They came to say “Thank you!”
by Kevin & Mary Salisbury
A team of six from the Papua New Guinea Bible Translation Association (BTA) came to New Zealand last year. They came to say, “Thank you for sending your missionaries to bring the gospel to PNG over the last 140 years. The work is not yet complete – will you come and help us?”
Throughout the tour the team met Maori, Pacific Islanders and Pakeha whose ancestors or parents had contributed to the evangelisation of PNG.
On the first day, the team was warmly welcomed by the Pacific staff and students at Laidlaw College, who cooked a Polynesian umu (ground oven – known in PNG as a mumu). One Cook Islands woman, very moved by the team’s presentation, told how two sets of her great-grandparents had served in PNG. She spoke passionately about her willingness to follow in their footsteps. Read more
Time for a Story
“Please help! We’ve trained these men to study and preach the Word, but their congregations can’t understand their preach-ing or remember what they are taught. What can we do?”
This was the cry of the founder of a large missionary agency in India in 1994. The abstract Western approach to teaching God’s Word was simply not working for people who learnt in an oral manner. It was time for a new approach – so ‘new’ that Jesus used it 2000 years ago as he taught his people! It was time for a story... Read more
A Message from the Director
It is amazing to see how God makes His Word known to us, yet unless it is born in our hearts it is not born in us at all. So we see in this publication how this continues to happen.
• For us in New Zealand we have seen over 28,000 people taking part in E100 Bible Reading Challenge – engaging with the Bible through readings, radio, Facebook, iPhone, discussion groups, family resources, devotionals and sermons. All this as part of an enriching venture with The Bible Society and Scripture Union during 2010 and still continuing in 2011. In May this year Essential Jesus will be released as our next venture. See details in this issue.
• We also have an inspiring report on the PNG Bible Translation Association (BTA) tour that took place here in August-September 2010. Six members of BTA came to New Zealand to say “Thank you” to the many families and communities that sent missionaries to PNG. This promoted and encouraged a fresh vision for cross-cultural mission by Maori and Pacific Islanders. What an experience: 61 events in 28 days. Wow!!
• Bible storytelling workshops have seen many people learning to craft Bible stories accurately and effectively, for use with adults and children, and in different cultural contexts. Some of those trained went to Bangladesh for a month in January 2011. The second article, Time for a Story, will help you find out about an adventure of a few from New Zealand who were involved.
• Finally we hear back from the prize winner of the Esther Melody Secret Message music competition that played on Radio Rhema last year. She went to the Wycliffe Discovery Centre in Orlando, Florida, and experienced an interactive history of Bible translation.
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
2 Corrinthians 9:15 (ESV)
The gift of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who redeems us by His grace.
Story of Hope
After winning the Radio Rhema Competition sponsored by Wycliffe NZ, my friend Jan and I were privileged to visit the Headquarters of Wycliffe USA in Orlando, Florida, in October 2010.
Nothing could have prepared us for the warm hospitality, luxurious accommodation, and size of the complex, in a picturesque setting surrounded by lakes.
The Discovery Centre showed us the exciting work done in Bible translation. People are in it for the ‘long haul’ – from learning linguistics, (for example, many words are spelt the same, but pronounced differently) to the experience of living and working with the local tribes – sometimes at great cost and sacrifice. We saw in the line up of “people from other nations”, many dressed in their native costumes. At the end of the line there was a person with “no nationality or name” – as they are yet to experience the blessing of being able to read the Word in their own language. Musical analysis is being used in conjunction with linguistics, to help cultures express their faith in appropriate ways.
Our visit has increased our desire to one day be involved in an overseas mission outreach.
We trust that Wycliffe will continue to be a “Story of Hope” to many unreached peoples throughout the world.
Blessings, Gaye and Jan.
Did you realise your building or maintenance skills could bless the Bible translation movement? Work parties are being formed to meet specific needs at Wycliffe centres in Australia and Papua New Guinea as listed.
In addition to these work parties, maintenance work is required at centres in Darwin along with office work, anytime during the year. Could you give a couple of weeks to lend a hand? Also, seven centre managers are needed in PNG during 2012 to relieve members due for furlough. For more information, contact our Wycliffe NZ office.
Work Party Schedule 2011
29 August - 16 September
Kangaroo Ground, Melbourne – renovation and maintenance.
10 - 28 October
Wycliffe flats in Brisbane – maintenance and renovation of a kitchen.
31 October - 18 November
SIL house in Port Moresby, PNG – internal painting and kitchen renovation.
Essential Jesus Challenge
In April 2010, Bible Society New Zealand, Scripture Union in New Zealand, and Wycliffe Bible Translators New Zealand launched the E100 Bible Reading Challenge in New Zealand. By the end of 2010, 350 churches had registered with more than 25,000 people taking the challenge.
In New Zealand, most Christians own a Bible, but less than a quarter will read it during the week. In fact, only 32% of Christians read the Bible once or more during a month. One of the key reasons why Christians don’t read the Bible is that they find it difficult to understand (Bible Society research 2009).
The E100 Bible Reading Challenge features 100 carefully selected readings designed to give people a good understanding of the Bible story. Essential Jesus comprises 100 readings from the Bible focusing on Jesus – it will really challenge participants to get out there and be Jesus in their communities!
Essential Jesus and E100 are complementary resources and can be completed in any order and at any time. Through completing each Challenge, participants are encouraged to build a regular habit of spending time with God through Bible reading and prayer.
Resources are available from May 2011 and include a companion book, pocket-sized planner with readings, small group DVD discussion guide, and a 20 week interactive children’s ministry programme. Visit www.EssentialJesus.org.nz to find out more, or phone 0800 424 253.
So go on – take the challenge!