During October we’re focusing on seeking God’s wisdom. Each of the posts published this month will be about the situations in which our authors have sought Him and how they have done that. Please see the Prayer page to read our strategic prayer request for this month and pray with us as we seek His answers to involving Madang churches in Bible translation.
By Brian Paris
During my first trip to the Lower Ramu area I had been asking a lot of questions about church. What denominations are in this village? Who are your local leaders? Who are your regional leaders? We are asking four Lower Ramu language groups to start a new translation project called the Lower Ramu Project (LRP) with us, and many of the people from these groups are Catholic. They told me about Father Luis, the regional priest in charge of the Kayan/Bosmun Parish, and let me know he lives in one of the villages I would be visiting toward the end of my trip. I was looking forward to meeting him after all I heard about him.
The people like Father Luis because he takes time to visit the various congregations in his parish regularly. He comes on the day he says he is going to, but most importantly, he stays in each village until everyone who wants to talk to him has had a chance.
When I finally arrived in his village I asked if he was there and where his house was located. I walked down the trail the boys pointed to and eventually came to a large church building with his house behind it. There were some surprising things about Father Luis. For one, he was out sweeping his own porch, something I’ve known many church leaders to leave for someone else. Oh, and he is Korean. I didn’t see that coming.
We sat down and talked about PBT and what we would like to do with the people of his parish. He was really excited about Bible translation and thought that many of his congregations would benefit from having God’s Word in their language. He said, “Sometimes when I teach, I wonder if they understand what I am saying, so I ask someone to translate for me.” I left Father Luis with a handful of books I had brought to give to local church leaders. I asked him to give them to the people he thought could benefit the most from it.
Please pray with us for the churches in the Lower Ramu area as we start the LRP. We’re focusing this month on praying for the involvement of Madang town churches in the Bible translation process, and we’re seeking wisdom about how to proceed in that area. Please also pray as we seek wisdom in creating relationships with church congregations in the various ongoing translation programs, and praise Him with us as He consistently connects us with people like Father Luis.
Brian serves in language survey.