One translator writes, "We are still a long ways from seeing what we are dreaming about for this language community, still praying for lives transformed by the Spirit and the Word. One of the obstacles is that we still don't have a good word for "God". But even the search for the word is having an impact. As our mother-tongue translators think about the personal nature of God and his sovereignty, and as they discuss this with their relatives, they are growing in their knowledge of who God is."
A language team checked the Old Testament book of Esther with speakers of the language who had not previously been involved in translation. A new grandmother enjoyed hearing the story in her own language. She asked to take the recorded story back to her village to share with her neighbors and friends. Pray that they respond to the Word they hear. A college senior indicated that he wants to continue to work with the translation team. He does not yet follow Jesus. Pray for God's guidance as he graduates in May.
Praise God for a new effort to complete the New Testament in Tikopian, a Polynesian language in the Solomon Islands. Frank Tauseroa was the main translator for most of the Tikopian New Testament in the 1980’s. It was never published due to a lack of community feedback. Father Walter Tamasia has now been appointed by his Bishop to help complete the New Testament, with emphasis on getting feedback from Tikopian communities spread over several islands. Pray for Father Walter and Frank as they meet in Honiara early May to prepare the Gospels for publication. Many Tikopians are still primarily monolingual.
Pray for translation teams working on final revision of four more New Testaments in the central Philippines: Romblomanon, Bantoanon, Inakeanon, and another in a sensitive area. Pray that these will be published within the next couple of years. Ask God for wisdom in the many decisions ahead, for team unity, community participation, and Scriptures that communicate accurately and naturally so that people will exclaim, “God speaks our language!”
Pray for the Amarasi New Testament celebration, planned for May 24-25. Boxes filled with New Testaments are stacked to the ceiling of the Kupang offices in preparation for the event. Pray that people will read, study and share these Scriptures with others. Pray that God's Word will have a tremendous impact among the Amarasi to produce changed lives and closer relationships with Christ. Ask for God's continued direction in the lives of the translators.
New opportunities are opening up for producing audio recordings of Scriptures in the Solomon Islands. Pray for wisdom as decisions are made about which languages to record and which type of recording is the best for each one. Pray, too, for the six Solomon Islanders who were trained last year to do audio recording and editing of Scripture. Ask God to prepare the the right project for them to use their new skills, in preparation for a second training course in October.
Pray for those coping with trauma, loss and injury along with the cleanup and rebuilding required after the massive 7.8 earthquake and aftershocks in Nepal. Thank God that the timing, daytime on a Saturday in spring, has limited the casualties. Ask God for wisdom and good cooperation among the various aid and development groups involved in the rebuilding efforts. And pray that adequate shelter can be distributed before the monsoon rains, expected to begin in mid-June.