A Word from the Director
We now use this statement in our name and logo ‘Te Kupu Whai Ora a te Atua’, which translates as the life-possessing, life-giving Word of God.
|Many of you will remember Graham and Margaret James. Graham died in November 2003 and Margaret recently passed away in March 2012 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. They joined Wycliffe in 1974 and served in many roles in Papua New Guinea, Featherston in New Zealand, Central African Republic (CAR), Dallas USA and, lastly, at the home office in Auckland. They were involved in many things over the years: house parenting, music teaching, ethnomusicology, representing Wycliffe in churches, teaching anthropology and personnel work. They experienced being evacuated from CAR in 1997. They devoted themselves to God’s cause. We honour them and thank God for their lives. An eternal reward is now theirs!|
Our desire to transcend language barriers is signalled by having non-English wording as a part of our name and logo. As an organisation involved in serving the minority language groups of the world this is more than appropriate. Finding the right wording took a year of research. We are thankful to Kemp Pallesen, Delwyn McKenzie and Kevin Salisbury who all contributed to this process, involving their various connections too. Thank you to those who asked the Board of Wycliffe NZ to have Maori wording for our organisation.
In this issue of Living Words we have focused almost entirely on prayer. We know prayer is crucial but, if we are honest, most of us grapple with it. The evil one certainly does not want us praying at all! Some challenges that arise include: how to make prayer meaningful and inspiring, how to be effective in prayer, how to walk in prayer in community with others and how to regularly maintain prayer.
Sadly, the Wycliffe prayer group in Mt. Albert has recently stopped meeting after 24 years! Why? Virtually all the faithful have aged and no one else wants to participate.
Please take time to read the three stories of prayer in action and the two articles that we trust will give you tips and helps in this vital ministry. The following website is also a good prayer resource: http://www.globalprayer365.com/en/connect
This is a collaborative effort between Wycliffe Global Alliance, OMF International, WEC International, Operation World and Joshua Project.
If you would like to partner in prayer for those serving in Bible translation with Wycliffe NZ please contact us and we will send you a monthly summary of prayer and praise points. This summary is available by e-mail or post. Some people gather regularly in groups to pray.
It’s a Mystery!
by Marva Farnsworth
Don’t you love the way God speaks so personally through Scripture? Sometimes a passage seems to leap from the page with insight or guidance for a current situation. At other times it stirs up memories that make our hearts sing again in gratitude to God for His faithful answers to prayers in the past.
Fifty years ago Robin and I, unknown to each other and thousands of miles apart, were preparing to go as Bible translators to Papua New Guinea. Our separate churches prayed over us and committed themselves to pray that God would protect and prosper the work of our hands. (Unknown to us at the time, some were also secretly asking God to provide us with spouses! Years later, they confessed this with broad smiles and teasing claims of credit for our marriage.)
Read more ....
Strengthen the Knees
(see Hebrews 12:12) by Phil Carr
Domai and her husband Adau are faithfully working towards finishing the Bamu New Testament in first draft. But in February 2012, their work came to a stop. Domai herself came to a stop. Severe pain and swelling in her knees stopped her from even leaving her own house without help. There was no way she could walk to the translation office 45 minutes away. There are no roads or motorised vehicles in the Bamu area. The only other way for her to travel would have been by canoe, but that would have required her climbing down a near-vertical riverbank, wading through calf-deep mud, and climbing into the canoe, then reversing the process when arriving near the translation office.
During this time of enforced rest, they got a lot of strength from the last Scripture passage they had drafted, “We have this treasure from God, but we are like clay jars that hold the treasure. This shows that the great power is from God, not from us ... So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles.” (2 Corinthians 4:7, 16–17 NCV)
They prayed, and they asked local women who are believers to pray. They asked their advisors Phil and Chris Carr to pray. The Carrs asked their praying friends on email to pray. And God answered wonderfully! Only three weeks later, she was able to walk the 45 minutes to the church service on Sunday, and all the way home again. And the next day, she walked the same distance to the translation office. Since then, she has continued to be in good health, and the translation work continues to move ahead.
by Phil Carr
“That word sounds familiar, but I can’t remember what it means.” Adau paused before answering me. “This word tells about the sound made when a husband and wife are fighting. When he hits her hard on her body, it makes a deep sound like a drum.” He paused for longer this time, looking far away into his memory before he said, “You know, we don’t hear that sound very much any more.” We looked at each other with thankful hearts and said, “That’s good. That’s very good.”
