by Martha Wade
I almost missed the older woman sitting at the back of the classroom, but then I recognized the wife of one of the staff members. It had been two and one-half years since I had last seen her.
When I was at Gandep in Oct 2009, she had been away on a trip to her home area. During the first morning, she was following along with the students as they read their vernacular scriptures. During a free moment in the day, I asked if she wanted to work on a task to help other speakers of the Kire language and her eyes immediately lit up. I quickly grabbed a paper for teaching the Kire alphabet and asked her to work through it adding examples and correcting any words that we had typed incorrectly. Over the next day or so she worked diligently on the task and I checked up on her briefly whenever I was not working with students from three other language groups.
When she finished that task, I quickly thought up another task to keep her busy. I gave her the study guide questions for Mark in the Kire language and asked her to work on them as she had time and give them back to me some time in the future so that we could make up an answer sheet for the study guides. She disappeared from the course for the next three days and I assumed that I had probably overwhelmed her a bit with the task.
At graduation on the last day of the course she came back. After the graduation ceremony, she gave me the four study guide booklets – all filled out. After receiving the study guides, she had gotten her husband’s permission and then she had spent 3 solid days reading Mark and answering all the questions. Her face glowed as she told me about what she had been doing. Five years ago she tried to read the Kire New Testament and had dismissed it because it was in another dialect and she had problems reading it. This time, she said it was easy and just glowed about what God had been saying to her through His Word. The glow in her face was a powerful testimony and encouragement to me.
God’s Word in the Kire language is speaking to the hearts of one person at a time as they overcome the initial difficulties of reading a complex alphabet. Pray that more people can be filled with joy as God speaks to them in their
Martha Wade came to Papua New Guinea to work with people of the Apal language in 1980. She is also currently our Director of Language Affairs.