My Heart Will Go Thud

Story by Adam Boyd

One of the thingsthud_pic.jpg I love about Enga is the rich metaphors it employs. Sometimes, however, these metaphors can be difficult to grasp at first. There is one particular metaphor that I have struggled to understand precisely: mona lyuu lenge. I knew that the entire phrase meant something like ‘to be at peace in your heart’. I also knew that mona meant ‘heart’ and that lenge meant ‘produce a sound’, but I really struggled to know what lyuu meant. Usually a word that comes before lenge is some sort of sound or speech, but what sound is produced when your heart is at peace?

As we were translating Philippians 2:19, the team used this phrase to describe how Paul would feel when he received news of how the Philippians were doing. So I asked the team what exactly mona lyuu lenge meant. Often it is hard to get a straightforward answer to such questions, but the team explained that the literal meaning of lyuu lenge is the sound that is made when a large object hits the ground. For example, when a cluster of pandanus nuts hits the ground, it makes such a sound. Finally I realized that the word lyuu literally means ‘thud’ and that lyuu lenge means ‘go thud’ or ‘make a thud sound’.

Well, I was happy to figure out the literal meaning of the word lyuu, but I still couldn’t see what it had to do with being at peace in your heart. The team then further explained that when you feel anxious about something, it is like your heart is hung up on whatever it is that you are anxious about. But when your anxiety is relieved, your heart falls back into place. And when your heart falls back into place, metaphorically speaking, it makes a thud sound just like a cluster of pandanus nuts when it falls to the ground.

So, in the Enga translation of Philippians 2:19, Paul literally writes, “When [Timothy] tells me how you are doing, I will hear and then my heart will go thud.” I think my own heart went thud when I finally realized the meaning of this rich metaphor!

 

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For the Glory of the Lord

Story by Stephanie Ernandes, Photo by Marius Taciuc

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It was the first time Marius would get to attend a New Testament Bible dedication.  “I didn’t know what to expect at first.  It turned out to be a very emotional event.”  After arriving in the village where the dedication was to take place, Marius curiously looked at his surroundings. He estimated that there were about 1000 people there in the village.  He was amazed that they all seemed to have the same mindset.  “They were working together, singing together, and cooking food for the dedication together.”

“From time to time there were groups of about 100 or so that were coming out of their houses and singing hymns in their language as well as in Tok Pisin (the local trade language).  That is something you don’t see in the western world.  I was thinking to myself all the time: What would it take to see something like that happen in my home country? An entire village coming out of their houses singing for the glory of the Lord.  That was very emotional for me.  I realized that they were taking it seriously.  They were saying, this celebration of ours is very personal.”

 

 

At The Heart Level

Story by Stephanie Ernandes, Photo by Leah Veil 

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“’Was God trying to kill me?’ the pastor asked a roomful of his fellow earthquake survivors.  The man’s eyes were full of tears, his face haunted by abandonment and betrayal.  ‘What did I do wrong?’ he asked in a voice barely audible before sitting back down on the grass-padded dirt floor of the church building.”

These were some of the questions asked of Leah Veil and her teammates. They had flown to Walagu, Papua New Guinea, to minister to a group of over 40 pastors and their wives (87 people total), all earthquake victims from the surrounding villages, now seeking refuge in Walagu.

Gathered in a small bamboo church, months after the terrors of the earthquakes – yet still quite shaken, many people stood up and shared similar stories and concerns.   The majority of them were desperately trying to figure out answers to questions like:  Is God angry?  Am I being punished? Does God really answer prayers?  Was God not able to help us?

These people had been taken care of physically by the generosity of so many across the world and in PNG.  But Leah and her group came to minister to a different need.  They’d come to walk through their trauma with them by taking them through a trauma healing/disaster response workshop.  They asked them to share their stories, their concerns, and their beliefs about God as a result of the tragedy they were all facing.  After much listening and many tears shed, they gently took them to the Word of God.

“For the next several days of the workshop, we talked about God being love.  About how, when we turn to Him, our sins are completely forgiven, never to be remembered again.  About how He is a loving father to His children.  Then we talked about the process of grieving and how to listen well to others who are in pain,” Leah remembered.  They finished up with an object lesson about how to take their own pain to Christ.

