Hello friends! Here’s a brief update on what’s been going on with us and with the Mamusi Bible translation project.
After the first Luke Partnership workshop in May–where our two Mamusi translators came to Kokopo along with translators from 6 other language groups to receive beginning training on language principles, translation method, Bible backgrounds, and study skills–I (Aaron) returned to Sivauna village briefly with Oscar and Boniface. While there, we were able to share the very first draft portion of Mamusi scripture (Luke 1:5-25, drafted at the workshop), reading it aloud in the local Catholic church!
It’s rainy season in the Mamusi area now (May-August), which is why our family has remained in the city of Kokopo. I stay in contact with Oscar and Boniface by cell phone, and they’ve already finished drafting through Luke chapter 3 and have been checking over their draft with the village elders! On September 2, the whole family will head back to Sivauna to live for about four weeks. I will be working with the translators to finish checking over the draft and get it inputted into our translation software, and we’ll all be working on developing relationships and language skills. We’ll return to Kokopo in October to prepare for the second Luke Partnership workshop. Prior to this workshop, Rebekah will be able to help plan meals and shopping lists for the translators’ stay. During the workshop, Oscar, Boniface and I will be continuing our training and working on drafting the next segment of Luke. A translation consultant will be consultant checking the portions we’ve been working on. What a blessing that Bible translation is already happening because of the community’s support and excitement to have His word in their own language. The Lord is indeed working through you to reach the Mamusi people with His Word, and it’s happening faster and sooner than we ever imagined!
We have been busy during rainy season making preparations to start construction on a new house and translation center in Sivauna. We’ve received input and support from the community, from our leadership, from the construction department back in Ukarumpa, and even from some systems design specialists in the States. Plans are still developing, but it looks like a team from Ukarumpa will be coming out in November to do the initial construction of the structure. The design of this structure, figuring out how to get all the supplies we need into the village, plus building it without any electricity, will be quite a daunting and expensive task. Please pray for God to continue to provide us with the wisdom and material items we need.
If you or your ministry group would like to help financially with these needs, please contact the First Baptist Concord Outreach office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Papa Lawrence, our village papa from Sivauna, was able to visit us this month here in Kokopo. We had several chances to spend time with him, and he’s now back in the village advocating for the translation project and the building program. The community would like to provide all the timber we need. Please pray for good communication and for all the details of this construction.
On more personal matters…
Rebekah and the kids began our new year of homeschool on August 1st! Our older four are now in grades 5, 3, 1, and pre-K. Please pray that our home will be an environment that fosters a love of learning about God’s world. These kids did not choose to have Bible translators as parents, nor to leave their family and friends behind. But they have been amazing through our many transitions over the past couple of years. We shamelessly beg you to continue to pray for their souls, their health and safety, and their emotional well-being.
In July and August, we received our first visits from family to see us here in Papua New Guinea. Rebekah’s brother and brother-in-law came together for a week and Aaron’s mom came for over three weeks. This time of reconnecting with some of our family that we desperately miss was exactly the soul refresher we needed. We’re so grateful that they were willing to make the investment of time, money, and energy to come out here. This was also a big sacrifice for the spouses that stayed at home, managing their homes alone. We love our ministry here in Papua New Guinea, but there is a constant tug on our hearts for our families and loved ones. Thank you for your strengthening prayers regarding this. Kokopo is a great place to have visitors, and we’ve made some great memories with family that we’ll cherish for a long time to come.
Please continue to pray with us as we pack and prepare for a month in Sivauna. Lesson plans, meal plans, and language learning plans will collide with the Holy Spirit’s guidance on how to love Him, love each other, and love the Mamusi people. We still have so much to learn in every area. We’re so grateful to you, our amazing team of prayer and financial partners whose fervent prayers and sacrificial giving not only enable us to be here, but encourage and sustain us every day. Thank you for letting the Lord work through you to reach that Mamusi with His Word!