A key player in the translation process
By Deb Fox| Wycliffe Today October 2019
Seraphina Presley is an Anmatyerr woman with a passion to make the Bible available in her language for her people. Despite suffering from some health issues and caring for her ill husband, Seraphina is committed to seeing the Word of God living and active in people’s hearts and minds.
Seraphina sometimes works as a teacher at the school in her hometown of Ti Tree and has been the main translator on the project David and Ming Fang Strickland are facilitating in Central Australia. They are now 60% through the fourth draft of Genesis, with Luke’s Gospel recently completed.
A number of Seraphina’s paintings featured in the 2017 Christian Book of the Year Our Mob, God’s Story. Her piece Translation Process depicts the steps involved in getting Scripture translated into Indigenous languages, from discussion to recording and editing, checking and sharing the published Scripture.
Answers to a ‘utopian’ prayer
Wycliffe Today October 2019
David and Ming Fang Strickland have been concerned about Anmatyerr translation projects, which seemed to be getting stalled. They have been praying for another Indigenous translator to help them with the work. At a recent pastors’ course in Arlparra (also known as Utopia) a number of Anmatyerr men were present.
One man in particular, Ricky, expressed a strong desire to learn to read and get trained as a church leader! He already has strong English reading skills, and is re-engaging with his grandmother’s language in the Mt Allan community. Perry is an older Anmatyerr man who has a strong calling from God to serve the people at Mount Allan.
A third man, Ken, is an Anmatyerr man living in Alice Springs, who is very articulate in English. David has started meeting regularly with Ken. They are able to discuss the Anmatyerr language in a way that is not normally possible, gaining fresh insights into the language and the meaning of words. This is helping David as he writes a grammar report for the language. All these developments are encouraging signs that God is stirring up new life in the Anmatyerr language group, which may lead to fresh excitement in the translation work.
I felt like I was treading water with not much translation happening. But I’m encouraged that new things have started to happen, and there seems to be hope for the future of this language project!