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Our Stories

Solar Installation helping the Young’s Ministry at Owena

by | Oct 15, 2020 | Outreach, Solar Installation

Pictured is Lewis and Judith Young

Lewis and Judith Young are both missionaries from America and they have resided in PNG, pre-Independence (1975), for more than 40 years. They have been involved in Bible translations ever since and recently they’ve set up a missionary training school at the Independence Baptist Church in Owena, Eastern Highlands Province (EHP).

Owena is located in the Obura-Wanenara District of the Eastern Highlands Province of PNG. It is considered the most isolated part of the district, accessible only by aircraft and bush tracks. It takes 12 minutes to get to Owena by airplane from Goroka. But to venture into town on foot from Owena, would take a whole day plus a night to spend at a nearby village before arriving at town – Kainantu or Goroka – the next day.

As is the case for remote communities in PNG, Owena does not have access to a number of essential services, including, a reliable power source. Lewis and Judith Young have lived in remote communities around PNG and have experienced first-hand the struggles of finding and using a reliable power source to carry out Bible translations and also print materials for their ministry. They have been through the different phases and struggles that have come with vintage kerosene lamps and lanterns to small solar lights to now relying on a generator.
Dependence on the generator, however, come with its own struggles and these have only increased along with the demands associated with the extension of their ministry. The struggles associated with the generator include firstly, the fact that it can only be used during the night time and even then, their time is divided between other programs so they find that there is not enough time to meet their targeted goals of printing material for their ministry. Secondly, the work involved in operating the generator is quite exhausting.

Other challenges include the expenses associated with maintenance and replacing the generator every three to four years and further expenses for fuel which costs more than the transportation fees for the fuel via airplane.

CRMF Electronics Technician, Brian Baimako installing the solar panels to the railings on the roof. A few guys pictured also helped assist Brian with the install. 

Both Lewis and Judith were looking for a more convenient, reliable and cost efficient power system that they could rely on and use around the clock to meet their Ministry plans and goals. And so after consulting with CRMF’s Technician Manager – Lukas Schadegg – Lewis was happy with the options and solutions that CRMF offered through the Solar Power Installation Service. He was particularly pleased to hear that the Solar Service guaranteed 24/7 solar power and would make it convenient and reliable for himself, Judith and the Ministry and would further help in saving money for up to ten years.

Following this consultation period, CRMF Electrician and Technician, Brian Baimako, took a 12 minutes flight from Goroka to Owena via SIL plane to carry out and successfully complete the solar installation.

During the installation process Lewis remarked, “We are very happy with it so far, I mean it’s not even a day or two, but from the prospect it sounds really good, plus we’ve been told by other missionaries/ ministries about their Solar installations by CRMF and it’s been a big help to them. We’re thankful that God provided that for us through the help from Churches and we are looking forward to using it.”

Judith added that, “The solar is going to be very efficient to save a lot of time as well as expenses and I can do more printing during the day time hours as well as at night.”

We are blessed by the amazing work that both Lewis and Judith have initiated with the Independence Baptist Church at Owena and we thank the Lord that CRMF could contribute in their ministry by providing a reliable and cost efficient solar solution that meets the needs of their ministry at Owena.