Commitment. That describes everyone involved in producing the video of the Gospel of John in the Mandara language.
A team of four Papua New Guinean audio technicians traveled to Tatau Island to record the voices for the video. They were accompanied by Lauren Runia, who had trained them in recording techniques and came along to see how they would do on their second major project.
The commitment of the men was obvious as they persevered during the trip to the location, which included rides in five vans/trucks and two dinghys, which included getting drenched in two heavy downpours of rain along the way. The distance and inconvenience of the journey would not keep them from their mission.
Once on the island, the team recorded in two very small buildings, using a portable generator to power their computers. They ably encouraged the actors to read with good expression, made the recorded parts sync with the picture shown on the screen, and related well to the local people.
The team’s mentor, Lauren, said, “Although I was there to coach them through any rough spots, there was very little I needed to say as the technicians far exceeded my expectation in their ability to record and to work through and overcome challenges.”
On their last night in the village, the team showed Part I of the Gospel of John video in the Mandara language. Even rainfall, which caused the showing of the film to be moved indoors, could not dampen the enthusiasm of the viewers. When all seats were filled to overflowing, more people peered in through open windows, sheltered by the overhanging roof, with the rain drizzling behind them.
The local church was grateful for the work of the team and demonstrated their commitment to the completion of the film through their close involvement in the project. Representatives from all church denominations in the language group met to pray for the recording, cooked food for the team, and provided them with shelter. In a closing ceremony, church leaders expressed their deep appreciation for the visitors and for the many local readers who had a vital part in the project. It had truly been a team effort.