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Translator Training Vanuatu



101.1% of $20,000 at 14-Jul-2024

Project 8343

Having seen its usefulness and expansion over the past several years, SIL Vanuatu continues to facilitate a course for those involved in Bible translation and local church leadership, designed to develop higher level thinking skills which are applied to careful Bible reading, analysis of cultural practise and other daily life situations.

Five local men are trained to teach the material in each of the three two-week residential courses which make up the Trenem Tingting (Train your Mind) courseParticipants are required to complete field assignments in their home communities before returning for the next course with the hope that what is learnt will have a far-reaching effect.

Funds are needed for transport and for the associated costs of the residential courses.

Partner with us

Our partnership target for 2024 is $20,000

If we receive extra funds, this will go towards next year’s target.

Support Translator Training Vanuatu

Other ways to give

Cheques or Money Orders: Make out to 'Wycliffe Australia' and post to Wycliffe Australia, 70 Graham Rd, Kangaroo Ground VIC 3097

Email or ring (03) 9712 2710 for direct deposit information or to give at other frequencies.

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Latest Updates from Translator Training Vanuatu

09 July 2024

Risa* speaks Ndiai language one of the many languages of Vanuatu, and lives in a small village in the south of Santo Island. For the last year she has been working away with a few other Ndiai speakers translating the Book of Mark. She received very brief training in translation.

Risa recently completed the first module of the Trenem Tingting course. She was one of the keenest students! After a few days of the course she received news that her husband, Lex* was worried about her attending the course without the family so he came to the small town of Luganville where the course was being held. Risa was disappointed, thinking she might not be able to complete the course. But we pursuaded Lex to come and join the class and just listen in. With some hesitation he did and he enjoyed what he heard and reported that he learnt so much in the short time left of the classes.

Risa said that the things she was learning; how to look closely at a text as well as learning the big message of the Bible was just what she needed to be a Bible translator. “I had been thinking,” she said, “How can I translate the Bible if I don’t know what it really says.” “We already tried to translate Kingdom of God but now I know what it means we need to work on that one!” she added.

She headed home with her Homework book in hand, ready to review what she has learnt and try out some of the teaching with her family before returning for Part 2 in September.

At the final session of the course, Pastor Sandy*, another course participant slipped in a little speech thanking the organisers of the course. “I don’t know who the sponsors are,” he said, “But tell them thanks and that their money won’t be wasted. We want everyone in Vanuatu to know Jesus and this helps us to make that happen.”

Please pray for Risa, her husband, pastor Sandy and the other participants; that they might process well what they learnt at the course and that God would use it to strengthen their faith and their desire to help their communities to learn too.
*names changed

22 November 2023

Trenem Tingting Kos (Train your Mind Course) goes out to Epi

Loui Maki has been a trainer of the Vanuatu based Trenem Tingting course for several years now, but his Epi Island brother, John Sethy is new to the job. John’s enthusiasm and Loui’s teaching experience were a great combination in a recent trip they made together to the west side of their home island, Epi.

Responding to the invitation from the Presbyterian church of Vanuatu on Epi to run three mornings of teaching for the delegates at their conference, they added on two more ‘gigs’: a training time for Sunday School teachers in their home villages, and speaking at the local high School where Loui’s brother works.

In each place they used the modules they have previously taught at the Trenem Tingting course, teaching the Big Story of the Bible and the principles of critical thinking and how that can be applied to life and to good Bible reading.
They made good use of the visual aids they had made before they went, showing the basic method for processing something one hears or sees or reads, namely, ‘Stop and Think’, ‘Analyse’ and lastly, ‘Work out a Conclusion’. Loui reported that people were quick to realise that they often don’t follow those steps and so run into problems. He had to stop the many participants who wanted to volunteer personal stories because he wanted them to have time to practise the right way! He led them through a few verses of Psalm 100 to demonstrate how they can read a text carefully and determine the meaning the author had in mind when he wrote.

About 200 students listened to John and Loui’s presentation, and many at the conference too. Church leaders offered an invitation to come back next year so clearly their appetite was whetted!

13 October 2022

The door finally opens – travel is now possible and 14 new participants come in to Port Vila, Vanuatu, as the new cohort for the first of three modules of the Trenem Tingting course.

Trainers Loui, Epson, Philip and Norman, jump into preparation, and all of us work hard to pull our minds back to think about what we really want to achieve through this training. For these men, each from different islands, our daily fellowship around God’s Word is obviously and warmly welcomed. It is also part of the training!

And then, two days later there we are, all squeezed into the dining room at the out-of-town Scripture Union campsite ready to start Training our Brains, to consider with more question daily life matters, and more importantly, to consider with more clarity the meaning of God’s Word.

