Thursday, September 12, 2013

Translation Has Begun

"Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go the land I will show you." These are the words that the Lord spoke to Abraham in Genesis 12:1, the very first verse we translated after coming here to Enga Province. As I (Adam) consider this verse, I realize that it is not only Abraham's story, but also our own. Just as God called Abraham, God called us to leave our country, friends, and family, and go to a place that He would show us. That was nearly four years ago. Now, that vision and dream has become a reality, and we are making steady progress on translating the story of Abraham into Enga. In fact, by the time we head back to Ukarumpa on September 10, we should have the story of Abraham just about ready for the translation team to test in their villages. God is good!

As I read Genesis 12:1 in Enga, I am surprised at how clear it sounds to me now, especially when I consider the literal back translation into English, which reads,

Lord Abram telling, "You of tribe and land and those leaving, I you land a show I will do that to go."

Enga sounded so backwards and foreign at first, but now a sentence Genesis 12:1 sounds quite natural. We are so thankful that God has given us all the tools and resources we have needed to get to this point, and we rest confident that He will continue to do so. We give him praise on this momentous occasion of actually beginning the work that we have spent so much time and energy preparing for.

Enga Cultural Show
The day after our arrival here in Enga, we had an opportunity to take the kids to the annual Enga Cultural Show. There were various groups from all over Enga Province who dressed in traditional clothing as they performed traditional songs and dances. People also did demonstrations of traditional ways of life including building houses and bridges from bush materials, making traditional wigs out of human hair, making stone axes, and even shouting messages just like they did long ago. In fact at one point, when one of the demonstrators say me, he started yelling out in Enga, "Kone epelyamo-ooo. Kone epelyamo-ooo. Ip-ooo. Ip-ooo." What he said was, "A white man is coming! A white man is coming! Come and see! Come and see!" This is exactly what people would yell out when foreigners with white skin first started coming to Enga Province. (In fact even today I often hear people saying the same sort of thing when I walk around town although they don't yell it out for all to hear like they did in times past.) Overall the show was quite an experience for the kids, who were often just as much of a spectacle as the performers since people almost never see foreign children in Enga Province.

Thank You
As we celebrate the beginning of our translation work, we want to take a moment to thank all of our faithful supporters. We could not do this without your prayers and support. You are a wonderful part of this great work that God is doing here among the Enga people of Papua New Guinea. Thank you!