I don’t know why they chose me!

By Ross and Lyndal Webb  |  Wycliffe Today Winter 2024 Edition

Erik* arrived at the first module of the Trenem Tingting Kos sticking to himself. He kept his head low and hat pulled down. When he did speak, he was barely audible. He gave the impression that he wasn’t sure he wanted to be there! Erik was part of a group of 12 men and women to attend the Trenem Tingting Kos (Train Your Mind

Course) held on the outskirts of Port Vila, Vanuatu. The course is designed to equip participants like Erik with skills to read the Bible carefully to determine its meaning; both the big picture and the smaller parts.

After assessing the Daakaka language group for a potential Bible translation project, it was suggested that the community select 2 people to attend the Trenem Tingting Kos as pre-training for future involvement in translation. The church in his village chose Erik. Erik was completely unaware of the discussion until his wife came and said, ‘They’re having a meeting and want to send you to a course. You better go and see what it’s about.’ He was surprised, but agreed to attend.

Erik completed Year 12 so was more than able to handle the lessons. He returned for Module 2 of the course with news that he was more eager to be at church. He had tried to teach some of what he had learnt too. We all noticed a change in his manner and engagement in the course material. His questions started developing too, questions to really understand the gospel. 

Erik was a different man. In one discussion after class he said, 

‘I have no idea why they chose me. I think it was really God who chose me!’ 

He told more of his past life and how he had ignored God. He revealed his limited knowledge of God’s Word yet his desire to now learn. He asked us to please get someone to come and help translate the Bible into his language. ‘I’m happy to help,’ he said.

We saw an amazing change on the outside, but we trust God truly has changed Erik on the inside. Life won’t be easy. Sorcery and divination are a deep-rooted part of life in Erik’s village. If he steps away from that, people will notice. When he tells them what he has learnt from the Bible, some won’t believe him. 

But God’s Spirit seems to be at work in Erik’s life. Pray that Erik will pursue his plan to become an elder and help the youth in his village and that there will soon be someone available to guide Erik and the community through a translation of the New Testament into the Daakaka language.

*name changed 

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