A laborer of God

by mendibpng

Ben and Clement talking after sharing a meal. In Papua New Guinea, relationships are very important. Photo by Dan Bauman.

Clement related this story to Ben, who transcribed it and Jessie Wright translated it.

Clement uses relationships to share about his work in the Bible translation movement…

When I was living in my village and I didn’t know about the work of Bible translation, there were many things in the Bible that I didn’t understand. True, I would regularly go to church, but I didn’t – like the words that the church leaders would read – I would hear them, but as for myself, I didn’t know about some things like Bible backgrounds, or what messages may have missed the point, or what the meaning of the words was like.

When I came and learned how to do the work of Bible translation, I learned many things. Before I didn’t know about them.  For example, the Tok Pisin Bible too, it doesn’t explain it well, or many things remain hidden.  So when I came to do Bible translation, I did much research, so it was like, okay, many things helped me and I understood. Now I understood about God.

When I would go back to my village, I would tell my family,

“God is the source of all things, and when we ourselves see things clearly with the Bible, we need to sit down patiently and read the Bible carefully, and we will understand now how God works in our lives.”

It’s like this: when I went to work with the others in the work of Bible translation, I understood many things. God worked. And I learned many things where the Tok Pisin Bible doesn’t follow the original Greek. The Greek language was the first language – and Hebrew – that they translated into Latin, and later into English, and later they translated it into the Tok Pisin language. And then we come up to the time now where we are translating it into our own specific language so that we can understand the meaning of the words.

So as far as I myself am concerned, I have now come to know many good things that I learned. After I learned these things and then I was back in my village, many men would come up and say to me,

“Come, let’s go do this other work, so forget about it, and leave this work of SIL.”

But I would tell them,

“No, I’m not concerned with whatever other work, I am doing the work of God. I have become” – I would use a certain kind of talk that I like to say – “I have become a laborer of God.”

I don’t want to labor for another man. I want to labor for God, and it’s like this: I live at my village, the work of God is what I do, so he helps me. If I feel there is a thing that I find difficult, then the Word of God helps me, and now I see that I have learned many good things. I am happy about this.


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