Posts Tagged ‘Papua New Guinea’

More than just educators

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Becoming a support worker in the world of mission may not seem very glamorous but often it is the support workers that are the critical cogs in the mission ‘machine’. Take teachers, for example: without good educational support many missionary families would not be able to be overseas.

The role of a teacher in a mission school setting can be so much more than just imparting knowledge. Watch this video about Ukarumpa International School and discover the critical importance of teachers to Bible translation and language development.

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‘As translators living in a remote part of Papua New Guinea (PNG) there’s a lot of challenges that come with that and UIS has met that challenge for us.’

Please pray:

  • that UIS will be able to recruit all the teachers and other staff they need, so that they can continue supporting families who are involved in Bible translation in Papua New Guinea.
  • that God will equip the teachers at UIS and elsewhere in the world to work in these unique environments and meet the needs of the children and families they are serving.

Find out how for one family in UIS teachers help in their unique way of doing school and by influencing for good.

Find out more about teaching needs around the world.

Translating little words and stopping bullets

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

How hard can translating ‘in’ and ‘him’ really be? Does God stop bullets? How do a couple go from working in a casino in Las Vegas to Bible translation in Papua New Guinea? And, if you were caught in a downpour in Papua New Guinea, what can you use instead of an umbrella?

Wycliffe Canada’s latest magazine has the spotlight on Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea and one with a history of war. As they take the tour through translation work in the area, Word Alive answers all these questions and provides a mesmerising view of the people and places through their beautiful photography and award-winning journalism.

Wycliffe Canada’s latest magazine is available on their website, alongside an online exclusive. Perfect reading for fact-finders, but stay away if you don’t want to be inspired!

If you are on the lookout for information about the work Wycliffe in the UK are involved in, you can download our magazine here.

My language is very sweet

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Often the first encounter of God’s word comes by hearing, not reading it.  The Kamano-Kafe language community of Papua New Guinea are getting their first delicious taste of God’s word as audio players called Audibibles are used:

“The Audibible goes where we cannot,” explained SIL translation advisor Rich Mattocks, speaking of the hand-held, solar powered audio player. “These are excellent in Papua New Guinea where many areas do not have electricity.”

Audibible in use

One day one of the translators, James, received a message that his elderly Aunt Beniftio had died and he asked to be excused from the translation work to visit his extended family during the days of mourning.

Months before her death, his aunt bought an Audibible. Bedridden, Benifitio asked others to take the Audibible outside each day to be charged in the sun, but she warned them not to carry it away from her house. As friends and family stopped by to visit her in the evenings, Benifitio’s Audibible was playing. When her younger brother Marco* came and listened to the Scriptures, he accepted Christ and his life was changed. Many others also heard the Word of God spoken in their heart language on Benifitio’s Audibible.

When James arrived for the days of mourning, the family welcomed him and asked, “What have you been doing?” When he answered, “I’ve been translating the Kamano-Kafe scriptures,” Marco’s face brightened and he said to James, “Thank you for turning God’s talk into our language. The Kamano-Kafe language is very sweet and I understand it. I quit going to church because the message didn’t make sense to me in the trade language or when pastors used English. But when I heard God’s talk being spoken in our own language on the Audibible I understood it and now I believe in Jesus.” (full post from the PNG Experience)

The ultimate aim of any translation project is to see lives changed as the Scriptures are understood and applied. Through a wide variety of work, using audio or video Scriptures, drama or song, the message is shared in relevant ways suitable to each community’s culture and traditions.  Find out why the use of media is so important in the Bible translation movement.

Bible translation needs managers

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Let’s break a preconception: Bibles aren’t translated by just one very dedicated man with a quill. They probably never have been (even Luther had a team!) and now, more than ever, Bible translation is tackled as a team.

But it’s better than most team projects: in this project, the result is only the beginning, as God’s word bears fruit in the lives of those who hear and read it. In this project, we have the ultimate team leader, Jesus, the Head of the Body. And in this project, whatever your skills, there’s something you can do.

This video from our partners in Papua New Guinea explains about their need for one of those invaluable, but oft forgotten roles: managers.

