“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2, ESV)
We’ve had a really busy month since we last wrote to you. Aaron participated and helped teach in a linguistics workshop here at our Papua New Guinea headquarters to help sharpen the linguistic skills of people involved in translation here. Due to COVID travel restrictions, many translators are here in Ukarumpa instead of their villages. This provided a great opportunity for them to come together (but no closer than 2 meters!) and have some training and refreshers on dictionary development software, grammar writing, discourse features, and lots of other nerdy things.
Aaron has also been taking an online grammar workshop which will help him develop and continue to map out what he’s learning about Mamusi grammar. This will lead to higher quality translation work and help write his thesis. It’s immensely helpful but is on Pacific time, so he has late nights and early mornings most days. Did you know that part of the agreement of our organization (SIL) to be here in Papua New Guinea is to actively aid in the development of linguistics in addition to translation? Many times the two go hand in hand, since we need to have a high understanding of the grammar of a language to make a high quality translation. But we also have to write papers to provide evidence and documentation of the languages our organization is working with. This scholarly approach has built many bridges with the government and provided SIL with a respected reputation throughout the country (and the world). We’re so glad that Wycliffe Bible Translators partners with SIL-PNG, and we feel as if we’re standing on the shoulders of countless giants before us, including Aaron’s professor and many other workers who’ve served in evangelism and translation. It’s wonderful to continue the work of discipleship by bringing God’s Word into their hearts on the deepest level possible. We can’t imagine having been raised speaking a language without the Bible. May God bless our (including YOUR) work here.
We’re so excited that Aaron has found a way to return to Sivauna village and still follow all of our organization‘s pandemic protocols. This is a huge answer to prayer, especially since for several weeks it didn’t seem it would be possible. Praise God He’s worked it out, and He even delayed the rainy season for a little longer there in Sivauna. We’re so grateful for our aviation department here and how they’re able to serve us and communities all over this country. Aaron will be traveling to Sivauna next Friday, remain for a week, then return straight here to Ukarumpa. We’ve heard from our new translation team a few times since we’ve been away, and we’re encouraged at their eagerness to make progress. It’s time to make a plan for training them more formally, so we’d appreciate your prayers for wisdom as we try to make plans and follow all the guidelines laid out during this pandemic. We know this is a worldwide struggle right now. God knows exactly what’s going to be happening, we just need enough light for the next step. Thanks for praying over Aaron’s travels and work in Sivauna.
The kids worked so hard and finished the school year! They are thrilled to be attending Ukarumpa International School (UIS) this next school year. Please pray for the logistics for the school here. Many teachers had to leave early or unexpectedly due to COVID and many are having trouble coming back here after their furlough. Some are delaying their furlough to try to help cover gaps, but they have already carried such a heavy load for so long. UIS could really use your prayers for provision. Every department here in Ukarumpa is strapped for personnel and feeling the weight as members are delayed in arriving. Thank you for prayers, friends.