Story and Photo: Stephanie Ernandes
“It’s a remote area; you have to get on a dingy or a canoe to get to where I live. We live across the fjords. You cross one fjord, then cross another fjord and that is where I live.” Cyndi Guvama started working with the Korafe translation team when she was young, right after finishing school. She later got married, “At first my husband and I were teaching at the Christian Academic School.” She and her husband have 6 children now.
“My elder brother, who was deaf, was interested in translating. He worked with Jim Farr for 43 years at the translation work.” The Korafe New Testament was dedicated in 1984 and a revision was made and dedicated in 2006. “After the dedication of the revision my brother continued work all by himself. The other translators left. He wanted to translate the Old Testament and later asked me if I could come back again to work with him. I felt I needed to come alongside him in the work.”
“Sometimes it is very hard with the house work and all the kids. My firstborn is married. I have 3 grandchildren from her. The second boy is married and I have one grandchild from him. My third, fourth, fifth and sixth children are still in school. I need to give time to find money to pay for school fees, clothes for them, and school uniforms.”
“We are from the coastal side of Oro Province, so sometimes, from June to July-August, there will be a dry season. We face a very big drought. Sometimes we run out of food and water. During this time, we need to walk a mile’s distance to go and find water. That slows down the translation work.”
“We work twice a week Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am to between 4 and 6pm. Sometimes we work without food, but when I make small gardens God always provides for us. I always tell the children that no matter how little we have, we have faith that we will still live. While working with the translation team I see that God helps a lot. Though we don’t have money, I tell the kids to have faith that God will always help us. I pray and ask God to help me to continue even when there are not enough materials to do the translation work. Then I continue to work at it with what I have.”
The Korafe translation team was just recently provided with a computer. “Paratext is a computer program that helps make the translation work easier. Rather than writing everything, everyday over and over, and doing the drafting with a book and pen, we can use the computer. Sometimes we run out of books.”
“I pray in my heart that God will help me to attend the Paratext Course at the training center. I need your prayers. Please also pray that God will provide the resources we need, like power – solar power to charge the laptops. Sometimes we must borrow a car battery from our friends to charge the computers. I know and hope that God will continue to provide for us to complete the Korafe Old Testament.”