Monday, June 26, 2017

June 2017 Newsletter

   The Translators Training Courses (TTC) are an important part of the training that happens here, and Steve was fortunate enough to help with one of them recently. Translators from several language groups from all over Papua New Guinea attend the TTC 1 and TTC 2 courses.

Display images to see this.    During the TTC 2 course, Steve mentored a husband and wife translation team from the Borong people group for about five weeks, helping them to learn and progress in their translation of the Scriptures. They have only been translators for about a year, roughly the same amount of time we have been here in Papua New Guinea. In that time, Steve has helped with three courses here that they were students in and it has been a huge blessing to see them make such great progress both in their knowledge and abilities as translators.

   This couple has also made real progress in their translation work, having already done a first draft of least ten books of the Old Testament (including most of the minor prophets). They are excited to work on more books, as they have a strong commitment to make sure that the Borong people have the whole Bible in their own language.

Display images to see this.   Three members of our family (Steve, Mindy, and Karah) have also been helping in a reading fluency class conducted in Tok Pisin (the local trade language). This class helps Papua New Guineans to improve their ability to read, and the students spend time in class practicing their reading on portions of the Bible. It is wonderful to be a part of a program that helps people to improve their ability to read, especially when the students are doing it because they want to read the Bible. Some of the students even walk for more than two hours, one way, to be able to attend this class! What a humbling and rewarding experience.

   The Titan translation is continuing as well, with more chapters of Genesis currently being drafted. Early stages of work have also begun on a picture dictionary for the Titan language, with the desire to make this available primarily for kids, but adults have also expressed interest.

Please pray for:
  • God to increase the literacy students' hunger for His Word even more and help them to become confident readers.
  • God to continue to encourage the Borong and equip them for the important work of translation that He has given them to do.
  • God to help our Titan translation team on Manus Island to make good progress in drafting Genesis.
  • Steve and other Wycliffe translators to be able to work out necessary arrangements to run some needed training courses and workshops on Manus Island in the next few months and work with the translators.
God i blesim yupela (God bless you all),
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

April 2017 Newsletter

   On Sunday, March 19th, 2017, our family was officially commissioned to work with the Titan people group of Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Our fellow missionaries gathered around to lay hands on us and pray for our future work to help the Titan people to have God's Word in their own language.

Display images to see this.    Less than two weeks later, near the end of March, Steve arrived on Manus Island to begin a two week stay. Not long after arrival, he traveled by boat to the village of Pere on a small island off the southeastern coast of Manus. He spent ten days there at Pere, starting to learn the Titan language, building relationships, and working with the translation team on their draft of eleven chapters of Genesis.

Display images to see this.   Much like Genesis, Steve's time in Pere was a story of beginnings, and of God's faithfulness. At one point, as the team sat around the translation table discussing how to translate a Biblical concept into the Titan language, Steve had the sudden realization that what was happening at that moment was it. After all the years of linguistics courses, training, and talking to people about our hopes for the future, Steve was finally doing what God had called us to do years ago: actually helping a people group to translate God's Word into their own language! The moment was truly surreal, and yet, it wasn't a dream, it was really happening.

Display images to see this.    Another surreal moment was when he found himself in a traditional dugout canoe, made by hand from a log and complete with outrigger, helping to paddle across to the mainland to meet the leaders of another Titan village called M'Bunai (this picture is from a different trip to M'Bunai by boat). The meeting went well, and the leaders were very supportive of the translation team and have a real desire to have God's Word in their language.

   So far, the Titans only have a rough draft of eleven chapters of Genesis and the first twenty verses of Luke chapter two, so there is much work to be done ahead, but this has been a story of beginnings for the Titans. We know that God is faithful, and that He desires to transform the Titan people through His Word in the language that speaks to their heart; the very language that He made for them: Titan.

Prayer requests:
  • God to strengthen and encourage the Titan translators, and clear any roadblocks that might keep them from sharing what has been translated so far with their communities (village checking).
  • God to help the Titan translators to make time and be strongly committed to work on drafting more chapters of Genesis.
  • God's continued protection, provision, and wisdom for us, and the Titans, as we work with them.
God i blesim yupela (God bless you all),
Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover