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Languages galore in Milne Bay!
Making Progress ... with Sybil Shaw
It's been 10 years since I first went to Milne Bay! But I look back and see God's faithfulness as I have worked to record the Gospel there. A church in Elgin, USA sent money for recordings to be done in the GHAYAVI language of Milne Bay. That opened a door for the Gospel among a multitude of languages spoken in that Province.
Since then I have been to Milne Bay many times. Strong relationships have been built with key people, that has led to recording and distribution of GRN materials in 26 languages.
In January 2008, I again visited Milne Bay to record and to attend the dedication of the AUHELAWA New Testament and GRN materials. One of the AUHELAWA speakers at the dedication said, " The Word of God in our own language brings the light of the Gospel to us."
Making Progress ... in LOGEA
What a privilege to work with such a highly motivated team of people, willing to work on the translations until the early hours of the morning.
Janet found it inspirational to be part of our team as we checked and recorded the commentaries for the 'Look, Listen and Live' (LLL) picture charts in the LOGEA language. She said with great emotion, "This is the bread of life for us." She wants to move around the villages promoting and selling the materials herself.
Joyce appreciated the short stories for each LLL Bible picture and the personal applications which read so well in LOGEA. Hearing the message of the Bible in their own language brought so much joy to all involved in the project. As I played back the new recordings, there were gasps and nods of agreement. "That's right", and, "Very powerful", they said, as the Holy Spirit revealed spiritual truths to them, now so clearly expressed in their own language.
"I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor anything in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38 in the LOGEA LLL Book No. 8 script, had new meaning for our helper, Simon. He shared this testimony at the Sunday service with tears in his eyes, and he thanked me for coming and recording these Bible stories for his people.
Making Progress ... with SIL
I was privileged to attend the VITAL - SIL Translators Course, where Karla Sligh invited me to record the Gospel of Mark, chapters 1-7, in six of the local languages.
The aim of the course was to prepare a package of materials that will facilitate the use of the Bible translations. The packages included a printed copy of Mark, an audio version on cassette, literacy materials (including some GRN materials), and Bible study outlines in the vernacular.
More Encouragements ...
I heard more reports of how our GRN materials had contributed to the spread of the Gospel over the years.
Hazel and Kipling shared how their fathers had spoken on the old ANUKI recordings before they died, and as a result, the younger generation has come to follow the Lord. Today, the Anuki people are reaching out to the small language group next to them called DOGA and they asked for more recordings in ANUKI and in DOGA for their outreach. I was able to give them a copy of the old 'Words of Life' recording in DOGA.
A recording of Mark's Gospel that I had made in WEDAU has been played over the local radio station. I met a man called Maclaren. It was a dream come true for him to have the Bible translation in his GHAYAVI language.
The GHAYAVI speakers are so keen to sell the recordings of Mark's Gospel to their own people. Masali from the Kwato church is being challenged to go around to the local churches to distribute and sell the materials in BUHUTU. Patrick and Pele have already distributed lots of material among the Catholic, BUHUTU people. Some people travelled from the coast over the mountains to get their materials and they requested still more.
Pastor Richard and Merea have been such faithful companions on my trips to Milne Bay. They plan to distribute the 'Good News' and the 'Look, Listen and Live' materials in the six elementary schools in the LAUSAHA language group.