At the end of the first week of lessons, we meet with the trainers. This is an every-afternoon assessment ritual. The question for the end of the first week meeting being, “How did you think the week went?”

“I sit at the side where I can see the faces,” offers Loui, “And I have watched faces change over the time as people start to get it.”

“What about Eron?” I ask. “He seems pretty quiet.”

“Ah yes, but he is taking it all in.” The trainers agree. “And everyone is talking more now.”

Sure enough on Monday, Eron surprises us all when he confidently contributes an answer to the class.

The trainers may well describe their job as ‘Straining the Brain’ as they try to communicate the error of taking one verse in isolation without considering its context, of using every proposition in a text to determine the meaning of that text, as well as many other concepts usually foreign to their past education.

They give Bible talks each day which highlight God’s greatness and the importance of taking him and his Word seriously. They work through the Bislama* workbooks, and teach a sequence which tells God’s Grand Story played out in the Bible. A little competition lightens the atmosphere and there is much laughter as each table races to see who is first to order the 15 icons representing the different parts of that Big story.

As the course draws to a close, Epson reminds the participants that the food, lodging, books and travel didn’t just happen. “Please, thank God for the money provided through Wycliffe Australia,” he says. Pastor Apy adds, “Yes, they provided everything, and now we have something to go and teach our communities.”

Participants will return with their homework to their respective villages, representing nine different language groups. We are hopeful that there will be a ripple effect and just as the door to Vanuatu opened, God will open the door to many hearts and minds to receive these new things, and to thirst for the truth of his Word.

* Vanuatu’s national language of wider communication

14 May 2018

Your gifts have been helping SIL Vanuatu to run a series of training courses in translation principles. The course is equipping local Ni Vanuatu Bible translators to comprehend and practically apply Scripture, as well as be able to train others in these skills. The participants have already begun implementing what they have learned in creative ways that are reaching their communities. Following the March 2018 workshop, one trainer said, “I am so thankful to have this chance to discuss God’s Word with like-minded people. I wish I had the same situation on my island.” More encouraging testimonies are sure to emerge from the next workshop planned for September. Please consider helping us to continue sponsoring this ongoing project so that more Ni Vanuatu people are better able to help their communities understand God’s Word.

24 February 2018

Taking the Next Step
A report on the Trenem Tingting Short Course
Rain welcomed us to Imayo village on Tanna island and remained our close friend for the rest of our stay. But the cloud and soggy ground in no way dampened the enthusiasm of the Imayo community who became the daily participants of the Trenem Tingting Course.
Only two of those we had invited and expected to come, came to the course, but as Loui boldly announced, “It just must be God’s will that we teach these people.” And so we did.
After devotions focussing on the creator rights of God over his creation, Ross, Loui and Epson opened the ‘show’ with a few short dramas. The dramas portrayed real life situations where we are prone to act before we think. We then moved quickly to various activities related to Bible reading and the errors we commonly make such as taking a glance rather than reading carefully. Or taking a single verse out of the passage and so distorting the meaning. Or trying to answer questions the Bible text doesn’t answer. And more!
Loui and Epson, members of Vanuatu Bible Translation, have listened, learned and taken minor teaching roles in these courses for the last year or two, but the Imayo course saw them take a good step forward. They really did step up to confidently present the prepared material using colourful illustrations to point out needed Bible reading skills. Loui then bravely tackled a passage from Mark’s gospel, helping the participants to read through it carefully and determine Mark’s intended meaning. Epson lead them through another activity to stimulate ‘asking questions’. They made comments, answered questions, chatted after hours. They excelled, and were pleased.
Perhaps even better than witnessing their teaching talents was seeing Loui and Epson’s pleasure in seeing their new friends respond with interest and many an ‘ah-ha’ as they grasped what was being presented. That seems like a sign that they are ready to take yet another step and the next one after that.
Back from Tanna, tired but happy and time to relax? No. There’s one more part of the men’s agenda to fulfill. Another step forward is that Loui has recently begun acting on his thoughts; “I hate seeing cartons of New Testaments in the storage container. We’ve got to get them out there,” he says. So Sunday saw us all at Melemaat church handing out New Testaments to Epson’s wider family, from South East Ambrym, who live in Port Vila.
Vanuatu Bible Translation members are increasing in confidence and competence. Thankyou Wycliffe Australia for financially enabling Loui and Epson to move forward. They are already warming up to give it another go in September, God willing!

Submitted by Lyndal Webb

Thanks for your patience...

Waiting is hard, isn't it. But imagine waiting 2000 years for Scripture in your language! Thanks for your patience. And thanks for your generous support which will help bring the long wait to an end...