Recently we introduced you to our Wewak trainers. With a new location came the need for more trainers. Each language cluster requires a commitment of approximately seven to nine weeks a year (depending on how many workshops are run) when the trainers are away from their families, work, and community. Some of the newest trainers are from Sandaun Province (where these workshops are being held). Others travelled to Wewak and came by plane with the SPES team.
As this was their first time to work as a team, we tried to figure out how best to utilize each one. Who plays guitar and can lead worship during the morning devotions? Who do you go to when you need extra prayer? Who has translation background and can help teach sessions on difficult words (words where the meaning is hard to understand or where they may not have a suitable word in their language)? Who teaches well and can pull the students into a beneficial discussion? Who encourages and can help a team really struggling to produce the needed translation? Who can stand up to a team that thinks they have the answers, but, in reality, still have a ways to go? It took a team to accomplish this and we are grateful for that team.
Fabian Onesi again joined the team from Alotau as the mentor for our five trainers. We marvel at his vision and ability to see the big picture. His level of experience in leading OBS allows him to understand what is happening in the whole group. His patience with those who are struggling is amazing. Ps Jonathan Elias (from Kombio) brings Biblical knowledge as well as flexibility. He was willing to switch groups midway through the time to better the group dynamics. Lawrence Miamba (from Yamuk) has a background in literacy and had a real heart to see his group grow. His entire group was unchurched so discipling became part of his job.Ps Maria Mopina (from Wewak) brings enthusiasm and a contagious smile. As she persevered and encouraged her group who struggled to learn the stories and translate them, we knew she was the one for the job. As a translator, Daniel Tadi (from Pouye) brings a depth of Bible knowledge as well as translation experience to the team. Frank Taini (also from Pouye) also brings Bible knowledge as well as a real passion for OBS and the impact it can have. He and Daniel have been trekking through different areas of the Sandaun province sharing stories and watching them have an impact. Other language groups are now keen to be part of a future OBS workshop. They all worked extremely hard to see that their groups completed the stories set out for them. It was a challenge for the groups, but they persevered. Getting God’s Word into the hands of the people will continue to be a challenge and will take perseverance from all those involved.
Story by Deb Smucker, Pictures by Gary Abbas