Translation check completed two days ahead of schedule

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Thanks for praying everyone.

During the last three days we have been able to check all of Jonah, Romans, Ephesians, Titus, Philemon and Jude.  We finished yesterday, two days ahead of schedule. We’ll now correct some minor problems discovered during the check and then will be free to print and distribute all these books to the believers.

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During the check we read passage by passage to our helpers Winson, Daasilin, and Kena, who in turn told the consultant in Pidgin English what they understood from each passage. The consultant could then determine whether all of the meaning was clearly communicated in the translation or whether certain things weren’t understood well enough the way they were translated. Some passages in Romans and Ephesians were too difficult for the translation helpers to translate into Pidgin English, so they told us in their own language what they heard and we translated what they said for the consultant.  Its amazing how they could often listen to even a whole page of Bible text and repeat most of the essential details  after only one reading!  They could even remember most of the details of some very long passages in Romans.  We are so thankful for the help God has given us to translate his Word!

We’re also thankful for Jason Stuart, one of our only PNG translation consultants.  Many of our consultants have retired or left for other reasons. So Jason is taking the brunt of the load of checking translation for translators throughout all of Papua New Guinea right now.  This means many hours away from his wife and young children. Pray for more people who would be willing and able to help with translation consulting.  Each book that is translated must be checked and approved by a trained consultant before it can be released to the church. So this is an essential step in the long process of translating the Bible.

Thanks again for praying for us during this check.  We’ll be flying back to Wusuraambya on Tuesday. The next books to be checked will be 1 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, and 1 Thessalonians.

Serving together in Christ,

Andrew & Cathy Goud

New Tribes Mission – Papua New Guinea

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Christmas 2009 in Wusuraambya

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Believers Return from the Islands

Winson back from the Islands

Winson back from the Islands

We’ve been celebrating the return of several believers from the island region last month, whose story was a testimony to everyone here. They went to work in the oil palm industry but we were quite concerned for their spiritual growth and wellbeing. While believers at this end were praying that God would bring them back to their fellowship, God was working through circumstances at their end to draw them back. Here is their story:

When the believers arrived in the islands they discovered that there really wasn’t enough work for everyone, especially not for all ages. Some of them couldn’t find work at all and others received only a couple of paycheques in all the months that they were there. Without work, and then catching the tropical illnesses like malaria, they began wondering why they were staying there. One commented, “What are we doing? The other believers are getting good teaching at church in Wusuraambya and here we are without the fellowship of other believers getting sick and without any benefit?” So they bought some tickets and boarded a ship back to the mainland. While on the ship however, they began wondering, “What will we do once we get to Lae? And how are we going to get back to the tribe?” While pondering that, one said, “God will take care of the situation.” And then they met a man on the ship who had a vehicle waiting in Lae and he just happened to be heading in the direction that our believers were going. So he offered them a ride which took them as far as they could travel by road before walking the rest of the way home to Wusuraambya. When they arrived in the tribe they were very excited at how God had taken care of them on the way and how He had answered the believers’ prayers about bringing them back. It was an exciting Wednesday night at church!
Another thing we are rejoicing in is that Jesi started teaching in church again last week. Ever since he was being pushed to marry a girl and people bad-talked about him he has not being teaching. But he’s back and as dynamic as ever!
We just finished an initial draft of Romans 7-8 and 12-16 the other day. The next step is to record those chapters with the goal of making them as natural as possible in the language while still maintaining accuracy. Cathy has begun work on Titus as well.
The kids have been enjoying volleyball, computer games, videos and other activities during their school break. They’ve also been digging at the back of our house to move the hill further from the house in hopes of reducing some of our mould problems. Since they began the project both Heidi and Cathy are feeling better. We also had the Banmans visiting for week which was fun for the kids and encouragement to the believers.
Thanks to all of you who have made contributions to Heidi’s surgery and all the associated costs for flights, accomodations, medical costs, etc. And thanks for your continuing prayers.

If you ever want to give specifically to the printing and literacy costs here in the tribe, there is actually a separate account in Durham set aside for that purpose. Its called the “Wusuraambya Printing Fund”. When you send funds to the Durham office you can request that your gift be deposited to that fund so it will go towards printing Scriptures in the Wusuraambya language as well as literacy books and readers.

Believers gone to work, Jesi’s Marriage Struggles, Translation check….

Coffee is the main source of income in the Highlands tribes, but with the increasing costs of fuel and flights little or nothing goes to the grower these days. In contrast, work in the oil palm of West New Britain Province is lucrative and a big attraction to anyone who is motivated to earn a living.

While we can’t blame anyone for wanting to meet the needs of their families we ask you to pray for those who are no longer worshipping with us in Wusuraambya because they are out there working in the oil palm. Pray that they will find fellowship with believers where they are now living. Pray for their health. There is a great deal of malaria and other tropical sickness at sea level where they are now working.

Since it is mostly (though not all) men who have gone to work in the oil palm it is much harder to find capable people for checking translation with Andrew now. Please pray diligently that some of the better translation helpers such as Gemos and Winson would be led to come back and continue working with us as we translate God’s Word into their language.

Another situation that we’d like to bring before you for prayer is Jesi and the arranged marriage which he would much prefer to avoid. His clan arranged with another clan in the Church for him to marry their daughter/sister. But we’re not sure the girl is saved, and Jesi has no intimate feelings toward her. In fact he really doesn’t want to be married until he’s done much more of the New Testament Translation. But there is great cultural pressure for him to marry and other believers are now looking at his refusal to marry her as a poor testimony. He’s even been asked not to teach for a couple of months and this is really hurtful to him. Pray diligently that Jesi would not follow the cultural norm of running away from his “shame” and staying away for months or years before ever returning. He is seeking God’s strength and wisdom in the situation and trusting that God will show him what to do.

Finally, please pray for us as we prepare for another translation check on May 27-29 (this month). We will be checking Romans chapters 3-6 and Ruth 1-4 Lord willing.

Thanks for your part in the ministry to the Wusuraambya people of Papua New Guinea.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always,  pray constantly, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Please be praying for the Wusuraambya believers who have gone off to work in West New Britain Province in the oil palm.