(above) Community leaders pray over the Wolwale Onnele translators at their dedication of the gospel of Luke. The following is the Christmas Story in the Goiniri Onnele language, the words of Zechariah to his infant son John just before the birth of Jesus.
Yene ese yukule nu pinuma woneni sa nu ese namale, wu wolpalo nu.
Manawamo yire ese yuꞌpole nale fafaile empo nu fai nangkene
ka ese yuꞌpu nu kore.
Ka wu ese yawane ali wongke empo heven ese yolo mone,
sa ese ali yane uma empo naine mokoi ningki ka rili sa nu samo num,
ka ese yukule mone rokoi empo wolpuna raulo.
You will show his people and they will know, he down-livers them.
Bigman wants to remove the bad skin that they do
and will get them back again.
And he will send a light of heaven to come down on you and me,
to give light to people in a place of darkness and death, where they really fear,
and he will show you and I the path of liver-stomach coolness.
– Luke 1:77-79
Praise God with us that the Arop, Sissano, Malol, Wolwale, Goiniri, Rombar, Barupu, Ramo, Pou and Sumo people have the Christmas story in written and recorded form now! Pray that Jesus, the Light of the World will shine in the places of darkness, death and fear and that these communities will seek “the path of liver-stomach coolness”, as they say in the Onnele idiom.