When prayer and patience bear fruit
ABOVE PHOTO BY ELYSE PATTEN
In my first three years in PNG, I was an unassigned linguist, helping out with various projects all over the country.
This was great exposure to the different aspects of translation work, but I desired to settle in with one language community long-term. The slow and challenging process of deciding where this would be was soaked in prayer and required much patience. Eventually I felt God leading me to work with the Kope people of Gulf Province.
They had also been praying and waiting. In the 1980s they worked with an expatriate translator, and although the work continued for a while after the expat left, it eventually came to a halt. For twenty years they waited and prayed. Eventually they joined the regional translation and literacy workshops, where they demonstrated their enthusiasm and commitment to the work, and their need for ongoing mentoring.
The Kope community waited for decades, and I waited for years to be led to them. Now that we have started our work together, the fruit is amazing.
In under two years we have built and trained an enthusiastic translation team who are drafting independently. We are working together on a songbook and a dictionary, and continue to build the literacy program by increasing the library of Kope books. We’re even working with the neighbouring Anigibi language community to adapt the drafts into their language.
God has been generous in how he has answered our prayers, even if it was a long wait!
This story is from Wycliffe Today – July 2017
Author: Hanna Schulz, Translation Advisor (PNG).