Soti, one of the primary Bible translators in the Konai language project, paused in the middle of a translation discussion with his colleagues. An evangelist at heart, who had spent several years in Bible school, Soti was a passionate member of the translation team, who worked on the project for twenty years with Sören and Britten, the Konai translation advisors. “This is better than any Bible school!” he exclaimed, “This is really fantastic! Translation really teaches us what God’s Word says!”
On the 5th of April, Easter Sunday, after twenty years of labour by over fifty people, the Konai New Testament was dedicated in Western Province amid great joy, excitement, and singing. Despite the morning’s rain, many people attended the celebration, with many traditional songs, dances, and speeches. Several of the Konai youth also read the Easter story aloud, demonstrating that the Konai language can easily be read. T-shirts and certificates were handed out to the many people involved in the project. One of the translators, David, faithfully translated everything spoken in English or Tok Pisin, Papua New Guinea’s trade language, into Konai so that everyone could understand.
Before coming to advise the Konai language group, Sören and Britten had worked for 20 years with the Ama language group in the Sepik and dedicated the Ama New Testament in 1990. As a result, the Ama and the Konai felt a shared connection which was demonstrated throughout the day as the Ama language group sent some people to support the Konai. Together, both the Konai translators and the Ama representatives prayed over the Bible and helped hand out the Bibles that were sold.
“While I’ve been a part of this work of translation, I’ve seen a big change happen in my community.” commented David, “God has been using the Bible to change our lives in this place!”
Watch this New Testament dedication by clicking on this link – Konai NT Dedication