Story by: Rachel Greco
How far would you go to translate the Bible into your language?
Philip, Leo, and Joe set off on a journey one Thursday to reach the nearest town and airstrip so they could arrive at Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. Due to heavy rains, it took them six and a half days to cross the mountains guarding the way to their destination. These men traversed through mud—sometimes as deep as their knees—up and down the mountains. Some rivers had flooded so much that the men had to sit and wait for hours to cross them, then carried on through pouring rain.
Sometimes the trio crafted rafts out of hunks of wood to get their bags across the swollen rivers. There were no vehicles where they had hoped to catch a truck, so they simply trekked on through the day and night. At one point in the middle of the night they were so tired that they stopped and fell asleep for a few short intervals. Despite all of these travails, the men pressed on in order to complete translating a few more portions of the New Testament into their heart language of Lote.
This trio was made of truly extraordinary men. Leo, the chief Bible translator for the group, had been translating the New Testament for over fifteen years and had become skilled at expressing God’s Word in a meaningful way to his people. He could also write songs and sing them, led youth, and the choir. Philip, an elderly man with impaired feet, felt passionate about God’s Word coming across clearly and sounding sweet and genuine to his Lote ears.
Finally, after many hardships, the trio reached their goal. And not long after, because of their perseverance, these men were able to see the fruit of their sore feet and anxious waiting when the Lote New Testaments were unveiled and received joyfully by the Lote people.(Leo reading the Lote New Testament)