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!”
The morning of April 7th, 2014, dawned bright and sunny for the dedication of the first published Scripture in the Nukna language. Though heavy rains would begin falling before noon, they couldn’t put a damper on the enthusiasm of the Nukna people at being able to read the printed version or listen to the audio version of the books of Ruth and Mark in their own heart language.
Along with multiple singing and dancing groups, the dedication program also included a multi-denominational worship service, speeches by local church and civic leaders, prayers of blessing by two local pastors, an offering taken up to support the Nukna Bible translation program, and a celebratory feast.
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’!
Join in praise with the Nukna people, who for the first time in history have a portion of His Word in their own language! Pray that as the people read these books and listen to the corresponding audio recording, the words would speak to their hearts.