Every language group deserves to hear the Word of God in their own language. The language development and Bible translation effort is working hard to accomplish this goal but there are still about 280 language groups on the outside looking in. Pray that the financial resources and trained personnel would be found that will bring all languages groups heart-language scriptures.
What if all the fish of the sea looked the same? What a boring world we would have! But that is not the world our creative God has made. He loves to bless us with His creativity. He also blessed us with many cultures and languages that are unique. With over 830 languages in Papua New Guinea, PNG is certainly blessed! With this blessing comes a challenge. Many of these languages still do not have even a single scripture portion translated into them. Pray that God’s word would be made real in each and every unique language.
It is good to have detailed plans for projects. In order to prioritize needs and allocate resources, we need to plan accordingly. But sometimes the best laid plans don’t fit into the realities of the language development and Bible translation effort. Sometimes you just need to go with the flow. Papua New Guinea is called the “Land of the unexpected…” and the unexpected can often happen. When that happens, flexibility and adaptability are high values. Pray for good planning but also for wisdom to know what is the best course of action when the plans need changed.
Yesterday we mentioned the painting in the Ukarumpa Meetinghouse and the impact the painting had on Norbert, a computer instructor at the Ukarumpa Training Centre. Worthy is the Lamb, painted by Chris DeJong is a mighty testament to all peoples on earth, and strongly encourages each one of us to revisit our spiritual values. Its message serves as a hopeful and searing reminder that God has an incredible future planned. To learn more about this painting go to The Promise Story website.
Chris has another painting entitled “Promise Story.” This is located in the dining hall at the Ukarumpa Training Centre and has been a blessing to many students and staff. The Promise Story also has teaching tools that are available at the same site.
Norbert had never seen a painting like this one. It was his first visit to the Ukarumpa Meeting House and above the stage a giant painting stretched over the room. Painted by Chris DeJong in 2001, it was filled with angels and clouds and animals and people from around the world all focused on the very centre, where a Lamb stood before a scroll. It’s Revelation, he realized.
As he gazed at the Scripture, tears filled his eyes. His friends, Elden and Bea Sandy, who were sitting next to him, bent closer, “Why are you crying?” they asked. “What happened?”
Norbert shifted on the bench, then turned. “Before I came here, I had a vision in my early childhood about what God wanted me to do with my life, but I’d never seen it depicted before—until today. Now I can see it.”
Since 2010, Norbert has supported Bible translation by teaching computer skills to national translators, from basic typing to using specialized translation programs like Paratext. “We create a dialogue in the classroom,” Norbert explained, “So [students] can discuss not only problems they are having with their computers, but other things too.”
“Teaching is a call for me—ever since I was a little child I’ve wanted to follow the example of Jesus Christ as a teacher.” Norbert first studied computer science in seminary and later went back to school to study education to improve his teaching skills. “I’m always studying!” he laughed.
Although the classes are small, interest is high, and Norbert is optimistic about its continued growth. “I teach them how to use antivirus and protect their work. It’s very valuable for translating in the village—otherwise they can lose all their translation work if they get viruses.”
“I used to teach at other schools and universities,” Norbert explained, “It was the life I thought I wanted, but it wasn’t satisfying. But now, [by helping translators], this is where my excitement and my joy have been found: serving the Lord through computer science.”
The PNG Experience blog is now one year old. Over the past year we have posted 286 blogs which have been viewed almost 22,000 times! THANK YOU for supporting the language development and Bible translation effort in Papua New Guinea by reading this blog and praying for the effort here. We value your participation with us. So… celebrate today the things that are happening in PNG by praising God for His great work!
Why not share this blog with others so that more people can hear what God is doing in Papua New Guinea.
Water transportation is a vital part of the translation effort in Papua New Guinea. Many places are only accessible by boat. Boat travel is inconsistent and at times dangerous. Pray for safe travels as language development workers and Bible translators move from place to place.