November 2015 Update
We’re so excited to inform you of a new development in our journey. The Lord has been leading us down a path that at first didn’t seem to make much sense in the context of our expected timeline. We had thought that Aaron would finish his Masters in Linguistics when we returned to the States for our first furlough in 2019. However, the Lord has recently shown us His plan to finish it here and now in Papua New Guinea. We’ve been praying out how to explain all of this to you, and can sum up three main benefits to pursuing a Masters degree now:
- Higher quality in Bible translation: The coursework and research thesis will tremendously enhance our language learning. The more language learning we can do up front, the better we can dialogue about Scriptural truths and contexts in a way that’s meaningful to the people we’re working with. Being able to have good conversations in (and deeply understanding the structures of) the language will accelerate and improve the quality of the translation.
- Deeper potential for transformational ministry: Similarly, the better we know and understand the heart language of the people we’re serving, the deeper understanding we can have of their cultural history and influences. This will help us to connect with people on a heart level.
- Extended benefits to the PNG branch: There is always a need here for linguistic and translation consultants. These people are asked to advise and equip many different language teams around the country, ensuring unity and quality throughout the branch. Because of this need, our leadership has encouraged us pursue this qualification.
When The Lord brought this to our minds we realized the only way we could make it work is through a program that is offered in its entirety online. So we were thrilled when Aaron was quickly accepted into an all-online Linguistics program at Australia’s University of New England. Because of his previous graduate work at GIAL, he will only need to take four additional courses and write a research thesis.
We plan to start with one course beginning in February 2016. Coursework should be done by mid-2017, and the thesis sometime in 2018. The reason we’re choosing a slower pace for coursework is so we can still complete our documentation project by March of 2016 and (if our upcoming pre-allocation trip goes well) allocate our family later in the Spring of 2016 to the Mamusi people group on the island of New Britain to join their efforts of Bible translation as quickly as possible. (Update: Our language documentation project was cancelled, so we moved to New Britain at the end of January 2016. We were unable to start school in February, but we plan to start in July 2016 instead.) We are here to further Bible translation in Papua New Guinea and this will remain our primary focus. The schooling will require a significant amount of additional time but, as we’ve explained above, will enhance every part of our ministry here.
The cost structure works out to about $2400 per course (the thesis is the equivalent of four courses), or about $19,000 total. This is far less than we initially thought, since we only found out last week how much advanced standing we’d be given, and they decided to award us the maximum possible, honoring every class he has already taken at GIAL. Praise the Lord for that! Please pray with us that the Lord will provide the financial and other resources required for this effort. Though we can get started with $2400, we’re asking God for the whole amount and trusting His timing. If you’d like to be a part of meeting this financial need, you can give online here.
Also, we are asking you to keep each of our family members in your prayers November 10-17, as Aaron and Rebekah will be taking a pre-allocation trip to visit the Mamusi people of East New Britain, and the children will be staying behind with friends. Read more in our previous post. It would appear that the drought is nearly over, as we’ve had plenty of rain the last two weeks. This has led to lots of gorgeous plants blooming, wreaking havoc on our allergies. Please pray for our health, as well as emotional well-being during this time of separation. We are also asking God to show us His will regarding our involvement with Mamusi Bible translation.
Thank you for walking this journey with us!
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. (Philippians 1:3-5, ESV)
Aaron and Rebekah Wade
Evie, Abel, Judah, Zeke, and Silas