Friday, June 1, 2012

God's Word in Enga

Greetings from Ukarumpa in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. For the last month we have been settling into life in Ukarumpa after fourteen weeks of orientation in Madang Province. Ukarumpa is about five thousand feet above sea level, and we have been enjoying the cooler weather as well as the relative absence of mosquitoes.

Since our arrival, Adam has been working with Maniosa Yakasa and Danley Noah from the Enga language group for the annual Translators' Training Course (TTC). The five-week course is designed to introduce native speakers of Papua New Guinean languages to the Bible translation process by helping them develop study skills, explore their own language, learn helpful Biblical background material, and practice basic translation principles. As the course progresses, each language group applies what they learn in producing a thoroughly checked and approved translation of Genesis 22:1-19 (God Tests Abraham). The Enga language now has its first-ever written translation of this key story from the Old Testament! What a joy to be a part of the team that has made a portion of the Word of God available in the Enga language for the very first time! If you would like to see the story for yourself in Enga, please click here.

Getting to know the Enga translators
Enga Province is the highest province in Papua New Guinea, with the provincial capital of Wabag being situated at just over six thousand feet. The Enga people were one of the last people groups of the world to make contact with the West. Up until the 1930s, the Enga had no knowledge of the existence of other people groups outside of the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. With nearly 300,000 speakers, the Enga language is spoken by more people in Papua New Guinea than any other vernacular language. Yet they have no Old Testament in their language, and the New Testament needs major revisions in order to sound natural, and be used and accepted. This means that the largest people group in Papua New Guinea is still, in essence, without the Word of God in their own language. What a tremendous need and opportunity!

We have felt the Lord leading us to pray about working with the Enga on a long-term basis, and we invite you to pray with us about this decision. As you pray, if you sense the Lord speaking to your heart about this opportunity, please share your thoughts with us. We believe that if the Lord is calling us to this work, He will confirm that call in the hearts of our partners as well. If we were to work with the Enga, we would spend many months of the year in Enga province learning the Enga language and facilitating the translation work. Adam would be thoroughly involved in the translation process, especially in consulting the original Greek and Hebrew of the Bible and checking the translation to ensure that it is faithful and accurate to the original texts. He would also provide the technical support needed to use Bible translation software and publish the work (probably including audio recordings as well).

Thank you for your prayers! We are excited to see what the Lord is going to do.