Monday, May 1, 2017

Home Sweet Home!

Greetings from Immi village in Enga Province! We’ve been in our new house here in Immi for three weeks now. What a thrill it was to see the kids excitedly run through their new home and finally be in the place we’ve been talking about for years.

The trip here was long and difficult, as the rainy season has wreaked havoc on the roads. We are extremely grateful for our friends, Matt Taylor and David Smith, who braved the difficult roads and caravanned with us, driving an additional truck filled with our furniture. They helped put our futons and bunkbeds together and didn’t complain about the fact that we did not have a real meal for forty-eight hours. The refrigerator we had purchased didn’t work, so we had to drive it back to Mt. Hagen (two hours away) to get it repaired. When we came back, it still didn’t work, so the store delivered a new fridge the next day. We’ve never been so happy to have cold food!

Because of things like that, it took awhile for us to settle in, and we still have lots of little projects to do to fully turn this house into a home, but we are thoroughly enjoying all the amazing comforts of having a washing machine, constant electricity, and plenty of water that never gets shut off unexpectedly. The kids continue to marvel that we have an oven that we can turn on without a match and that also has a light, fan, and timer. We still don’t have a bathroom mirror, but I (Martha) am rather enjoying having no idea what I look like for days on end.

Jacob is enjoying teaching the local kids how to play baseball, while Bella and Asher make new friends and play under the house in the mud. While Adam is away at work during the day, I have been busy homeschooling, cooking, and trying to keep the mud off the walls and floor. Nevertheless, I have still found time to make and share lots of banana bread with our neighbors from their generous donations of bananas. It is good to be in a place that we can truly call home.

Jacob and his friend Lami playing Wiffle Ball behind our house
Translation Progress
Since arriving in Enga last month, we have completely finished checking the book of Luke so that it is now ready for recording, which will begin at the end of this month. We have also completed our read-through of the book of John, which I (Adam) am now translating back into English to be checked by a consultant. We are also drafting 1 Timothy, which we expect to complete in the next week or two. It is encouraging to see continued progress in our work and to see the Word come alive in the Enga language. I know many Enga people are eagerly awaiting each new book as we translate. Just last week, a man came to the place where we translate to see if the book of Luke was ready for release yet. The translation team informed me that many others are also asking when the next book will be released.

The kids are excited about the new house
Enga Literacy
Last month I was delightfully surprised when Nete Talian, one of the Enga translators, told me that his church was now doing literacy training in the Enga language using our translation of the Bible. One of the largest barriers to people actually reading the Scriptures in their own language (and not just listening to recordings of them) is the low literacy level most Papua New Guineans have in their vernacular language. If they go to school, they are taught to read English, but they are often not taught how to read their own language. And because people are not trained to read their own language, they are often intimidated to try. I then found out that Benjamin and his wife Martha, the couple who donated land for us to build a house, wanted to attend that literacy course, but they didn’t have the funds to do so. As a result, we have decided to start our own Enga literacy course for the people of Immi village. Please pray for guidance as we have never taught adult literacy before, and pray that the people in Immi village will develop a hunger to read the Word of God in their own language.

Election Season
We are now in the midst of election season in Papua New Guinea. Here, instead of non-stop television advertisements, there are non-stop caravans of vehicles campaigning for the various candidates, which involve incessant megaphone announcements and parades through town. All the noise makes it hard to concentrate on translation work, so please pray for added focus as well as for a peaceful election process.