Recently Evan and I have been asking ourselves, why are we so tired and stressed? Well multiple reasons have caused this and I want to let you in on some things to pray for. First of all, some families that are good friends of ours have left in just a very short time for tragic reasons, without getting to say goodbye. Please pray for these families as they deal with the things that happened in their lives and that God would protect them. And then also pray for us and our community as we also figure out how to process these tragedies. To check out one of the families most recent prayer requests click here-> Leedahls.
Secondly, in response to recent, escalating criminal activity directed at the SIL community in Ukarumpa, the Branch Administration has decided to proactively implement a series of self-imposed restrictive measures aimed at reducing crime. Since Friday, the 10th of October, the Market on centre has been closed. This action is designed to bring peer pressure on those responsible for recent crimes through the villages in which they reside. It is hoped that these same communities will benefit in equal measure from the cessation of criminal activity to which they too are exposed. Please pray for all members of the Aiyura valley who are affected. Also pray for the victims and the perpetrators of these crimes. Pray for the community’s resolve to follow through with this course of action. (official statement)
Another thing that I would ask that you pray for would be that we are not meeting our budget goals. We need another $400 in monthly giving to get back on track. Please be praying for partners to come along side of us and fill in those gaps. Thank you!!
The air was filled with excitment as the Waskia people gathered to celebrate the arrival of the revised Scriptures in their own language. The event included singing, dancing, and gift-giving. One of the speakers, Andrew Kwimberi, reminded the people that this was not just another book, but a book that could change their lives and their nation. He encouraged them to drink in its sweetness, to read it every day, and to apply in a practical context.
As the dedication ceremony drew to a close, rain began to fall and people filled the tent to buy copies of the Scriptures in their own language. The boxes quickly emptied so twenty more were brought and sales continued.
The celebration was the culmination of a journey of translation that had started in 1976, when Fay Barker and Janet Lee joined the Waskia people on Karkar Island. With the help of many the first Waskia New Testament was completed, plus Old Testament books, and these were dedicated in 1985. Both returned to the island in Madang Province six or seven years ago and a team has been steadily working to revise these and also add six further Old Testament books as well.
One key translator has been Pastor Lavong, who arrived at the celebration adorned with seashells and a traditional headdress. As drumbeats rolled and people danced, he related the story of his frustration in his early years of preaching. When he saw the blank faces of his congregation he had realized, “God’s book must be translated into the language of the people for them to really understand what the Lord wants them to do.” He has spent many years now as part of the Waskia translation team, and hopes to complete the remaining 30 Old Testament books within the next few years. Pastor Lavong held the Bible close to his heart as he said, “When I sat down to help with translation, I thought it would only change the life of others…but it changed my life too.” He exclaimed with a big grin, “Now this translation will bring meaning and change the lives of the people of Karkar Island.”
Pastor Lavong reading the scriptures.
Last weekend I had the chance to go to my first Bible Dedication. What an amazing experience! But more on that later…one thing that I had never seen before (only heard) was a traditional drum made out of a tree log called a “Garamut” (Ga-ra-moot). Each village will carve their favorite symbols or pictures onto them and play them loudly by banging a large stick onto the side of the hollowed out log. Thus making a loud noise that can be used to warn other villages of fighting, or in celebration. It was definitely very cool being surrounded by them at the dedication! Here is a video for you to understand how LOUD these drums are…
Garamut Drum from Sarah Halferty on Vimeo.