By Michelle Moore
On Friday the 22nd of March (this last weekend), we celebrated with the national translators from the Tay language group in finishing the last checking session for the New Testament. The plan is that the Tay will have their New Testament dedication by next year (2014).
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
These verses are powerful and have so much meat in them, but one thing usually stands out to me. Perseverance.
On the Saturday following the celebration, I went to a MLAG (Madang Literacy Advocacy Group) meeting. Before the meeting, I talked to two of the members and the conversation stuck out in my mind. They talked about how much literacy and translation go hand-in-hand. For example, if a language group has 2,000 speakers and yet only 10 of them can actually read their language, how effective will the translation be? The main reason people want better literacy here is so that they can read the Word of God. See, they go together!
Going back to perseverance, I find it encouraging to make it to those milestones of accomplishment and then to press on towards the goal. Literacy is desperately needed here. According to www.education.gov.pg: “PNG’s adult literacy situation is in dire strait. Literacy situation analysis conducted by the NLAS in 2008 showed adult literacy rates recorded at 56 percent (2000 Census). When compared to other countries, PNG’s adult literacy rate is regarded as one of the lowest in Asia and Pacific.” We still have work to do.
So let us persevere in that which God has called us to. God is moving in PNG through literacy and translation. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)