“Go To PLAN B!”

[Editor’s Note: the following story and petitions for prayer were written in August, 2010 by one of our career missionaries who live in the town of Madang, Papua New Guinea. ]

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦          ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦          ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

“Flight cancelled! Flight cancelled! Another flight cancelled. All of our scheduled small plane and helicopter flights to Madang were cancelled due to rain and clouds on that day in July. Oh no! That was the day national translators were due to come in from the bush [Editor: the remote jungle regions of Papua New Guinea] for the Village Checking and Back Translation Course. So what did we do? We switched to Plan B!

We loaded the truck from the Nobonob Training Center with those who came in by PMV (Public Motor Vehicle) along with our Madang PBT staff and helpers and headed on up the hill to Nobonob. With only half of the students and teachers available for the first day of the course, the classes were combined and all the students began translating the five shellbook series ‘How the Jews Live’, which had been scheduled as a Saturday elective. This series of books provides cultural information that will assist the national translators in understanding foreign concepts found in the Bible.

The following day, the rest of the students and teachers arrived at Nobonob, and we were able to split the group into the planned two sessions and proceed with training that will hopefully enable national translators to progress beyond the rough draft stage of translation on their own and improve the quality of the vernacular translations they bring in for consultant checking.”

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Gratitude For Great Helpers

“We are grateful to Wycliffe Bible Translators for renting us their Nobonob Pacific Orientation Course facilities located on a beautiful hilltop location not far from Madang. We were also thankful for them providing meals for some 60 participants for this three week course. Though official plans have been drawn up for PBT’s proposed national translators’ housing in Madang, we do not have space for such a course as this, which involved national translators from nine different language groups. Please pray that sufficient funding will be available to begin construction on this project this fall or early next year.”

[Editor’s Note:  By faith, last year in 2011, the members of our PNG Branch of Pioneer Bible Translators made the decision to go ahead and construct a two-story building in Madang.  This facility will have 10 rooms with two beds each, two family rooms, and two large conference size rooms for teams who are working on Bible translation projects.  Praise God for the funds that have come in to have it mostly paid for.]

“We also rejoice that a former PBT translator was able to come from the U.S. to serve as a mentor for one of the language teams. He and our summer mission interns mentored several language groups. The interns also performed a myriad of other important tasks including a great deal of data entry and presentation of devotional thoughts in Tok Pisin, the trade language of PNG, which all of the language groups present could understand. The interns had worked hard to learn as much Pidgin as they could during their brief stay in PNG villages prior to the course.”

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Farewells & Prayer Concerns

“Our eleven summer interns returned to the USA August 10th, along with one of our Short-term Assistant ladies who oversaw most of the logistical needs for the Branch. Her service this past year has proved invaluable, and with her gone, that will leave a big hole in the operations of our Branch. But we pray some of them will eventually return to serve again with us here in PNG. Please pray with us about this.

Please also be praying:

  • That those who attended the Village Checking and Back Translation Course will be able to put their newly learned skills to good use.
  • For sufficient funds to construct our much needed National Translators’ Housing here in Madang
  • For our summer interns and the Short-term Assistant while they are back in the United States. Continue to pray for God’s guidance as to where and how they will serve Him.
  • For continued success in recruiting new workers to help complete the task of providing God’s Word for the Bible-less peoples of the world. The needs of our mission staff here in PNG are great.”

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦          ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦          ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

[Editor’s Closing Note: there was certainly a lot of logistical details that went into the planning and execution of this program to bring 41 national men and women, and 21 missionaries and summer interns together to have this training course.  Things often go wrong in all that we try to do here in PNG, simply because of the rugged nature of the country and the unpredictability of the weather.

But we have lots to be praising God for now at this point.  We have a good number of national Bible translators who have had some training to get this task done of bringing God’s Word to the people of PNG in the language of their hearts.  It is a slow process and there is much to be done in doing a translation of Scripture as you will see in the next part of this two-part article.

And we also are constantly praising God for all the people who pray for this ministry of Bible translation in PNG, and those who support the work we do financially.  Without their help and God’s sustaining hand, we would not be able to accomplish this task for Him.  Together, we are all a part of a large team who are committed to bringing the Gospel to the ends of the earth.]

Advertisements