Motivated by Pastor Korah and Grandma Sese
By Deb Fox | Wycliffe Today June 2020 |
Ross and Lyndal Webb enjoy speaking to young people about the various ways God can use them in the Bible translation movement. They are now back in Australia but during the 1980s and 90s the Webbs served as Bible translation advisors in Papua New Guinea, then in the 2000s as Directors for SIL in Vanuatu.
During that time, Ross and Lyndal supported projects involving a number of different language groups in the area. More recently, they have worked with a couple of those projects to get their translated New Testaments published.
Last year, the Webbs returned to Vanuatu from home assignment in Australia to attend the dedication of the Baki New Testament. While it was a wonderful celebration, Ross says the road to a finished translation does not always go as one would hope or expect:
Pastor Korah was the second local translator assigned to the translation of the Baki New Testament, after the first one passed away. He was keen to see the translation finished so his community could connect to God in their own language. Sadly, before he could see his life’s work completed, Pastor Korah also died.
‘Pastor Korah’s vision for his people kept us focused on keeping everyone united to get the job done’, Lyndal adds. ‘It’s a shame he never got to see his vision come to life. He was missed greatly at the New Testament dedication celebration.’
Someone who did get to witness God’s Word in her own language, however, was Grandma Sese. She has always wanted to see her community grow in faith. Lyndal explains:
Grandma Sese showed us what it means to be patient and reminded us how important it is to work together. Her encouragement motivated us to oversee the final stages of the project. Our time together reinforced that, rather than just being an intellectual, academic process, Bible translation also provides huge ministry opportunities for long-term discipleship with the translators and the wider community. Grandma Sese’s good cooking and loving ways made all those opportunities so pleasurable!