During June we’re focusing on seeking guidance. Each of the posts published this month will be about the author’s experiences seeking guidance from God. Please see the Prayer page to read our strategic prayer request for this month and to see how we, as a branch, are seeking God’s guidance.
By Jill Riepe
The last few weeks I’ve been working on the curriculum for the Basic Course in Translation Principles. This course will introduce potential national translators to the work of translation and help us discover who would be good translators. As I pondered what needs to be taught in this course, I thought about the importance of valuing the mother-tongue Scripture.
Many Papua New Guineans have only heard the Gospel through Tok Pisin or English and they may have understood a little of what is being said, but much remains unclear and mysterious. Since they were never taught in their mother-tongue, they don’t realize that they can talk to God, teach, and preach in their own language. They may believe that speaking to God in English somehow has more power. Many religions try to keep their rituals mysterious and strange. Christianity is not like that.
God sent His son to dwell among us (Jn. 1:14). He chose to speak in the language that was understood by many people. The New Testament was written in common Greek so that many people could understand and receive the good news. God desired that His truth be known to all men so much that he caused a miracle on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and everyone heard the message in their own language. God does not hide behind mysterious ritual and language. He wants to be known and to make known His way to every man, woman, and child (2 Pt 3:9).
How do we communicate this great truth to the people of Papua New Guinea? We include it in our Basic Course in Translation Principles. We live it by going to them, showing that God desires to know them and for them to know Him. We pray that they will begin to grasp how much He loves them.
Jill serves as a translator.