task: ‘These Bibles don’t have arms or legs, they’re not going to get out there on their own!’ Bruce gave boxes of Bibles to seven Tairora pastors and after a short service of dedication, they left. The Bibles were on their way at last!
The day of the accident, Bruce’s plan had been to take Bibles to one Tairora village. Now they were travelling with the pastors to villages he hadn’t even known existed. God had a better plan all along!
This brilliant report comes from the team working in Papua New Guinea. Words are from Kate King, photos from Tim Scott.
In a less dramatic way, you could play a part in getting the Bible to remote people too, by supporting Bible translation. Find out more.