Goiniri Onnele history: Dominic out of jail

by bzephyr

Dominic reports on Wolwale Scripture dedication

For the last several years that I have been living in Papua New Guinea, Dominic has told me that he faces constant threats from the family of a man that was killed ten years ago in a self-defense struggle. He says, “If God hadn’t called me to translate the Bible for my people, then I would run away and hide from those who threaten to kill me.” Five weeks ago, they attacked Dominic in town and put a five-inch gash in his upper arm with a large bush knife. When he reported it to the police, they held him in jail, partly for his own protection, partly to determine if his case would become a murder trial in national court.

I spoke with the police lieutenant four weeks ago, and he was very interested in hearing of Dominic’s role as a new leader in the translation project. He said, “Ben, I know that the Word of the Lord changes people, and that makes my job much easier.” He assured me that he was interested in Dominic’s safety and the continued translation of God’s Word into the many languages of his district.

Dominic was released from jail just over two weeks ago. With no eyewitnesses, the police released him after negotiating an out-of-court settlement between the two parties. Dominic owes compensation of 15,000 kina (close to $7,000), but the two groups shook hands, signed an offical statutory declaration with the police, and the opposing family confirmed that Dominic’s life is no longer in danger of retaliation. They said he should feel free to walk around and do his work, and they will not seek revenge or threaten him.

Dominic spent the last few weeks at our translation workshop, making an audio recording of the Goiniri Onnele translation of Luke and entering final corrections into the draft of Acts. For the next seven days, I will post here a brief history of Dominic’s Goiniri Onnele people as reported to me by him last week.

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2 Comments to “Goiniri Onnele history: Dominic out of jail”

  1. Praise God for the testimonial of the police lieutenant and also for his support, not only of Dominic’s safety, but of the continued translation of God’s Word into the many languages of his district. Is he a believer ?

    We also praise God for Dominic’s release and for his role of leadership in the translation project. I love the pictures of him. What a wonderful smile — He seems to glow with the love of Jesus.

    A lover of zephyrs, esp. when running a river.

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