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Whether it’s for three months or three decades, in Papua New Guinea or in Paraguay, there’s a way you can play a part. If you are interested in seeing how you could serve overseas in Bible translation, these are your three next steps:

  1. Get a glimpse into some of the different roles on the Wycliffe website.
  2. Plan to join us at the October Next Step event with other people looking to change their lives to serve God.
  3. Chat to someone from the Wycliffe offices about what you could do.

Stronger than the spirits?

Monday, July 14th, 2014

When the Årsjö’s first arrived to work with the Ama people, there were no Christians. That fact didn’t change for the first six years they worked there. In the seventh, the first person – one of the men working with them on the translation – chose to believe in Jesus.

The Ninigo Islands, Papua New Guinea

The Ninigo Islands, Papua New Guinea

As the message spread and more people started to follow Jesus, there was one big issue that needed addressing: spirits.

Sören and Britten Årsjö looked in amazement at the young woman lying on their porch, as Albert, one of Ama translators, pleaded with them. “Please, you must do something!”

In traditional Papua New Guinean beliefs, the practice of sorcery and fear of the spirits govern daily life. In Ama, the word, popuwa, meant “evil spirit;” there was no such thing as a “good spirit.” A cursed person was doomed to die within three days—and if he or she told anyone, death would be immediate.

So, when Albert’s cousin courageously told him she’d been cursed, he acted immediately. They all gathered around the girl and began praying fervently, as well as administered antibiotics to help counteract any potential infection caused by the custom of inserting bone fragments into the sorcery victim’s body. They waited and prayed and waited, the whole village watching. Would she die? Or would this God be more powerful than sorcery and spirits?

Find out what happened to the girl and to the Ama community on Catherine’s blog.

We believe God can transform lives and communities, and sharing his word is a fantastic way to introduce people to him. Agree? We’re looking for people to support Bible translation through prayer, giving, advocating in churches and going to serve.

What a start!

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The day began with sunshine, but by midday, the rain was pouring down on the Nukna people gathered. It didn’t put a dampener on their celebrations. They were launching the books of Ruth and Mark – the first Scripture in the Nukna people:

Excitement filled the air as crowds gathered from all over the Nukna language area. Palm branches and flowers decorated the grounds, and the beat of drums filled the air. Young men dressed in traditional sing-sing attire danced and sang out in the local language, “God’s Word has come to us! God’s Word has come to us! Let’s welcome it and find true life!”

Photo: Tim Scott

After a big celebration, there is always a risk that the word will be forgotten, or that new books will only sit ceremonially on shelves. Not so with these Nukna books. Already, church leaders are using the new books and the community is making plans for more translation.

In the village church service the following Sunday, instead of reading that morning’s text in the pidgin, their second language, the leaders read God’s word in Nukna. The reading in their heart language communicated God’s message to them much more clearly than the second language had.

In the weeks following the dedication, the villagers were eager to participate in the continuing translation work, as linguist Matt Taylor tested and revised the book of Luke. Volunteers gathered on the grass beside the church or in the translation officer to listen and offer suggestions on how to make the words flow like natural Nukna talk. At times there were more than forty people participating in these ‘village checks’!

Mark and Ruth are just the start for this community – but what a start! Bible translation can take a long time and even before these books could be launched, a lot of work has gone on. But now, church leaders can teach people God’s word in their own language; parents can read Bible stories to their children; musicians can write songs based on the word of God. What a start! Read the full article on The PNG Experience blog.

Join in supporting Bible translation around the world.

When sorrows like sea billows roll

Monday, June 16th, 2014

If you regularly sing with other Christians, you probably have a favourite hymn or song. You’ll know it because its the one song that you always sing with audible abandon, which brings you to your knees or leaves you in floods of tears. Mine (confession time!) is ‘It is well with my soul’. If you didn’t love it before, I think that this story of a Papua New Guinean community singing it in celebration will bring it close to your heart.

Emotions ran strong as the choir sang “Masina, Masina…” at the Mussau hymnal dedication. Masina means “Thank you,” “that’s great” and is even used as a greeting in the Mussau language. But as the choir sang, it meant only one thing: “It is well, it is well, it is well with my soul.”

On this day, these precious words had special meaning to the Mussau people. In February, John and Marjo Brownie were travelling from Mussau to Emirau Island with Leslie their co-translator and three others when the boat hit an unusually rough wave, immediately capsizing their small craft. The boat sank in seconds, setting all six adrift. John and Leslie became separated from Marjo, the boat captain and the other two men. They all drifted with the current but miraculously came ashore on Emirau’s western shore, John and Leslie arriving just before dark. If they had missed the island, the next land would have been Nauru, over 600 miles away. When the boat capsized, John’s computer and all the recent translation work went overboard.

