Practical translation of “Unity in Christ”

Posted on Posted in Mixed Nuts

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 Eunice Herchenroeder

“Viniviguvai.” “Mangisek ar nokom.” “Wangal tokah.” “Itono kalili.” “Sebe fuda.”

How translate unity low res
Conference participants wrestle with how to translate the New Testament concept of “unity” into their own languages.

We asked participants in this month’s “Hope for the Future: Unity in Christ” conference how they would translate “unity” into their own mother tongue. The answers were as varied as the places from which they came, many with richly nuanced meanings that can send the message of verses like Ephesians 4:3 straight to the heart.

The ministers and church leaders who attended the conference understand that Jesus calls His followers to unity for the sake of His kingdom. Yet many wrestle with knowing how to foster unity in the day-to-day life of their churches.

These men and women also understand the value of vernacular Scripture. Most of them have access to at least some Scripture in their mother tongue. They know that it speaks to them in ways that Scripture in any other language does not. They also understand the need of the 60+ people groups here in Madang Province who still wait for God’s Word.

We and two partner agencies – the PNG Bible Translation Association (BTA) and SIL PNG – had the privilege of presenting during the conference. We gave glimpses of how we can work together to meet translation needs that will otherwise remain unmet. PBT, BTA, and SIL have experience and expertise. The churches have people, networks of relationships, and financial resources. Together we can accomplish what none of us can do alone. And in so doing, we will be united for the sake of God’s kingdom.

Our team has been praying that God will show us how to partner with the churches in Madang to accomplish the work of Bible translation. What happened during this conference, and the things that will result from it, may well be part of His answer.

Eunice provides administrative support services and assists in the development of mother-tongue literacy materials for children.

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