Jessie Wright is a missionary currently serving in Papua New Guinea. I shared part one of my New Missionary Focus series on her with you last month. In part two I finish up my interview with her, including some of her wishes and fears, and I’ll include information on how you can pray for her or support her in other ways. She’s a wonderful young lady, and I hope you come to see for yourself why she’s is a bright light shining in the world.
Jessie, what do you worry about the most?
Trying to understand the culture is my biggest worry. The better I can understand the culture and act accordingly, the better I will be at connecting with people in a deeper, more meaningful way, a way which will allow people to trust me enough to have a deep relationship. Then I can breathe the life-giving, life-healing truths of God’s love into their situations. Also, the better I understand the culture and act accordingly, the more equipped I will be able to lead and manage a translation project within that culture.
Whenever my supporters back home talk about me or pray for me, I wish they would let me know. They receive regular updates from me, but I rarely hear anything back from them. I am so thankful for all of my supporters, but some of them, for one reason or another, rarely communicate with me, leading me to think they aren’t interested in receiving my updates. But when I was back in the US recently, many of these supporters came up to me and said how much they appreciated those updates and how often they prayed for me. Being on the mission field can be lonely and stressful, and sending an email or two to me during my term would be such an immense encouragement. I face so much spiritual warfare while overseas and it is easy to become discouraged, but knowing that there really are people back home praying for me reminds me that I am not alone out here and it is the most amazing encouragement to me.
When is your next furlough? Trip back to US? First trip overseas?
I returned to Papua New Guinea on Nov 12, 2014 to start my second term, which will be about 2.5 years.
During the first year overseas I craved all sorts of foods you can’t get, like real sour cream, or ‘American’ tasting mayonnaise and ketchup, or pork that doesn’t taste like fish, or bacon, or pears, or peaches. But going into my second year, the cravings went away. I had not seen those foods for so long that soon I began to forget that they even existed. But the one thing that I missed throughout my time overseas and never forgot was really good, sweet corn-on-the-cob.
What is your favorite quote?
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets, even as Michelangelo painted, or as Beethoven composed music, or as Shakespeare composed poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper, who did his job well.’” -Martin Luther King Jr.
How about your favorite book?
My favorite book is Les Miserables because it is such a beautiful picture of redemption and also shows the complicated tension between mercy and justice.
As I head back to Papua New Guinea my translation partner and I will be looking into starting a new translation project or revitalizing an older project. We would really like to create a project that encourages and supports national leadership within the project and that runs in a way that works with local culture, but which is also able to benefit from western critical thinking. We would love for our project to begin utilizing the technology that is becoming available in Papua New Guinea so that people will be able to access the scriptures in their own language on their phones or through the internet, both as audio files and as text files. And it would be great if we could also make the scriptures available to them in video format via the Luke Story. We would love to encourage the people to create praise and worship songs using the music styles and instruments which speak to them the best, and to record those songs in their own language and make them available to their community. Our hearts long to see the existing local churches be engaged and mentored so that they could begin creating effective Bible studies, youth groups, women’s and men’s groups, and also to begin reaching out to neighboring groups evangelistically. We want to strive to understand their fears and needs and to be able to effectively apply the truth of God’s Word to these things specifically, things like sorcery, witchcraft, the supernatural world, tribal fighting, sickness and death, child rearing, and marriage. These, of course, are just our own thoughts and desires for our ministry. But in all this what we really want is for our ministry to follow God’s leading and guiding and to fulfill His amazing purpose for it, whatever it might be.
How can someone get connected to you and stay in touch with your ministry?
The easiest way to connect with me and stay in touch with my ministry is to go to http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=55FE9C and click on the “receive updates” link. You can also always email me directly at Jessie_wright@wycliffe.org. I don’t always have access to reliable internet so be patient with me if I am not able to respond right away.
The easiest way to give to my ministry is to go to my personal Wycliffe.org page http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=55FE9C. From there they can click on the “give” link and follow the directions. While there you can also see my picture and read a small description of my ministry. Or you can send checks to Wycliffe Bible Translators, PO Box 628200, Orlando FL 32862 with a separate note saying, “For the preference of the ministry of Jessie Wright”.
My general contact information, for any other purpose, is:
State-side Mail: 25427 Eagel Ridge Rd. Aitkin, MN 56431.
Overseas Mail: PO Box 1 (113), Ukarumpa, EHP 444, Papua New Guinea.
And a final note for everyone who reads this. Thank you so much for your prayers. They really matter! You don’t need my address to pray for me. Thank you all!