Saturday, November 25, 2017

Gwahatike Survey Trip

Jon had the chance to visit many of the Gwahatike language villages along with part of the language survey team here in PNG recently. It was about one week long and ten villages were visited.

The purpose of the trip was to evaluate how much the existing completed Gwahatike New Testament is being used. We also identified the barriers that prevent the people from using the Gwahatike NT. We did this by doing one-on-one interviews as well as facilitating community discussions in each of the villages we visited.

We now have more strategic ways to engage with the Gwahatike community in this area. It was also encouraging to see new initiatives started by the people in the community over the last month related to vernacular scripture use!

Enjoy the pictures!

Jon giving some pointers to the pilot ;)

The team after we landed at the Saidor airstrip

We hiked each day for at least a couple hours exploring this beautiful area of God's creation

One of the community discussions held in Umboldi village

Another community discussion in Mulumyang village. The different papers on the ground give a visual of what the community is discussing and give a good picture of particularly the barriers that exist to using the Gwahatike NT

Group shot including the language survey team and the main local guides

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Steering Committee Workshop

We recently helped run a workshop in Madang town. The workshop helped to establish or strengthen local steering committee's to direct the work of language development and Bible translation. It was attended by seven language groups from the Madang and Morobe provinces including the three languages we work in within the Gwahatike Multi-Language Project.

Local ownership is a critical piece of a successful Bible translation project. Often times it is difficult for the translation team to give ownership over to the community. Even if all of the right attitudes are present in the translation team there needs to be some structure brought into the relationship between the translation team and the broader community they are serving. The local steering committee (or local language board) fills this role.

It was a successful workshop with all of the teams leaving with an action plan for how they were going to support Bible translation in their context.

Jon taught some of the modules

Group photo of teachers and students

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ministry Update

You may not have heard many updates about the Gwahatike translation programs on this blog but the teams have been very busy over the past months. It is an exciting time as we look forward to reaching some of the goals that we set more than two years ago! We had set as a goal two years ago to complete and print the gospel of Mark in each of the Domung, Madi and Asaro'o languages. This was an ambitious goal especially when you consider the investment that we put into training of the translation teams members. These next four months are going to be busy as we try to reach this goal before mid-August.

As we continue to work towards these goals we had a work session in Madang town in which all of the teams were able to attend. Myself and one of our colleagues went to Madang for two weeks and we had two teams come at a time to work with each of us. I trained the teams on how to use Paratext more effectively (this is the main program used on the computer to do the translation work). While I worked with one team, the other team worked with this experienced translator who was able to advise them on how to do the translation work and do some adviser level checking of the scriptures.

Madi translation team during Paratext training

Domung team during the Paratext workshop

Group photo with the Madi and Asaro'o translation teams

Asaro'o translation team hard at work
During this work session we also had a new team come from the Gwahatike language area (the original language to have Bible translation done). The Gwahatike New Testament was published in 2000. Since then, the translation work has not continued as the team members focused on helping their neighboring language groups translate the Bible. We are now exploring the possibility of starting new translation work in the Gwahatike language, possibly portions of the Old Testament.

Gwahatike team reviewing a portion of Genesis
"And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.""
Luke 24:5-7

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Graduation Ceremonies!

We are excited to celebrate with three of the translation teams as they have completed workshops recently!

Paratext is the software that is used to do the actual translation work on the computer. It is an extremely powerful tool that significantly speeds up the translation process. Recently the Asaro'o translation team attended a two-week workshop that introduced the basics of using Paratext. Praise the Lord with us for providing this training and working to equip this team to do the translation work more effectively.

Steven, Martin and Freddy after the Paratext graduation ceremony

Members of the Madi and Domung translation teams also just graduated from a six-week workshop designed to teach basic computing, English and critical thinking. This was a stretching time for the team members and we are proud of how far each of them have come. Computers are a reality in Bible translation work and so this training is critical for that reason alone. Using English commentaries and Biblical resources and thinking about (and solving) translation problems using critical thinking techniques is also critical for a strong translation. We are thankful for God's provision in teaching these team members these important skills.

Nigai, Nosingke, Mailong, Nangsi, Noel and Simon after the Initial Skills graduation

The Asaro'o team also recently had a chance to have a dedicated work session in the nearby town of Madang. It was a productive time and a great encouragement to see some new people involved in the work that haven't in the past.

Johnson, Martin, Freddy, Paul, Steven, Hildagard and Martha at the end of the work session in Madang town

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Construction Trip

I had the opportunity to go to Umboldi for a few days last weekend. The purpose of the trip was to fix up an existing bathroom in the translation house used by the Bible translators and literacy workers. There were several leaks in the pipes and the shower floor was completely broken. I'm happy to report the bathroom is in good working condition again and there is now a solid shower base installed.

We are very thankful for the help of one of our co-workers here in PNG, Brad. He has more experience than me in plumbing related work and was critical to the success of this trip. We even had some spare time at the end of the trip to look at some small engine repairs (Brad has some experience in this area as well).

The work was a blessing to the translation teams but Brad and I were also blessed as we enjoyed the PNG hospitality. It was a special joy to worship with the Gwahatike people on Sunday morning. Sorry, I forgot to get a picture of the worship service.

Enjoy the pictures!

The bathroom after the demolition stage. Sorry, I forgot to take pics of the finished product. You'll have to trust us that we completed the work.

I was able to fix a couple computer problems during the visit as well.

Brad taking part of an engine apart to find out what part is needed.

Hiking down to catch a boat to Madang.

This was my view during the drive from Madang back home to Ukarumpa. Nafian and Brad are smiling a bit too much. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Madi Work Session in Madang

The Madi translation team is just finishing up a two week work session in the nearby town of Madang. It is often very beneficial to the work to take the translation team out of the village context and hold a couple weeks of focused work time. This is one of those focused work sessions where they are working on the back translation of Joshua 1-10. It is exciting to see the Word of God being translated and to see the team members grow into their role as translators.

Mark and Mailong working on the back translation of Madi back to English in preparation for checking by a consultant
Some computer issues came up during this particular work session and so I was able to go down to Madang for the day to resolve the problems. This is outside of my regular routine so it was nice to go to a different place and see first hand some of the translation work we help facilitate.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Asaro'o TTC Graduation

We are excited for the Asaro'o language group! A team from the Asaro'o Bible translation program recently completed a six week translator's training course (TTC). This course has taught them basic translation skills and principles and they are now equipped to continue in the work God has called them to. Praise the Lord with us for allowing this translation program to make it this far.

The Asaro'o translation team accepting their certificates.