Leah was happy about how God worked in people’s hearts. She recalled, “Afterwards, one man testified that immediately following the earthquake, he’d known that there was no refuge to be found; Not in Walagu, not anywhere.  He said he’d lost his faith.  Yet, through the working of God’s Spirit during the workshop, he now knew that God loved him.  He said, ‘God is our ples hait (refuge).  When we leave here to go back to our village, God will be there, too. He will be our ples hait there as well because He loves us and will always be with us.’”

More Precious than Gold

Story by Elisa Kiputung, Malei national translator, photo by Janeen Michie

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Around Christmas I experienced many problems. Someone cut the power cords of my solar light, someone stole food from my garden, someone stole my chicken which I hoped would have many chicks, and they also stole my headphone/microphone that I use for recording the Scriptures. When all this happened to me I thought, “God you know what you are doing. I know you do not allow these problems to happen to hurt me. What does the light of God say about this? In Peter we read that the difficulties we experience are not meant to hurt us, but to help us.”

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 New Living Translation

Prayer Matters!

Story by Stephanie Ernandes, Photos by Denis and Marcela Vargas

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In 2003, language surveyers traveled all the way to Goodenough Island in the Solomon Sea in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG) with the goal of discovering which people groups were in need of and desiring to have the Bible in their language.  One of the people groups surveyed there were the Diodio people.  Since then the Diodio have been greatly desiring that someone would come to help them to translate the Bible into their language.

On the other side of the globe, Costa Rican Bible translators Denis and Marcela Vargas were preparing to serve overseas. Their Bible translation organization had prepared a prayer guide which included 30 different languages across the world without any Scripture. As they shared with others what they were planning to do, they gave it to people they met. Their families, churches, and individuals joined them in praying for people without Scripture, using this prayer guide.

A translation awareness workshop the Diodio people attended in 2012 made the people’s desire grow.  They asked many of the translation organizations in PNG to come help them, but no one had the personnel.  “It was very hard for them to come to the realization that there was no team, no one to support them, no one to advise them or to help them in the translation process,” said Marcela.

Denis and Marcela received notice in 2016 that there was an opportunity for them to be located with the Diodio people.  Denis remembers, “That name started going around in my mind and I said to myself, ‘I’ve heard this name before,’ but I didn’t remember where.  Later, when we were packing to go to PNG, I found a copy of this prayer guide, and I just took a look because I wanted to remember what PNG languages were included. I was surprised to see that of the 30 languages in the world that our churches had been praying for, Diodio was on the list!”

“We brought the prayer guide with us to show them as a testimony. We shared with them the story and we told them we had been praying for them for many years, along with our family, our churches in Costa Rica, and our sending church!  They were amazed and all of us were crying,” shared Marcela.

The Diodio people are very excited that the translation work has been started and they have already seen how important prayer is in the process of this work. After the recent start of the translation process, at the suggestion of the Diodio people, every Thursday evening many people in the village gather together to pray for the translation work.

While We Were Away

Story By Stephanie Ernandes, Photo by Scot Stober

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As a result of a spiritual revival that came about within the Mato people group in 2011 while Bible translators Scot and Cherie Stober were in their home country for a time, the Lord stirred and began to grow a hunger within the Mato people to learn more about the Lord.

“They started to have a healing ministry.  They have healed people. It’s an incredible ministry that they have and they are getting called by different language groups around Madang to come and do healing,” shared Cherie.  “That is what we came back to after our time away. They had asked questions before, but when I started to do Trauma Healing Workshops with them two years ago, that is what opened everything up.  After that, people started asking about things like domestic violence, rape and grief to name a few.  ‘How do we deal with these things?  What do I do when someone has stolen my pig and I am angry with them?’” (Pigs are very highly valued in Papua New Guinean culture).

Because of these things Scot and Cherie were able to teach them on a deeper spiritual level and point them to translated Scriptures that dealt with these kinds of issues.  They have just finished translating the New Testament, as well as recording the audio version, and dubbing the Jesus Film into the Mato language.  The New Testament will be dedicated August of 2019.

As the Mato people rub shoulders with the Scriptures through all of these avenues that God has opened, they are just starting to grasp that there is Scripture that backs up what they do every day in their lives.  Please pray for the Mato people, for continued hunger to know and pursue God, and for a continued desire to understand the Word as they grow in Christ Jesus and walk out His calling for their lives.