Saturday, November 1, 2014

The First Fruits of Translation

The first fruits of the Enga Bible translation project are now in the hands of the Enga people. Until last month, the vast majority of Engans had very little access to the Word of God. What access they did have was most often in the form of short Scripture quotations in English or Tok Pisin heard during church services. I (Adam) am a fluent Tok Pisin speaker, but I can tell you that when I hear the Bible in Tok Pisin it goes in one ear and out the other. I understand the words, but they have no impact on my life. It is the same for the people of Enga. While many can understand Tok Pisin, it doesn’t touch them at the core of who they are. But after listening to the new Enga translation, people were saying, “When we read the Bible in Tok Pisin, we never read a whole chapter at a time. But we can listen to an entire book of the Enga Bible in one sitting without getting tired!”

Over the course of six days, we had nine events to promote and distribute the Gospel of Mark and the Abraham Story in Enga. In that time, people purchased approximately 220 Audibibles (solar-powered audio players) and 110 memory cards. We also installed the Enga Bible app and Enga Jesus Film for free on about 60 phones.

It was just as exciting to see all of the church denominations come together to celebrate the Bible in Enga, take ownership of the project, and commit to seeing the translation through to completion. At one event, church leaders stood up one-by-one and pledged to support the project financially. At the end of the night, their pledges totalled nearly K25,000 ($10,000). The Bible in Enga is taking hold of the Enga people.

To see a video of the distribution produced by Newbreak Church, please go to

Adam explains the Enga Audibible while Asher looks at the crowds who have gathered to receive God's Word in Enga

Thank You Newbreak Church
We would like to thank Newbreak Church for your continued support of the Enga Bible translation project. Because of your help, we were able to sell the Enga Audibibles at a discounted price that people could afford. Thank you as well for your pledge to see the Enga Bible translation project through to completion. Your support blesses and encourages not only us but the people of Enga. You are truly planet shakers! We would also like to thank Pastor Darrel Larson, Matthew Nelson, and Eric Edmonds for coming all the way to Enga Province from Newbreak Church to participate in the dedication and distribution of the Gospel of Mark and the Abraham Story in Enga. You guys were an incredible blessing to the people of Enga and a wonderful encouragement to us as a family.

Pastor Darrel Larson with two Assemblies of God pastors.

Translation Progress
In addition to dedicating and distributing the Gospel of Mark and the Abraham Story, we also completed the naturalness check of the Gospel of Matthew and began drafting the Gospel of Luke. As you read this, the Enga translation team is continuing drafting of the Gospel of Luke. This is the first time that they have attempted drafting without me (Adam) present, so please pray for wisdom. This is a good step as the goal is to empower the Enga translators to take on more and more of the responsibilities of the translation work upon themselves. I will still be checking their work daily as they upload it to the internet from Wabag using their smart phones for internet access. Isn’t technology amazing!

What’s Next
In November, William Walewale and Frank Paiyak, two of the Enga translators, will be attending the Paratext training workshop. Paratext is the computer program that we use to enter, edit, and save the Enga Bible translation. This will be an additional step toward helping the translators work more and more independently. This will ultimately speed up the translation process and free me (Adam) up to spend more time on other parts of the process such as back translation into English, checking, recording, and production.

Thank you for all of your prayers, encouragement, and support. We hope that you share in the joy of seeing the first fruits of the Enga Bible translation project. Please know that you are making a difference among the people of Enga!