Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vanuatu Women Discover Meaning in the Bible

"We always thought reading the Bible was like reading a story but now we see we need to know what it means!".

Translator’s wives from all over Tanna Island learn about Bible translation first hand

 On 7-11 March, in a small thatched roof church on the island of Tanna, seventeen ladies gathered for a Bible translation awareness workshop. Despite two cyclones and a lot of heavy rain in the weeks leading up to the workshop, the Naka speaking Bible translators showed their commitment when they insisted that the workshop go ahead.

Lead by Vanuatu Bible Translation Secretary Serah Markton and assisted by SIL Literacy consultant Lyndal Webb, the workshop attendees came from three different language groups from all over the island. Several ladies from the isolated and distant villages in the south of the island traveled the rough and slippery roads to reach the workshop location at Lamakaun in the north. Mendy Nehrbass, SIL translation advisor and a speaker of the Nivhaar language of the south, helped interpret some of the sessions for the ladies, several of whom had never had the chance to go to workshops before. This workshop was the first of its kind, as it was held not for the island’s male mother-tongue translators, but especially for their wives.

Together, the women learned the importance of understanding the meaning of the Bible text, and in turn the importance of being able to understand the Bible in your own language. The workshop began with a study based on selected verses from Isaiah 40 aiming to present a Biblical view of God. The question was asked; Is your picture of ‘god’ the same as this Biblical picture of God? If not, in what ways does it differ? The study continued to look at Isaiah's description of God's relationship with humankind.

This Bible study clearly challenged the women who attended and as they met in their own language groups they began to discuss some of the typical thinking of their communities which they realized was not consistent with the Biblical text. This led to a discussion of Bible translation as a means to assist people have a clear understanding of God's Word.

Another aspect of the workshop was to help the participants gain some skills to read a Biblical text for meaning. An activity using illustrations was used and the participants considered what questions were raised, how they could be answered, what predictions could be made, and what information was missing. This method then was applied to a study of Mark 1:40-42, going through the same process and ultimately working on establishing the main message of the text. One of the participants commented, “Our preachers trick us each week. They don't teach us from the Bible like you have taught us to do; reading and really thinking about the meaning. They just say anything!!"

Many of the women who attended the workshop are married to men who are working on Scripture translation for their own language. The translators for the Nivhaar language group were greatly encouraged by the women's report as they saw that they now understood what the work of Bible translation was all about. One translator commented after his wife arrived home, “It must have been a good workshop. Now my wife understands about Bible translation and wants to support me now as I do the work!”

by Lyndal Webb

More on Vanuatu and also here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ukarumpa International School - Secondary Campus

All of our children graduated from Ukarumpa International School (UIS) and they all loved it!  They were blessed with teachers that cared about them and even got involved with them in after-school activities. Some teachers became mentors, coaches, youth group or Bible study leaders.  I'm thankful for their willingness to come to PNG to teach our kids and many made a great impact on our kids.

There is always a need for teachers and you can find out more information at
Ukarumpa International School.

Teach at Ukarumpa Facebook Page

Article from the Band Director

Ukarumpa International School - Primary Campus

Our 3 children attended Ukarumpa International School (UIS) and loved it!  We are so thankful for the teachers that came to provide good, quality teaching.  UIS is located on the Ukarumpa center so teachers and students can walk to school. 

When we were translators, the teachers put together all the lesson plans, books, etc. that we would need for each child during our village stay. Then each of our kids had a radio sked each week with their teacher to talk about what was going on in the classroom.  This enabled my kids to feel a part of what was going on in the classroom and could fit right back in when we came in from the village.  What a ministry and role MK teachers have in Bible translation and I will forever be grateful for those that served!

Yes, there is a need for more teachers each year!  

Ukarumpa International School
Teach at Ukarumpa Facebook page

Aerial view of the primary campus.