09 July, 2013 – Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea – Written by Tim Scott
The Papua New Guinea Bible Translation Association (BTA) held its biennial conference at the Ukarumpa Training Centre. The conference was a time for reviewing and renewing BTA’s vision for the Bible translation effort in Papua New Guinea. There were many opportunities for spiritual refreshment, encouragement and learning from each other.
The theme of the conference was “Unite and Ignite”, with the goal of inspiring the 130+ participants to come together to complete the humanly impossible task of providing the Word of God in every tokples* in PNG. Rev. Min-Yong Jung began the week by bringing Scriptural insights that focused attendees on the conference theme. Rev. Jung previously served as a Bible translator in Papua and as Director of Global Bible Translators (Wycliffe Korea). He is currently serving as Associate Director of the Wycliffe Global Alliance, focusing on church engagement and networking.
The conference highlighted the work being done in the 57 language communities that BTA serves. There were presentations on various programs and projects including advancements in Bible storytelling, SALT (Scripture Application & Leadership Training) and the electronic distribution of Scriptures – http://www.pngscriptures.org & http://www.tokplesBaibel.org.
The BTA board met and elected a new chairman, Dominic Sebong, replacing Andrew Kwimberi who has served twelve years on the board and as the chairman for the past 6 years. Dominic has served as vice-chairman of the board for the past two years. He comes from Morobe Province and currently resides in Port Moresby.
David Gela announced that after 31 years as Executive Director, this would be his final biennium. He is hoping to transition into a mentoring role for BTA, and into a full-time capacity as Director for Pacific Island Affairs for the Asia Pacific Area of the Wycliffe Global Alliance. His goal for the next two years is to implement BTA’s strategic plan and to define a meaningful course for churches that want to get engaged in the Bible translation process.
“My greatest joy has been seeing the churches getting involved and Papua New Guineans taking ownership of the Bible Translation process. It’s our turn now!” – David Gela, Executive Director, BTA
*Tokples means vernacular language, or mother tongue.