The day before the hymnbook dedication, John and Marjo visited Emirau Island for the first time since the boating accident. They were tearfully greeted by the Emirau people who presented the Brownies with some of their belongings that had washed ashore, several days after the accident. When John opened a case that contained the computer with all the recent translation work, everyone cheered! Many people around the world had been praying that this work would be recovered.

Hundreds of people came the next day to the hymnbook dedication… As they listened to the choir sing Masina, it was hard not be filled with grateful emotions. Many amazing things had happened that not only preserved everyone’s lives but also saved the Words of Life that had been lost at sea. Now these wonderful words were being sung in the heart language of the people.

Those tears of joy when we sing to God come because we can sing from our hearts to God’s heart in our own language. But millions still sing to God in someone else’s language, because church isn’t done in theirs. It’s one of the many beautiful changes that Bible translation can bring. Support Bible translation.

The story and the photograph are from Tim Scott, posting about Bible translation in Papua New Guinea at thepngexperience.wordpress.com. Read the full story.

Part-time translation

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Many translators who are working on God’s word in their own language work part-time. Why, with so much to do and such an important work, would Bible translators choose to spend time away from translation?

In this video (from Wycliffe USA‘s summer campaign) translators and a translation advisor explain why they come to do translation for five months a year, and return to work in their communities – farming, building houses and canoes, business – for the rest of the year. They show that the time with their families and communities is vital work for their Bible translations.

‘I leave good work and come to do God’s work.’ A Papua New Guinean translator

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In these communities, the reputation of the translator and the translation are tied closely together, just like our words to neighbours about Jesus is affected if we kept them up all night with loud music or helped to take their bins out.

Supporting Wycliffe can help provide for these hard-working translators and their families, and frees up time for them to serve their communities. Give towards Bible translation.

What’s it like to be a missionary teacher?

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Bob Noble teaches computing and maths to students at a mission school in Papua New Guinea. In some ways, it’s just the same as teaching in the UK: there is still a curriculum and the marking still tends to pile up! But a field trip he took his students on recently shows just how different it can be…

It was no trip to the local museum. Bob and 10 of his students, along with three other adults, travelled to Sikor village, to meet local school pupils and get a glimpse of the local Bible translation project. Travel with the class through the photos:

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The journey through the mountains took them past beautiful scenery and required four-by-fours and a whole day’s travel.

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The journey wasn’t quite done when the driving finished: reaching the ladies’ host’s home involved crossing a stream using a log bridge.

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A big part of the trip was spending time with other pupils, those at the local elementary, primary and secondary schools. Bob’s students sang songs, performed dramas and presented the gospel … with a football!

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The students shared skills, Bob’s class challenging their new friends to games of basketball (six of the students are on the undefeated A team at school!). In turn, they were shown the best way to climb a palm for coconuts and how to break one open to get the water.

edited for blog
All in all, not your average day in the classroom!

Teachers and school administrators are needed to support Bible translation and development all over the world. If you’ve got teaching talents, have a look at the vacancies that we are looking to fill and get in touch to find out more.

Pushing planes

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Pushing a helicopter? It’s probably not the most efficient way to move one but time was short…

“There are not too many opportunities to see all the aircraft at home at the same time so, ‘quick… take a picture!'” says Tim Scott, working in Papua New Guinea:

“It’s good that they are not sitting around too much! The more they fly, the more language development and Bible translation is occurring. These aircraft fly translators, linguists and other language workers to remote areas, coffee to market, sick and injured to medical centres.

“They also fly pastors, community development workers along with educators and government workers to places in need throughout Papua New Guinea. Whenever they are in the air, no matter who and where they are flying, they are supporting this important work.”

Worth the effort for a great snap!

Bible translation takes the work of all sorts of people – translators and pilots, cooks and photographers. And the work makes a difference in surprising ways, like pilots flying coffee to market in Papua New Guinea (read this for more about the connection between coffee and Bible translation). Whatever your skills, they could be just the fit for Bible translation.

Read more from the team in Papua New Guinea.