It doesn’t look like cleaning up these shoes is going to do much good! With so much rain coming down, the trails are just going to get them all dirty again. Much of Papua New Guinea is only accessible by foot. Even if there are roads or airstrips to an area, to continue on to a village requires a hike of some kind. It’s a tropical country so heavy and frequent rains are always in the forecast. Pray for the many language development workers and Bible translators who may be taking a hike today! Pray for dry trails and safe transport as they reach language groups who do not have the Scriptures in their heart language.
Take a moment to think about how much music means to you. Music is an important part of any culture. In Papua New Guinea, songs carry the ancient traditions and stories to the next generation. It also introduces new traditions and cultural beliefs. Many language groups love taking their ancient songs and adding words of Scriptures to them. Now these songs, written in their heart language, come alive. Pray for the almost 300 languages that do not have a project started. Pray that it will become music to their ears!
In many places in the world, it isn’t safe to drink water out of a stream but this stream has pure clean water. It comes out of the ground, from deep in the earth, as a river just a short distance from where the water is collected. No one is allowed to go into the water above this collection area. As it is in the tropical lowlands of Papua New Guinea, it is also unusual because it is cool and refreshing. The Scriptures refer to the living waters that refresh the soul. Just like not everyone in PNG has access to the pure, clear, refreshing water like this stream, many do not have access to the Scriptures in their heart language. Pray for projects underway and those that need to be started. Pray that language development workers and Bible translators will bring these living waters to those that need them.
Have you ever sat by the sea and been mesmerised by the waves? They just keep rolling in, one right after the other. They seem to come out of nowhere and each one forms as another one disappears on the sandy beach. This never-ending flow is sometimes what the Bible translation task feels like. Just when you think that have gotten one thing done checked off the to-do list, another one appears on the horizon. The good news is that the enormous task of getting the Word of God into as many heart languages in Papua New Guinea as possible is being accomplished. Another New Testament will be dedicated in April by the Kandawo people. Praise God for this answer to many prayers over the years.
In many areas of PNG, the night is the time to gather and tell stories. Storying is a big part of Papua New Guinea culture. Now the stories are often the Scriptures, that seem to come alive when they are listened to on audio recording devices. These devices are solar powered and can be played at night when the people get together. These life-changing stories are having impact on people as they hear them for the first time. Pray for the oral learners in Papua New Guinea that they would have access to these audio scriptures.
Not everyday is a great day. This is true for language development workers and Bible translators as well. Pray that as language workers prepare for another day of work in Papua New Guinea that they could be filled with enthusiasm, patience and wisdom. Pray that any “crabby” feelings would be replaced with love and understanding as they work through God’s book of love with language groups across the nation.
When the road looks like it might never end, it’s hard to feel like you are making progress on the trip! With almost 3oo languages that need a language project started and work being done in almost 200 language groups, the end is not quite in sight for Papua New Guinea. But God is capable of changing that. Pray that language projects could be started in all the language groups that need one and for the resources that are needed to make that happen.
It is estimated that perhaps as many as 80% of the world are oral learners. That means that hearing the Scripture has a much greater impact than just reading it. In the language development and Bible translation projects this is significant in determining how to distribute the completed New Testaments. Many translations are now distributing AudiBibles with the printed New Testament copies. AudiBibles are prerecorded Scripture players. The written translation work still has to be completed but once it is in written form, the AudiBibles can be recorded. The best readers are selected to read the Scriptures out loud and these recordings are stored on the devices. Does it work? You have to watch this video and see how excited people can get when they hear that these devices are in the area. “I’m going to get me one of those things!”
A log bridge had been built to cross the river which bordered the Kamano-Kafe Christmas camp field. When this bridge washed away during torrential rains just two days before camp began, it was a strong confirmation that printing the Kamano-Kafe language New Testament and Proverbs on waterproof paper had been a good idea.
Undaunted by the weather, men cut down several more 55-foot trees and floated them down river to the camp. About 100 men on both sides of the river hoisted two logs into place to create a footbridge high above the river to carry the boxes of freshly printed Scriptures to camp.
On 24th December, several thousand people listened as the translators and leading pastors thanked God for the completion of this book, and encouraged others to read it. The team advisor, Rich, had admonished people to be supportive of people reading the NewTestament at church, and not laugh at them. It’s common for people to laugh when someone makes a mistake in reading publicly. People took that admonition to heart because in the days following the dedication people broke into applause, not laughter, after five people stood on the grandstand and read aloud from the Scriptures.
During the dedication, pastors from many denominations showed their support of this new translation by gathering around and praying over a box covered with banana leaves (which represented the Ark of the Covenant) containing copies of Kamano-Kafe Scriptures with their bright green covers, signifying a banana leaf.
Enthusiasm for the translation was evident, as 353 New Testaments were sold that week at camp. In addition, the people purchased nearly 100 solar-powered audio recordings of the Scriptures, as well as five dozen micro SD cards filled with Kamano-Kafe NT recordings, songs, and four Scripture videos. These SD cards can be played on phones, in boom boxes and computers.
Although the translators were excited about all God did in the hearts of the people, Rich said, “Christmas camp is just the beginning. The team is already visiting distant villages and encouraging people to use the Kamano-Kafe Scriptures.
There are many places in the world where the moon is the main source of light at night. No street lights or LED flashlights, just the moon and the starry sky. When a full moon comes up in areas like that, its brilliance is startling. In urban and suburban areas, we rarely see the brilliant light of the moon because so many other lights distract us. The Bible can become like that. In areas where we have so many things that compete with the Bible, it can seem to lose its luster. Is it the Bible or are we too distracted by competing things? In Papua New Guinea, when a New Testament is completed, celebrations are huge and people get excited. Pray for the Kandawo people who will be celebrating their New Testament dedication in April. Pray for lasting results as the Scriptures change lives and impact communities.