Friday, November 15, 2013

PNG: Ukarumpa Training Centre

Training for Life

by Tim Scott
1 Nov. 2013

"Does your language have a second person plural? English doesn’t; you is both plural and singular."

“You have seen that word before: anthropos.  What does that mean?”

“Repetition is the key; as the students master the sounds, they will begin to read.”

“Sometimes the cursor flies off the screen; try moving the mouse slower.”

What do these quotes have in common? They were all heard at the Ukarumpa Training Centre where almost 90 Papua New Guineans are involved in four different courses. The Ukarumpa Training Centre, located in the Eastern Highlands Province, is bustling with activity these days.

In one classroom, 21 students are learning about introductory language principles. These principles will help them serve their communities as they prepare to become translators.  Next door, 10 are studying Greek. Having already mastered the first Greek course, they are learning how Greek can help them understand the New Testament Scriptures.  In the lecture room, 28 teachers from around Papua New Guinea are participating in a “Creative Phonics” workshop in order to help other teachers learn how to teach children to read. Finally, 30 first-time computer users are eagerly getting hands-on computer training.

What makes this training centre so busy? According to Max Sahl, Ukarumpa Training Centre Manager,

"Basically there are three main advantages, location, size and locally available expertise. The Ukarumpa Training Centre is located just off the Highlands Highway near Kainantu, making it available by road, all the way from Mount Hagen to Lae and Madang.  It is a large centre capable of easily holding 100 participants and even more with some slight modifications.  And because Ukarumpa is the base of operations for the many language development and Bible translation personnel that work throughout PNG, it provides easy access to experts in many areas of linguistics and literacy, along with technical support for these activities."

The training centre also hosts conferences and retreats. It recently hosted the National Christian Nurses, Bible Translation Association of PNG and the Tertiary Student Christian Fellowship.

The Ukarumpa Training Centre is providing training that changes lives. For more information on the Ukarumpa Training Centre …

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Click here for more information on the Ukarumpa Linguistic Centre.

Vanuatu: Pacific Bible on Facebook

If you're on Facebook, the Pacific Bible Facebook page has many short updates on Bible translation activities in Vanuatu and other countries in the South Pacific.  Join the group and marvel at what God is doing there!

Here's a few posts from the Pacific Bible page from Vanuatu to get you started:

Found!  The Bible Overview in use on Tanna Island. Praise God!
VANUATU: Now this is really something... this fellow learned the Bible Overview a couple of months ago at our "Trenem Tingting" workshop. This is the 2nd report now of it being passed on. I was planning to do some more on it at our next module in a couple of weeks. Maybe I don't need to! Warms the heart to see that Wako has even drawn the pictures!
Can't find a better word than 'fantastic!'.

VANUATU: It's a big job for sure - but not as big as translating it in the first place! But so valuable on many fronts. Here's a take from the John Weslee who has spent the last couple of weeks with translation advisor David Healey pushing their way through recording 4,000 NT verses (only another 4,000 to go!).*

"I think that recording can help the person who doesn't know how to read.  He can listen and understand.
And if he has God's book too he will be able to listen and follow along - and then one day he'll be able to read it!"

*Meanwhile in the background there is a volunteer spending endless hours editing the initial recording to make it sound nice and smooth. Then it will be loaded onto individual MegaVoice solar powered players to be released, God willing, with the Maskelynes print NT early in 2014. If you'd like to know more, or donate towards the audio version, click on this link:

VANUATU: Laughing at last! Kalite, reader and promoter of the

Uripiv language audio Bible on MegaVoice players was puzzled by Sitela's grandma-style laughter down by the beach. "I'm laughing at this talking thing," she said. "I'm holding this thing and listening to it talk so clearly and it makes me feel happy! It's even clearer for me than when people come an read the Bible to me." And then she let out another great holy chuckle. Makes you smile, right?

VANUATU: it's wonderful to see lights starting to go on as we get into our 2nd round of our Trenem Tingting course designed to help with the understanding of Scripture amongst other things! These guys love to learn. John from Tanna island, tasked with disciplining some of his fellow islanders coming out of a cargo cult, wrote at the end of the 4th day:

"I thank God because my understanding has become clearer as to how to interpret the meaning of God's talk, how to know the meaning and how to write a sermon. I hope it will come even clearer. 
I just keep thinking about my group and want them to know these things too."
You can find these and other posts in the Pacific Bible page on Facebook.  Don't forget to "Like" the page! 
Click here to read more about the Bible translation work in Vanuatu.