Generosity of God - Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea flag. Photo: clipart-library.com

Persistence and provision: God makes a way 

After several years of working on their Old Testament translation, the Tawala translators in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, needed new laptop computers to continue their work. Their team leader, Micah Naugo, was aware of funding that the government allocates to churches and church related projects. So, in November 2022, Micah wrote letters to the office of the governor for the province and the office of their Member of Parliament (MP) requesting assistance for funding to buy new computers. Since it was almost the end of the year, he was told to come back in the New Year. Micah steadfastly followed up his letters expecting a positive response. 

In April 2023, Micah visited the office of the Alotau MP once again. This time he had with him a quote from the computer shop for two laptop computers and their accessories. The officer who attended him listened to Micah and then asked him what the computer would be used for. That morning as he left his home, Micah decided to take his tablet. When asked by the officer what he would use the computer for, Micah took out his tablet and opened the Paratext programme and demonstrated to him the translation process. The officer was very impressed and without any further questioning, he proceeded to write a cheque. The amount of the cheque was exactly to the quote by the computer shop for two laptop computers and their accessories. He handed it to Micah. Micah returned to the village and his team that day with two new laptop computers. 

Micah is still following up his second letter to the office of the governor for two more computers for the translators’ use. There are more than 10 people involved in the Tawala translation team, which is working on revision of the New Testament (NT) and translation of the Old Testament (OT). Micah said the team needs to be adequately equipped in order to continue with their translation work at a good speed. They aim to complete the NT revision and OT translation in time to launch the full Tawala Bible in 2025. Thanks to the Tawala team’s faithfulness in pursuing this opportunity for special government funding, they have experienced God’s generous provision of the equipment they need to continue toward their goal of completion.

A simple invitation to generosity helps launch a translation project 

In October 2022, the Papua New Guinea Bible Translation Association (PNGBTA) launched their first Language Gospel Festival (LGF). Papua New Guinea hosts 12% of the world’s languages. The festival provided an opportunity to celebrate and thank God through song and dance for the 800+ languages he has blessed the country with. During this event, local and international partners were invited to invest into PNGBTA’s strategic plan for establishing 20 new Bible translation projects in the next five years. A young Papua New Guinean lawyer was one of the first to respond to this invitation to reach out to languages still without the Scriptures. The Matsugan language community on Bougainville became the recipient for this gift to start their Bible translation. 

Her financial gift assisted the PNGBTA translation personnel to conduct a One-Book workshop on Jonah for the Matsugan people in May. The workshop brought fifteen people from four churches in the Matsugan language community to attend the workshop and learn about translation principles and steps in the Bible translation process. The community worked together to support the two-week workshop by providing housing, meals and other practical assistance. Thanks to the generosity of one individual sharing out of her own God-given blessings, and community members contributing generously as well, the Matsugan now have 25 trial copies of the Book of Jonah to start them off in this journey of translating the Word of life into their heart language.

 

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