Hello praying friends and family, 13 September 2017
· We had a bit of a bumpy ride during the Translation and Literacy workshops in the month of August. There were difficulties in relationships, which took over a week to get resolved (and meant a week of agony for Missy and me as we watched people go through difficulties. We really wanted to help resolve the issues, but we were not allowed to because we are “just women”. This was frustrating!)
· Once those difficulties in relationships were just getting settled (more or less), then one of our translators went through some spiritual attacks. It started off with an evil nightmare and went into extreme fear and sleeplessness for many days. This translator is a new believer and, regrettably, he did not come to tell us about it until several days had passed and by then he was in quite a state. We prayed with him and read encouraging scriptures to him, but the next day, he left the workshop early. We were in turmoil for this man! We praise God that once he got back to his village, got some sleep and started eating again he felt much better and seems to be doing well again. Please pray for him.
· Why was I surprised by this? We have an enemy who seeks to destroy. God allowed us such an amazing chance to minister during the Scripture Use workshops in July. Of course the enemy will retaliate. These occurrences were an excellent reminder to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD! (Ephesians 6:10-18)
· We praise God that there were translators from 9 languages who first drafted chapters 14-16 of Mark and 1-2 of the book of John. They also were able to do some revising on some of the other chapters in the book of Mark, but this was hindered because of the difficulties in relationships episode.
· We praise God for the literacy teachers from 9 languages being able to make a primer, each in their own language. This will help them to teach others in their villages who don’t know how to read.
The last week of August and first few days of September, we went to Wewak and did Scripture promotion! Christian Books Melanesia (the Christian book store in Wewak) set up a table and square umbrella tent outside of their bookstore. We borrowed their microphone, speakers and mixer to blast out recordings to let people know about translated scriptures in their languages! (We praise God for all the help from this bookstore – I don’t know how we would have done this without them!)
· The first day, we concentrated on the 10 languages we are translating in our project. (We know there are speakers of these languages living in Wewak, but, they don’t know what we are doing out in the village with our translation project!) We had copies of our books, DVDs and micro SD cards to sell – and they could also download the scripture app, recordings and books of the Bible for free if they had a smart phone or a SD card.
· The next three days we used a network box to distribute, free of cost, EVERYTHING that we have translated as an organization in the past 60 years in PNG! This network box is called “Know about God”. Most smartphones could connect wirelessly to the system to download translated materials free of cost! If people didn’t have a smart phone, they could go buy a SD card or thumb drive in town and we used a computer to download for them. (In PNG we have boom boxes that you can put SD cards or thumb drives into and play recordings.) We were absolutely amazed at how many different people we could help to get copies of God’s Word in their language. I have to be honest with you – we all were so very tired after multiple workshops in the village and it was hot and humid in Wewak. We were standing with hot balls of sweat rolling down our backs and then we would get a smile from someone – priceless…read about it down below.
A couple of stories that I wanted to also tell (sorry no pictures).
· One young man came to me and asked me to find if there was a translation in his language. We looked up his province (state) and I read the list of languages that had translated material, but his language did not have anything. He smiled, said thanks and left. He came back to me in about a half hour. I reminded him that there was nothing in his language. He said to me, “No, I brought this old woman to come hear her language. You told me that Yil language was on your list and I know she speaks Yil, so I brought her to you.”
· There were a group of teenagers hanging around. Finally, they got the nerve
to come up and talk to me. I asked them what their language was, and we were excited to find that there were recordings and PDFs of translated scripture in their language. They took off excitedly and then were back in about 20 minutes. I helped them to connect to the network wirelessly and each one downloaded copies of scripture.
· One older fellow came up to me and asked me to find his language. I read the entire list to him for his province, but we could not find anything. He stayed around for an hour, going up another time to Esther and then Missy too, checking to make sure that none of us had a translation in his language. He went away very sad.
· We sold about 18 copies of the DVD of the Jesus Story in 8 of the languages that we translate in our project. Several people told us they were buying it for a relative “My son-in-law speaks that language, so I am buying this for him!”
· People were so excited to hear God’s Word when we would hold up our phones to their ears. Several even asked us to play it on the loud speaker so everyone could hear!
· Sometimes people did not know the name of their language or maybe in their dialect, it was called by a different name. It was challenging for us sometimes to find the right languages, but we would try and try, until we saw the smile of recognition or finally had to say to them that nothing had been translated in their language yet.
· One guy came up to me and told me the name of his province and the name of his language. I scoured the list and could not find it. I read every name on the list, but we still could not find it. He told me he thought there was a translation and eventually left sadly. Later, I was helping someone from another province find their language and then I found his language listed in the other province. Sometimes languages run into other borders, both provincially and even across country lines. I pray that there is another chance for him to find those recordings and PDFs of translated scripture in his language.
These stories are challenging and heart gripping. But it reminds me of another need for our translations – DISTRIBUTION! It is hard to actually get these translations done, but that is not the only thing we are doing here! We are also trying to teach people how to read, and help them get copies and also help them learn how to use God’s Word in their lives. Would you pray for our team that we would be effective in distribution and also learn what are the best ways to dispense God’s Word so that people’s lives can be transformed???
So glad that you are joining with us in this journey and because He is faithful,