School holidays. For high school teachers like Caspar, holidays mean a break from normal routines, a chance to rest and to catch up on school-related work. But over the school holidays, Caspar, a science teacher in Mt. Hagen, met with translator Mack Graham to go over questions he had written down while proofreading the New Testament. During the previous school term, he rose at 4 a.m. each day to read the newly drafted New Testament. He’d read the New Testament in the past, but this time it was special: he was reading—and editing—the draft version of the New Testament in his own mother tongue, Kandawo.
Reading is important to Caspar. He reads fluently in both Tok Pisin* and English, and conducts his high school classes in the English language. But despite his fluency in these second and third languages, Caspar marvels at how he never really understood the Bible until he read it in Kandawo. This motivates him to be a part of the team translating the New Testament into Kandawo.
The lead translator, Mack Graham (SIL), has known Caspar since he was a boy. Now 34, married and a father of three (he named his third son, Mack Graham!), Caspar is remarkably committed to the translation task—so committed that he sacrificed his entire school holiday to editing the Kandawo New Testament, searching out faults and documenting them with the translation team. Caspar is pleased with how this new translation reads; the language is clear and it flows naturally in his mother tongue.
Last week, Caspar was introduced at a church service, and he told of his recent work reading and editing the Kandawo Scriptures. Afterward, many people came up to shake his hand, sharing that they had been encouraged and challenged by his example. Though Caspar is a working man, he gave up his holiday to the second job of editing his own New Testament. One person said, “We, too, are working people, but what have we done for our own Bibles?”
Sometimes, it takes a second job to get the job done.
* Tok Pisin is the commonly used Melanesian trade language