Archive for February, 2013

Update from PNG

Thanks for your prayers for this workshop. The Lord has given us good health, strength, and cooperative and humble spirits to accomplish a good bit of work together. We are slightly behind in our pace, but we have finished 2 Cor., Col, Phil, Phm, 1 Tim, and Romans. Yesterday, we worked through the last 8 chapters of Romans. Rom. 9-11 were quite challenging! Translating any of Paul’s letters is almost always a challenge, especially when the theology is deep and the grammar is complicated. One source says that Rom. 9:22-24 are the most difficult verses in the whole book. I wouldn’t argue that point!

Now that we have finished Romans, we have begun 2 Tim, and then we will move to 1-3 John, and finally Hebrews. I doubt we will get very far into Hebrews, but my goal is to at least start the book before I hand it off to my co-worker, who is coming here the day after I leave next Thursday. I am having to prepare quite a bit in the evenings and on the weekends, since I didn’t have much time before I flew out in Jan. I had only worked through about half of the 65 chapters. That means I have to work 1-2 hours each evening after supper. I still have 3 more chapters to work through and then however many I think I should look at in Hebrews (depending on how far we get this week).

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Progress in PNG

We are praising the Lord for enabling us to finish 2 Corinthians, Philippians, and Colossians so far in this Kaulong workshop. But that means that we are now 5 chapters behind in our pace of finishing 65 chapters during these three weeks. It seems that doing 4.5 chapters per day was slightly unrealistic, though there have been two days where we were able to work at that pace. I’ve learned a good bit of how Kaulong expresses certain recurring NT thoughts, so that speeds up my questioning. If we do get back on pace, I’ll need to prepare 25 more chapters in the evenings and weekends to stay ahead of the workshop. We’ll just see how the Lord works! I’m thankful that He has answered prayer so far in giving us wisdom, strength, and good health so far. A group of three adult Kaulong speakers arrived on Wed to help with the work. One is also helping lots with food prep and clean-up, so that frees the rest of us to focus more on the workshop needs. Please keep praying!

The Lord has been reminding me of the privilege it is to help this language group get the Word of God for the first time. It’s neat to see missionary translator Craig Throop read the Kaulong with such deep feeling to the 4 language helpers and to hear their excited reactions. The recurring word in the workshop is “tunus.” It’s an English word that basically means “that’s good!”

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Update on India and PNG

My last week in India went so rapidly that I didn’t have time to send out a concluding email. During my second week in India we did 3 more days of a consultant seminar, where a visiting PhD (and adjunct consultant for BI) taught us about verbal aspect in biblical Hebrew poetry. We all profited greatly from her lectures, especially since she geared her work specifically for our context.

I spent 4 days after that checking portions of the Simte OT. My goal was to complete Ruth, Zephaniah, and 8 chapters in Numbers. I doubted that we could do all that in just 4 days, but the Lord helped us to complete it all! Praise to God! Thanks for praying!

My last Sunday in India I got to preach at a church whose history goes back to the mid-20th century. It was a blessing preach at this church for a second time (the first was in 2012). The church is small and the pastor is severely underpaid, but they have a vision for missions in various places in the world. The Lord has already enabled them to do missions trips in other places in India and in a neighboring country or two.

A week ago Wed I began my trip to PNG, and I finally arrived at my destination, Hoskins on New Britain Island, on Friday afternoon. We began the workshop on the Kaulong NT on Saturday. The missionary translator, Craig Throop, needs to complete the NT before his furlough in mid-April. I will be spending 3 weeks here and then another consultant will do 3 more weeks on the project. My goal is to complete 65 chapters during these 3 weeks. So far we have averaged about 3 chapters per day, so we might not get as far as I wanted, but it will be as far as God wants.

Pray for a spirit of cooperation and understanding so that we might work well together. Pray especially that the Lord would protect this project, as the completion stage is when Satan is at his fiercest. The Kaulong tribe is small and isolated, still using their famous blow guns for hunting birds and their spears for killing pigs. Steeped in animism and traditional ways, they need the life-transforming truths of the Word of God!

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