Hard Work for the Kou

Story by Stephanie Ernandes

Men from the Kou language group, a remote area in Papua New Guinea, had heard about other language groups near to them who had God’s word translated into their own language. These men greatly desired to have the Word of God translated into Kou – so they too could have the Bible in words familiar to them. Their community so wanted God’s word in their heart language that they gathered their money together and sent five men away from their homes, families and gardens to come to a Translators Training Course (TTC) for five weeks.

Barry Moeckel, the TTC mentor that worked with the Kou team describes this group, “Although a bit shy, they expressed their gratitude in a way that was very appropriate in their culture—they brought me bananas, several times. They didn’t say anything, but simply handed me two or three bananas, smiled broadly, and walked away.”

The Kou team worked very hard during the duration of the course. Among the many things they learned and did while attending, they translated Genesis 22:1-19 (God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaak, God’s provision of a ram and God’s promise bless all the nations of the earth Abrahams offspring) into the Kou language. How exciting it must have been to return to their community with this, the first-ever scripture written in the Kou language, in hand!

They have been given assignments to complete while they are home such as checking comprehension of the Scripture they translated with their community and translating 10 more chapters of Genesis. After completing these assignments they will, Lord willing, return for TTC2 in 2018 – the second of four training sessions designed to bring these Papua New Guineans to complete understanding of translating Scripture. These men are heros for their people group much like John Wycliffe, the man who first translated the Bible into English, is for us. What an amazing, life giving, life changing work these men are doing for their people!

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