Besides visiting the Juwal and Urimo Languages, the Sepik Partnership and Engagement Strategy (SPES) team has visited two other Bibleless language groups to gather information and create awareness about SPES’ way of working.
SPES has now visited the Eimaru and Inesine language groups (as the locals prefer to call them). These two language groups are isolated from any main town and there are no government roads leading to their villages. Hiking and canoeing are their modes of transport until they arrive at the nearest road, a process which may take days. During SPES’ visit, local people expressed their frustration at the lack of vital infrastructure like roads and schools.
Representatives from the Eimaru (left) and Inesine (right) language communities had to travel for almost a day to meet with the SPES team.
SPES’ initial engagement trips include traveling to a central location, meeting with key people in language communities, hearing their needs for translation work and making them aware of the existence of SPES and how SPES would like to cooperate with them in the future.
SPES is not the traditional SIL way of engaging in language development, literacy and Bible translation work. In this new approach, the focus is to work as partners with language groups, churches, other missions, and/or Non Government Organizations in the area. SPES uses oral methods, e.g. Basic Oral Language Documentation (BOLD) and Oral Bible Storytelling (OBS). These are often the first steps in progressive engagement that may or may not lead to a full Bible translation. Since OBS is still in the process of developing trainers for its implementation, it was not used with the Eimaru and Inesine people. Nevertheless, these language groups enjoyed the experience of BOLD. Being involved in documenting their languages, was a powerful thing for the representatives from these language communities. Simple stories in vernacular were recorded with their oral translations. Short video clips will be made from these stories and made available to the locals as a token of appreciation of SPES’ time with them.
Other initial engagement trips are now being discussed for the purpose of creating cluster projects. Eight languages per cluster project is a considered to be a good number for training purposes and also towards reaching the remaining 100 plus Bibleless languages in the Sepik.
SPES is currently planning an initial awareness and engagement trip to the Kwanga and Yambes language communities during the first week of December.
Please pray with us for our part in God’s plan as He continues to work out His purposes within the Sepik.