PNG Post Script: Project Milne Bay... the story continues

PNG Post Script: Project Milne Bay... the story continues

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KANASI language helpers
Sybil Shaw discusses scripts with the DAWAWA translator
Ninian who recorded Book 8 of the LLL series in WEDAU
Helen records in her GHAYAVI language
Mati Mati and Pastor Richard distribute recordings to the BUHUTU and LAUSAHA speakers

Sybil Shaw began her recording work in Milne Bay in 1998..

Read "Sing me a story" and you'll see that with God's help, many good recordings have been made in the languages of the Milne Bay Province of PNG. However, just making recordings does not communicate the Gospel! The Milne Bay Project was launched in August 2006 to ensure that these recordings could be put into the hands of the local people.

The aim of Project Milne Bay was to provide recordings and Bible picture materials for sale and distribution in the Dawawa, Kanasi and other language groups in the area. At that time a substantial amount of money was raised which provided recordings and Bible picture materials in the KANASI and DAWAWA languages. In fact enough money was raised to help out in some other language groups also. Further progress was reported in April 2008.

Since then Sybil has been to Milne Bay twice more, recording about 35-40 programs in 14 languages. Much of this work has been done in partnership with SIL. Here are some stories extracted from her notes.

Sybil will return to Milne Bay late in 2009 to continue work on more of the 23 languages in that area. She reports also that Saber players are in great demand in many language groups.

Eager to hear

Henry, the local Bible translator is taking recordings of Mark and Genesis in the MAIADOMU language to the remotest villages where the people are eager to hear. The children also are hearing and learning the word of God.

Translation is life-changing. Those translating and reading GRN materials in the UBIR language are finding their hearts touched and changed by the Holy Spirit as they 'dig' into the Word of God.

Deep truths

Timothy was listening while I recorded LLL Book 1 in KANASI. He commented, "This is digging up the deep truths of the Old Testament stories."

The Kanasi believers desperately want to see their people come out of bondage in the darkness of Satan into the light and freedom of knowing Jesus personally. They continue to thank GRN supporters for the gift of materials a couple of years ago. These people live high in the mountains and do not have cash to buy recordings and picture charts.

A miracle of communication

Ninian, a WEDAU speaker, could not read the printed text because he had no glasses, so I bought him a pair and he could see much better. He confessed he always read in English and not Wedau.

During the first few sentences he read of his language he stumbled over lots of the words, so I asked him to start again, and to his and my amazement he read slowly and fluently with meaning and he continued that way. He is a keen Christian and this was a real answer to prayer.

We recorded the script for the LLL Book 8 ('Acts of the Holy Spirit') and I gave him a set of the pictures. He was thrilled because the pictures would be a great help to his wife who teaches Sunday School.

Into His kingdom

Maclaren is involved in Bible translation in the GHAYAVI language. He wrote a letter to us...

"Dear GRN... since being involved in Bible translation I have realised the importance of GRN's (Sybil's) recording the Gospel of Mark we are translating. As I go out doing my work playing the recording, people come to really understand the Good News in their own tongue. From listening to the recordings the people dig deeper into God's Word than when I just read it to them. People ask me to play the old recording done 50 years ago over and over again! I asked why they want to hear it and they tell me 'The Word is always new and fresh...' Many thanks for GRN's work in my language which is turning more and more of those who are lost into His Kingdom..."

More important than food!

Masali is a BUHUTU speaker with a heart for her people. After attending a church conference she excitedly told us, "The women loved to listen to the Bible stories and cried when they heard the stories of Jacob, Joseph and Joshua. They did not want to stop listening even to eat or sleep!"

After hearing the stories, one pastor's wife said, "We never really understood the deep meaning of the stories when we heard them in ENGLISH and SUAU, but now we do as we hear them in our own language. The recording is very clear and everyone can understand it."

Masali also encourages those who are sick and those struggling with problems to sit and listen to the BUHUTU Bible cassettes and ask God to speak to them. Listening has brought healing to body and soul.