During January we’re focusing on devotion to God. Please see the Monthly Prayer Focus page to read our strategic prayer request for this month.
By Erin Duplechin
We sat around at dusk waiting for others to arrive. Many Sop speakers had come to Igoi village to hear portions of Luke for the first time in their own language.
My husband, Kevin, had created a podcast centered around prayer. On a previous visit to this village he had recorded testimonies regarding prayer from some of the men in the village. He then created a podcast using these stories with portions of Luke interwoven throughout the program.
Most of us westerners grow up hearing the Lord’s prayer regularly, sometimes daily. We have it memorized, many have it on a decorative plaque in their home; it’s scriptural staple of the Christian life.
As I sat around with these Sop brothers and sisters, many of them significantly older than me, I felt extremely humbled. I realized I was in the midst of a holy moment, that something big was happening and for some reason God was letting me be a part of it.
Before the podcast started Kevin gave a short welcome to everyone. At one point he said, “Remember this day, 22nd June, 2015. This is an important day. This is the day you heard the Lord’s Prayer for the first time in your language.”
By the time we started the podcast, it was night. The podcast played and the Sop people listened intently. We had printed out the Lord’s prayer in Sop on laminated cards for them to keep. When we got to that portion of the program, Kevin hit pause and encouraged those that could to read the words aloud along with the program.
As the people read, I scanned the audience, looking at their faces alight by battery-powered lights. There’s something powerful about saying things out loud. Again, I felt the holiness of the moment, the weightiness of what was happening. I prayed silently for Jesus’ words to take root in people’s hearts, for them to be compelled by what He said about prayer, for their lives to be transformed, and for them to become completely devoted to God.
When you’re sure that God understands the prayers you pray, you talk to Him more confidently. When you know He has something to say in a language you understand, you feel known by Him. When you hear God speak your language, everything changes.
Chris and Lori Urton spent over a decade of their lives in Papua New Guinea, working hard so that days like this could happen. Chris continues to work on the translation from the States, committed to seeing God’s word translated into the Sop language.
Erin is a mother of two and wife to Kevin.