Excitedly, he handed his letter to Gary in town last week. As the EBC (Evangelical Brotherhood Church) pastor assigned to shepherd a church in another tokples (language), he has seen the impact that Oral Bible Storytelling is having in the Juwar community. He desperately wants this for his language area too. So, he returned to his village in the Nuku area to share about OBS. He explained how SPES does not have people to come and live in each village, but that we will help train them to do the work. He had learned one of the stories that others from the OBS workshop had taught him and shared that with his people.
Several important people in the area signed the letter showing their support of the work. The community, its leaders, and churches are eager for us to begin training, but sadly it will probably be at least a year before we can do anything in that area. This is the second area where excited PNG people have already begun to do awareness work on their own so they can begin to receive training.
The first awareness is being done by OBS trainers Frank and Daniel in the Lumi area. As they share stories, people with no previous translation work get excited that they too might be able to have God’s Word in their language. They have been told they need to help provide facilities (a couple denominations in the area have property which is already set up to accommodate workshops), food, and other needs and are eager to partner with us. There are at least six language groups in the Lumi area that need language assessment work done to see if OBS is a good fit for them. Lord willing, a couple SPES team members will go to the Lumi area in August to discuss the possibilities.
The SPES team is eager to help. But one problem remains…manpower. With two couples on the ground in the Sepik region, there is only a limited amount that we can do. We often need to ask for volunteers to assist in specific ways for different workshops. Who will consultant check at the next workshop? Who will trek from village to village raising awareness and preparing the communities to participate? Who will serve as trainers? We only have a small pool of trainers that we can use at this point. At times, it feels overwhelming. But we serve a big God who isn’t taken by surprise by any of this and He wants people to know Him even more than we do.