Sepik Prayer Calendar June – July 2018

Here is the Sepik Prayer Calendar June 18 – July 18.  Thanks for praying with us for the people of Papua New Guinea.  We count on your prayers to help make this work happen.

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Sepik Prayer Calendar for April – May 2018

Here is the Sepik Prayer Calendar April 18-May 18.  Thanks for praying with us for the people of Papua New Guinea.  Your prayers make a difference.

Thankful for a Team

The Juwal translators discuss some of the new material being presented.

It was with great anticipation on Monday, November 20, that the SPES team waited for participants to arrive for the first Oral Bible Translation workshop in Wewak.  There were many moments in the last several months when the team didn’t think this time would come.  After many prayers, project proposals written, emails, project proposals rewritten, and a flurry of last minute activities, the workshop is moving forward for the Bungain, Juwal, and Urimo language communities.

Teams learn about computers and the new software.

With new people joining some of the participants from earlier Oral Bible Storytelling workshops, these teams will learn some new concepts and then begin to put those ideas into practice.  Using computer software specifically developed for oral translation, these groups will listen to scripture passages and begin to take the text, paragraph by paragraph, and translate it into a natural and understandable format that their communities can understand clearly.  After it is reviewed for accuracy by other community members, it is given to a consultant who will again go through the whole passage to make sure things have been translated correctly.

We are so thankful for the team who have worked hard to make this come together.  The SPES team has written and revised the project proposal multiple times so that it meets the necessary criteria.  They have visited language groups to invite the needed personnel to come to the course.  A myriad of logistics including arranging transportation, food, accommodation, and personnel, have all gone into the process.

We have three consultant checkers who have agreed to help with this project of three workshops – one who has worked in various countries recently, but has significant experience in the Sepik in the past, another who is a current translator in the Sepik, and the third is a Papua New Guinean from another province who wants to help.  As we have not had courses that have utilized computers before, someone has agreed to come just to help make sure the computers and related equipment run well and take care of bugs issues that come up along the way.

Facilitators confer as they prepare to help the teams.

Cooks preparing food for the afternoon meal.

Most of the facilitators who will be working with the individual language groups are from the Sepik and have been working with SPES in other training capacities.  Three ladies will be sharing the duties for making sure this group is well fed.  They are excited to try out some new menus this time.

If we look further, the team grows even more.  There are those who help make sure the project is written correctly and that all guidelines are followed.  These folks are not on location in PNG.  Then there are those who make sure the money is available and get it to where it is needed.  The team of computer programmers who have written the Render software that can now be used are a vital part of making this workshop a reality.

Last, but integral to the workshop, there is a large team of people who are praying that projects like this can move forward around the world.  We thank God for each part of the team that helps to get God’s Word to the people of the Sepik.

Second trip to Bungain

On Tuesday, I filled up my motorcycle tank and left for an all day trip. Arriving in Forok, I sat down with the leaders to discuss the opportunity of sending two people to the Oral Bible Storying workshop starting February 3. We talked about their language and what they need and what SIL can and can’t offer. They will decide if they will send someone and let me know.

Language map

This is a map of languages in part of East Sepik. Languages outlined in blue are the ones we invited to this next OBS. Roads are in red.

Forok is either a dialect of Bungain or it is sufficiently different to be it’s own languguage.

Leaving Forok, I traveled on to Bungain village in the Bungain language. I arrived rather wet from taking a spill in the middle of a river crossing because of some large rocks. That’s one of the hazards of motorcycle travel! Again I sat down with the leaders and talked about their needs, the upcoming OBS workshop, and ways SIL and Bungain can work together. They were excited about the opportunity and are planning to send people to the workshop.

I left Bungain and traveled up the logging road to the Angoram Highway and met with Pastor Albert from the Juwar language group. They are also sending four people to the workshop and I needed to drop some papers off and answer questions. I then came back in the rain and arrived back in Wewak around 5:30 after a 45 mile trip.

A lot of my time is now being spent on making sure everything is ready for the OBS workshop starting February 3. One of the language groups may not be able to come because they are accused of using sorcery to kill a government official and are afraid of retribution if they travel. Please pray that this problem will be resolved so that this language group can come.

Just off the main Highway

Meeting the Faces of Two Bibleless Languages in the Sepik Region

Juwal Faces

The faces of Juwal

Company road

Road to Juwal and Urimo

Just off the main Highway

Road to Juwal and Urimo

Muddy road

Getting through a muddy spot on the road.

The Sepik Partnership and Engagement Strategy (SPES) had the opportunity to meet with Juwal (Juwar) and Urimo (Ulimo), two of the 103 Bibleless languages within the borders of East and West Sepik Provinces of Papua New Guinea.

Through two local pastors from Juwal and Urimo respectively, SPES was shown the area. During the two day trip, SPES did an awareness to these language communities about its objective to engage the Bibleless groups in the Bible translation movement.

SPES also advocated the nature of the language as part and parcel of a culture which brought a renewed sense of interest and excitement to the communities. Having them know that God cares about their language and culture is a powerful thing.

After this initial visit, it is hoped that SPES will continue to dialogue with these two language groups and together they can work step by step and eventually meet the language needs of the people.

Credit to Luke, Laura and Deborah for the pictures.

Juwal Stream

This fresh flowing stream laid in our path as we hiked to a village.