Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vanuatu 2012

We've returned to Vanuatu for 10 days to learn about the Bible translation efforts here. My husband, Morris, is also involved in doing a translation consultant check for Mark, Colossians and Philippians for the SE Ambrym language.

You can learn more about Bible translation work in Vanuatu by clicking here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Update on Bible-based videos

If you've been reading my blog, you might remember Allen and Neisha who went to Tanna Island to bring Bible-based videos to Southwest Tanna speakers. They came back after 2 weeks of hiking around to different villages to say that all went well! They would hike in the morning, wait until dark and then show the videos. They usually finished up around 11pm and then were shown where they were going to sleep for the night. They would quickly set up their mosquito net and bedding and crawl into bed to catch some sleep before the roosters starting crowing around 4:30. Life starts early here!

One of their highlights was going into a village and were told that they were the first white man to be in the village, at least to this generation. There were no churches and no schools and the people were a little afraid of them. Since they were visitors, they met with the chief and were told if they had come years earlier, they would have ate them. Through an interpreter, the chief asked them about their view of the beginning of time. This opened the door to talk about their beliefs and hear some of what the chief believed. When they left, they were encouraged to see that the people weren't quite to afraid of them.

The impact of these 2 weeks? No one really knows but it was a great way to show the people the Luke video in the language they understand best. The N-Vanuatu men that went along with them were a part of the North Tanna Translation program and they were really encouraged by to have this opportunity.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Consultant check is finished!

Well, at least for Morris. We knew when they started that they wouldn't be able to finish all of it because Pastor Peter leaves today to attend the Vanuatu Bible Translators' conference. They usually plan on 10 days, 100 verses each day, to complete Luke but Morris had only 8 days. It went well and there's only 179 verses left to check! Even though this is an adaptation from a closely related language, there were still important changes that needed to be made. The men did say that they really enjoyed discussing the text and that they learned new truths in the process. Pastor Peter said that he's learned some important things about translation that will be helpful to him as he continues on in translation. Since this is the first book that Pastor Peter has translated, it most likely will be changed some after he has translated all the New Testament and has learned things along the way. Once the New Testament is finished, it's all read over again to catch anything that might need changing and often the first translated books need adjustments. This has been a good first step for the Whitesands translation and it's been a privilege to be a part of it.

I asked Pastor Peter how he decided to be involved in translation. He first said it took many years to come to the decision. In 1986, he went to school to become a Pastor, he learned about the importance of knowing the Word and teaching others about God. Years later, when he taught in a Bible school, he realized that while most could read English or Bislama, the trade language, they really didn't understand much of what they read. Then he said that he lived near Greg and Beth Ann and could see the impact that the translation had on the people. He realized that his people needed to have the Bible in their language so he's committed to completing it in the next 4 years.

I asked Pastor Peter if he had anything to say to those who are interested in missions. He said, "I could write something formal but the important thing to tell them is to come! Just come."

Monday, November 16, 2009

From Morris: On Being Sick

I began to get sick on Sunday evening. The next morning I woke up with a mild headache and stomach cramps. As the day progressed, my headache grew. By evening I wasn’t very hungry, but still ate a normal supper. Big mistake. In the small hours of the morning, gut wrenching cramps, a frantic search for my flashlight, and a race to the outhouse, all repeated several times. And so on throughout most of my week on Tanna.

I thought that I had come prepared. I had the ridiculously expensive malaria preventative, the mosquito repellant, and a sleeping net. I had medicine for headaches. I had not anticipated this however, at least not emotionally. How can you? Malaise, a common symptom of giardia, was fueling my depressive thoughts. I had come so far, spent so much money and time in preparation for this. Why this?

Why not this? After all, was it not my intention in coming to participate in this translation program? You don’t have to hang around a group of missionaries very long before the conversation turns to stories of illness on the field, often related to the bowels. My ‘light and momentary affliction’ has been a common experience amongst those involved in this work. I was getting the full experience in just one short week. I don’t mean to paint an overly-rosy picture. I wish I would have been well. Just the culture shock of living in a new, very different place would have been enough, thanks. But, apparently not, and by His grace I am not as prone to second-guessing what’s best for me as I used to be. These islands are dotted with monuments to missionaries, both white and black-skinned, who died bringing Hope to these islands. Pastor Peter, Greg and Beth Ann have been doing this most of their adult lives. This week was nothing compared to what these and others have experienced.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Back in Port Vila

Morris is feeling good again! Thanks for all your prayers. He's currently upstairs in the SIL Library working with Pastor Peter and 2 language informants. They started on Ch. 8 today and, as usual, their goal is to complete 100 verses. They were able to complete Ch. 7 on Sat. morning. My role in this is to provide tea and biscuits (kind of like a graham cracker) at 10am and then lunch for all at noon. Nothing is required in the afternoon since they usually finish around 4pm. By that time, all are very tired. We are so thankful that God enabled Morris to work last week and, on the day that they had to finish early due to something else that had to be done, the passage they were working through was fairly straight forward so they still could complete the 100 verses.

We had a restful Sunday. We had planned a day on an island with Ross and Lyndal but it rained all day, bad for our plans but good for the dry ground. We had coffee and good conversation with another SIL couple after church and then we did the same with Ross and Lyndal in the afternoon (both by the sea) followed by joining them for their church Bible study here in the evening.

This is where Morris stayed while in the village.

His bed was on this platform at one end of the house.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 5 on Tanna

Morris and Pastor Peter were able to get some work done before their 3:15pm flight! We went directly to the clinic upon arrival and to make a long story short, he now will begin taking medicine for giardia and we hope this is the answer to his problems. The doctor just took an educated guess and a prescription is not required to obtain the medicine from the pharmacy.

They decided to work a half day today (Sat) and they are busy at work now. I looked at Morris' pictures and don't know what all of them are but wanted to put something up here now. More to come when Morris is available.

Aerial view of Port Vila.

Leaving Port Vila.

Checking in the village. Pastor Peter is on the left.

Returning from Tanna with the President of Vanuatu on the plane. He was first on and first off and returned with lots of gifts from his village, including a live pig! (No, it isn't this man!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 4 on Tanna

While Morris continues to have stomach problems, he did feel better and actually could eat a regular meal for dinner. However, I wonder if he regretted it?? I just realized that I never asked him if he got through the 100 verses but I'm assuming he did or he would have said something. Unfortunately, he wasn't feeling up to seeing the volcano last night so he'll have to be satisfied with the YouTube video!

Although his plane doesn't leave until 3pm, he left the village today at 6:30am so they'd be assured of having a taxi to get them into town. I think there is a plane coming in later and taxis would be busy then. Their plan was to find a place to work in town before their flight. Greg, the SIL advisor, is not coming in to continue on with the checking. Since this is the first check for Pastor Peter, they felt it was good to have Greg sit in for the first part but then let Pastor Peter finish it up by himself and language informants.

I do have a doctor's appointment for Morris soon after he lands so, hopefully, he'll get the right medicine and will feel better soon. I don't think they look for any amoeba, etc, but just do an educated guess and hope it works.