Some are sent to different lands to assist in translation, while others stay at home in order to help support the work of Bible Translation. Those that are sent have many different ways of working.
Here in Papua New Guinea, there are many different roles where people can get involved. Some work in translation and language development, others support the process of doctors, teachers, accountants and construction workers. Some teach people how to read and others teach teachers how to use heart languages in their classroom.
Meet JoAnne, a Papua New Guinean who is currently working with SIL.
JoAnne, a Kuanua speaker from Rabaul who is a compositer/printer by trade, first came to work in the Ukarumpa Print Shop in 1989. At the time, JoAnne didn’t know anything about Ukarumpa or Bible translation. “I just thought, well, I can try it out…and I’m still here!” She laughed at the memory.
While she was working in the Print Shop, JoAnne came to know Jesus in a Bible study. “I really love my job,” she smiled. “I feel that this is where God has put me…I am really supportive of Bible translation and the translators… We are all a part of this. I tell my friends, I’m not a preacher or an evangelist, but what I do here in the Print Shop, it’s part of building God’s kingdom.”
Not only does the Print Shop produce Scripture portions, literacy books and hymnals, but they also create other much needed items like certificates, receipt books, passport photos, letterheads, invoices, record books, textbooks and much more. Their reputation of high quality work also brings in commercial jobs from around the country.
“We are always running!” JoAnne shook her head. “We’ll work during the night if we have to… [But] God is always helping us. Every time we think it’s too much for us, somehow we get them done on time, on the plane and shipped out. God is always good.”
In the beginning, JoAnne thought of printing as just as another job. ”And then one day, it dawned on me—I’m printing Scripture! I got really excited when I realized this is the Word, and I’m a part of it! That was… life-changing for me… I feel it’s my ministry.”
How should you be involved? Pray that God would show you His plan for accomplishing the task of getting the Scriptures in every heart language.
Article taken from the SIL PNG 2015 Annual Report