Bible Celebrations in Indonesia – Kimyal receive Bibles

It has been 42 years since missionaries Phil Masters and Stan Dale were martyred in the Seng valley of Papua, Indonesia, by members of the Yale tribe. Phil’s daughter Crissie Rask is today serving with MAF.

Phil and Stan’s sacrifice helped sow the seeds of the Gospel in that remote area. Those seeds have matured, reproduced and are spreading the Good News from generation to generation, including Kimyal people.

Translator Rosa Kidd describes the day when several generations of Kimyal received the Word in their language, the newly completed New Testament.  Korupun is a very isolated gravel strip that sits at about 5,800 feet up in the middle of some of the highest mountains in the Eastern Highlands of West Papua, Indonesia.


“One MAF pilot said that he alone had made 20 flights New Testaments arrive by MAF planeinto Korupun for the Bible dedication. The celebrating was going on almost day and night. Singing and dancing could be heard throughout the valley late into the night.

The noise was very loud until after the plane [carrying the New Testaments] had landed and one of the Kimyals started bringing the first box of Bibles out of the plane.

“Then, if you could have heard a pin drop in gravel and mud, you would have heard a pin drop. Four of the local pastors went forward to receive the Bibles. Behind them followed a group of some of the oldest believers in our area.”The first box was very solemnly given to the pilot, who placed it into the hands of the pastors. It was then passed on to the elder believers, who gave the box to a group of young people, challenging them to take the Word and apply it to their lives, thus symbolising how the Word of God is passed from generation to generation.

Work on the translation of the New Testament into Kimyal was begun in 1963 by Regions Beyond Mission Union (now World Team) missionaries Phil and Phyliss Masters who moved to West Papua, Indonesia, to evangelise the Kimyal people. Sadly, Phil Masters and a fellow missionary Stan Dale were killed by members of the neighbouring Yali tribe and the translation work was halted. However, the work eventually resumed and the New Testament was completed in early 2010 by a Kimyal translation team led by another World Team missionary, Rosa Kidd.


The Kimyal translators Welega Pusup and Menas Mirin, who had received instruction in translation principles during UBS Translation Workshops, played a key role in the translation team. UBS Translation Consultant Dr Lourens de Vries was also involved in ensuring the high standard of the translation. As is the case with many other translation projects in Indonesian Papua, the Kimyal project was a joint effort of the mission, the regional and local churches, the Indonesian Bible Society and UBS, each contributing crucial elements to the translation project.

The Kimyal New Testament was published by the Indonesian Bible Society in March 2010, and was welcomed by the community during a highly emotional celebration in Korupun, West Papua.

The young men then picked up all the other boxes and carried them the full length of the airstrip and back, over 900kg of New Testaments, all delivered by MAF plane.
Everything and everyone had to come in by small plane.

This momentous day was long awaited by the Kimyal church. The terrain is so rough and isolated that virtually every Bible translator and all of their supplies had to be delivered by aircraft. Our planes also supported the work of the missionaries throughout this translation project.  MAF has seen that God is faithful throughout all generations, and has been part of bringing God’s Word to this remote community for the very first time.