International Literacy Day Opportunities

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Sep 112016

This past Thursday, 8 September 2016, was the 50th Anniversary of International Literacy Day and Tim and I participated in the celebrations that were held in town. Years ago, when we first arrived in the Solomons, we helped organize some events for International Literacy Day. It’s gratifying today to see Solomon Islanders organize the event and our organization is invited by them to participate.

Throughout the day, there were different events on the stage. At one point Tim spoke to the audience about the importance of literacy in local languages and read a story from the Pijin Story Bible.


We had a display table  covered with New Testaments and literacy materials produced in a variety of languages and a language map of the Solomon Islands. This year we had something new – audio recordings of Scriptures to share with people.


The young man above is a Gela speaker. He was excited to see the Gela New Testament which was dedicated on May 1st this year. Then I pulled out my computer and played an audio file of the Christmas story from Luke in the Gela. You can see that he was mesmerized to hear the story of Christ’s birth in his own language.


Recently we received some small recording devices that are loaded with the Owa New Testament. When an older Owa-speaking man came along, I started playing the ‘Proclaimer’ device and held it up so he hear it.

He began listening, but as it began to sink in that he was listening to something in his own language, his facial expression changed to one of deep concentration. The words were meaningless to me, but the impact on this man was unmistakeable. As I watched his face, I could almost see the wheels turning in his brain as he processed what he was hearing. His eye brows knit together and then his head nodded slightly. It was amazing to see the muscles in his face shift and change as he continued to listen. I was so tempted to take a photo, I didn’t want to disrupt a sacred moment between this man and God’s Word.


These young men serve with a religious order of the Anglican church and travel around the country ministering to people. Tim showed them this larger ‘Proclaimer’ with a recording of the Pijin New Testament. The young men were excited to hear about this tool and could see the potential benefit to their ministry.

A young woman came and looked at the books on the table. One that caught her eye was a Pijin Bible Story book which she wanted to buy for the Sunday School at her church. On our way home, we stopped at the market. As we were walking through the market, we saw the woman who had bought the book and a small child holding it.


While we were at the market, we started chatting with a woman who was selling tomatoes. She  is a Sa’a speaker and we asked if she had a Sa’a New Testament. She said she didn’t, but was interested in purchasing one. Since we had a supply of New Testaments in the car, Tim was able to go find her a Sa’a New Testament and she happily purchased a copy.

At the end of the day, we were really tired, but satisfied as well. We had opportunities to share about Bible translations, share audio Scripture recordings and talk to people who want to see a translation in their language.






 Posted by at 12:16 am

World War II Finds

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Jul 092016

Last weekend while visiting a craft market, a man was selling World War II relics. It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything like this being sold, but this man had quite a few items. There was a canteen, two mess trays and assorted bottles.

We think this is a Japanese helmet:

And a dog tag. I’m not sure this is complete – so it might be one that was thrown away:

This knife appears to be WW I vintage. It would be interesting to know how it got here!

And a US helmet?

And this little treasure is one we couldn’t resist buying. It appears to be the fuel tank ID plate from a Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat fighter plane.

And for a friend, we purchased this WW II Coke bottle from 1944. Both green bottles and clear ones like this can be found here. Through an internet search we discovered that the clear bottles were bottled for the US military. I wonder who downed this Coke?

World War II artifacts are protected by the Solomon Islands Government and we will need to get a permit to take the bottle and fuel tank ID tag out of the country.

 Posted by at 3:08 pm

Christmas 2015 News

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Dec 152015

Christmas is fast approaching and we are grateful for the chance to be with our girls this year.

A pdf of our latest newsletter can be downloaded by clicking on the following link: Matzke Messenger – December 2015

Please let us know if you have any trouble reading the file.

Merry Christmas!

Tim and Martha

 Posted by at 9:01 pm

A Visit and an Anniversary

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May 142015
 Posted by at 12:18 am
Mar 142015

Tim was able to get a local SIM card and call me this afternoon. It was good to get more of the story.

On Friday night:
Tim and our colleagues didn’t get much sleep as they were awake working on sweeping water out of the three story cement block apartment building which is owned by our organization. A 2×4 flew through the window of an unoccupied bedroom causing lots of water to blow into the room.

The rain and winds caused rain water to push water through the frames of sliding glass windows and doors. He said there was water on the floor all night that they worked on sweeping out of the building.

One of the unoccupied buildings owned by the group there lost its roof.

The airport terminal building suffered some roof damage and broken windows. An Australian military plane was able to land today with relief supplies and assessment team. Before commercial flights are able to come in again, the airport tarmac and electronic controls will need to be checked.

Tim is doing fine. I asked him if he thought it was the scariest thing he ever lived through and he said – ‘no’. They never feared for their lives and he thought being close to a tornado would be scarier. The one thing he noted was that the wind was so strong and it went on and on and on making for a long night.

The next step is waiting for the airport to reopen and a flight from Vanuatu to the Solomon Islands. The next scheduled flight is on Wednesday – if they are flying by that time.

Tim promises pictures and more stories when he gets home and can post them. They are still without internet.

Thanks again for your prayers.

 Posted by at 11:18 pm

A short phone call

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Mar 142015

This morning I called Solomon Airlines to ask if Tim’s flight would be coming in from Vanuatu. I was surprised when they said it was due in around 1 pm.

A while later I received a phone call from Tim. He is fine and he was letting me know that the airport in Port Vila (Vanuatu) is not open so he won’t be coming today. At this point we have no idea how soon he will be able to get home.

I’ve seen tweets about Australia and New Zealand sending it aid today, so maybe military flights will start to get into the country.

While we wait, I am thankful Tim is ok and trust that he will be here sometime this week.

 Posted by at 6:34 pm