Another significant development this year comes on the heels of a trial edition of Luke being published last year and distributed to communities and church leaders. With the availability of this sizeable portion of God’s Word, we have been providing various opportunities for the people to interact with it.
This is the next in the series of posts on the good, the bad, and what I’m doing to sharpen worn-out tools from 2012. The good, #1 appeared here.
- Copies of Luke continue to be available for sale in the communities and also at the Christian bookstore in Aitape.
- Audio recordings of the Christmas and Easter story were also distributed.
- Luke in its entirety was recorded, and our team is working with partners to edit it and prepare it for distribution on Sabers and AudiBibles.
- Just before Easter, the Easter story from Luke 22-24 was published in a side-by-side vernacular and pidgin diglot format, and this has received very positive feedback from church leaders.
- Just before Christmas, the Christmas story from Luke 1-2 was also distributed in a side-by-side vernacular and pidgin diglot.
- Trial copies of 1 Timothy were drafted, and these are being revised before taking copies to the language communities for testing.
With the availability of these resources, we have been intentionally connecting not only with local church leaders when those portions were dedicated in 2011, but also with district church leaders. We have been visiting them regularly in town throughout the last year, especially as we prepared for the Aitape Baibel Conference in August. District church leaders from seven denominations were represented at that conference, and it is evident that they are enthusiastic to encourage the work that is already happening in the languages west of Aitape.
Since these district church leaders are themselves mostly from languages east and south of Aitape, they are even more excited about the possibility of extending this ministry in the years to come to the many other languages in the district which still have no Scriptures.
The most defining aspect of the Aitape West Translation Project is that we are not just producing a product but equipping people to carry on every aspect of this work in the future, not only in their own languages but also as they come alongside other language communities in the region and in the nation. Partnering with district churches will be key to facilitating the use of translated Scriptures in the local churches and also to the expanding Bible translation movement in the region.