Sunday, November 1, 2015

Talk is Cheap

In Enga just saying that you are going to do something doesn’t mean very much. What’s important is when you actually do what you say you are going to do.

In Enga, talk is cheap. Just because somebody says he is going to do something, you shouldn’t necessarily believe him. There is a joke about a politician in the Highlands talking about all the things he will bring to the people if he is elected: good schools, roads, medical care, and even nice beaches. When the people remind him that they live in the mountains and that the ocean is hundreds of miles away, he promises to bring them the ocean as well.

Unlike the politician in that joke, most Engans are not trying to be deceptive in their speech. Rather, because they are highly relational people, they are apt to say what they think the other person wants to hear in order to maintain a good relationship (whether it is true or not).

Because people cannot always be taken at their word, when we tell people that we are translating the Bible into Enga, there is probably some suspicion as to whether or not it is actually going to happen. That is why we have made it a priority to release audio recordings of individual books of the Bible as we complete them. That way people can see that this work is really happening and moving forward.

In October 2014, we released the Gospel of Mark and portions of Genesis. Now on November 11 and 12, the Enga Bible translation team will release audio recordings of the Gospel of Matthew on solar-powered audio players, memory cards, and as an Android phone app. Please pray for this event. Pray that more Engans will have the opportunity to hear God’s Word in their own language. Pray also that Christian leaders in the Enga community will continue to support this work with their prayers as well as their giving.
Community members putting money into a cardboard box to help support
the Enga Bible translation project in October 2014

The Lord's Prayer in Enga
Most English speakers have never learned another language that isn’t related to English, and so they are surprised to discover just how different languages like Enga can be. One method that we’ve used to demonstrate the differences between Enga and English is to take the Lord’s Prayer in Enga and translate it word-for-word back into English. Read the word-for-word English translation of the Lord’s Prayer in Enga below and find out just how different the two languages are. For extra credit, try reading it out loud without stumbling over any words!

Of us Father top in sky stands the,
Of you name the well doing be say.
Of you ruling place the it shall come say.
Top in sky of you as thinking they do,
Even that down below land in this do say.
Even today as we will eat doing, food the give.
Against us bad they do of them,
Payback the we are abandoning,
You of us bad the payback the abandon.
Bad do saying trial happening to the,
Go saying leave don’t.
Bad from the you us doing get.

October Travels
After sharing at the Brooklyn Tabernacle and Ingomar Church in September, Martha and I were delighted to get some time away to ourselves during the first week of October, taking a five-day vacation to Gettysburg. Thank you to those of you who gave specifically for us to enjoy some personal time away. The last week of October, our family traveled to Florida, where we shared at Life Church in St. Petersburg before heading to Orlando for the Wycliffe Connection. The Wycliffe Connection is a five-day conference for missionaries on furlough to debrief from their time on the field, to learn how to make the most of furlough, and to prepare to return to the field after furlough. Wycliffe places such a high value on this conference that they pay for the entire trip, and we are thankful for the wonderful support!

How are the Kids?
The kids are doing well, enjoying things they don’t normally get to do like going to the pumpkin patch, apple picking, and kayaking. Because we are traveling so much, we are homeschooling the kids this year. Martha is teaching Jacob and Bella, while I am working with Asher on his reading and math each morning before heading to my parents’ church for my regular work of translation. I am also teaching Martha and the kids Enga, so please be sure to keep us all in your prayers!

Bella, Jacob, and Asher at the pumpkin patch