Adau’s words brought back to our minds a promise that God had given us years before. He said that He would bring His kingdom gradually into the Bamu area, in the same way that light before dawn imperceptibly brightens until day has come. People back home kept praying and as we continued to work to bring God’s word to the Bamu people, His kingdom kept slowly spreading.
We remembered other evidence of this prayer being answered. We remembered how Domai had encouraged her pregnant daughter to eat meat, despite strong opposition from her daughter’s husband. (Traditional beliefs ban pregnant women from eating most forms of protein, as they were thought to harm the baby.) Domai knew from translating Mark 7 and 1 Timothy 4 that God has given all foods for our benefit. The baby’s birth was the best delivery Domai’s daughter had yet had. Now pregnant women are eating protein and, as a result, mothers and babies are stronger and healthier and fewer die. We remembered how when we first came to live in our village, we were aware of an evil presence which wanted us to leave immediately. That presence has been gone for several years now.
On and on, people continue to pray and we see, little by little, God’s ways appearing, replacing the darkness. People have been praying faithfully, and God’s kingdom has been growing here, not in a sudden burst of light, but in a gradual dawning.
Lord Bless Charles ...
by Sarah Gudschinsky 1919–1975
... and bless the Gregersons, and bless Marge, and bless ...
This is the tenth of June, and custom demands that I pray for my fellow workers listed on Day 10 of the prayer directory. I don’t know very many of these people personally, and I don’t have any recent news, so my prayer is dry and hurried and impersonal – bless the Grubers, and bless ... Wait a minute! The next name on the list is my own! And I wonder with shock and horror if others today are praying “... and bless Sarah and bless Shirley ... and ...” not really praying for me at all.
The apostle Paul lived in a time of poor communication and lack of news. He carried a heavy prayer burden for churches and individuals. Yet I have no impression that his prayer was hurried or dry. It occurs to me that if I use Scripture as a base for my prayer, it may become more meaningful, more like the prayer I need from others.
Read more ...
How to Pray for a Bibleless People Group
Pray by Faith. “I will build my church.” Matt. 16:18
Pray for the Message
Pray that they may hear. “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?” Rom. 10:14
Pray that they may believe. “But the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.” Heb. 4:2
Pray that they may read or have read to them the translated Scriptures. “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it read and take to heart what is written in it.” Rev. 1:3
Pray that the indigenous churches will use the translated Scriptures. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3:16
God’s Hand in the Himalayas
by Gary Shepherd – a book review by Fiona Taylor
Gary Shepherd is a master storyteller. His ability to paint a vivid picture of a place we may never visit, to enable us to see things with our minds we may never see with our eyes, and to love people we may never meet is a special gift which he freely shares in God’s Hand in the Himalayas, the sequel to Angel Tracks in the Himalayas. Through the short, stand-alone chapters the reader is able to reconnect with Baju and be introduced to others in the Magar community who learnt to ‘lean their hearts’ on Jesus. With godly insight and wisdom, he relates stories of modern-day ‘biblical’ events in Nepal – a real life ‘Daniel’ saved from a leopard, God’s blessing flowing through a ‘Paul’ in jail and life-saving blood given for a friend. I was inspired by every page as I learnt about the sincere, simple and tenacious faith of the Magar people.
Not only are we given a privileged insight into the transforming power of God among the Magar people, but Gary challenges the reader as he himself was challenged, about the application of God’s Word to our lives and the impact that might have on generations to come. Just as Jesus taught through stories, this book is a powerful tool to see the Word in action, drawing us into a closer relationship with the One who made us.
It is said that a sequel is never as good as the original. I beg to differ.
Fill in the Action Form to order your own copy for $23 which includes postage within New Zealand.
(not sure how relevant that is for the web site)
A Legacy That is Everlasting!
Think about the word influence. Many things are influencing the world’s direction and not always for the better. In our democracy we think that influences will always be fair, but all sorts of pressures produce a hard struggle to build a society that is both just and true.
Prayer has influence and, ultimately, the greatest impact. Yet we don’t always believe that and so our prayer focus is often limited. We need to change that. I need to change that for me.
People have influence. The participation of people is a very powerful influence. Around the world there are 10,000 people involved in the Bible translation movement ‘to see the Scriptures made available through Bible translation to all peoples in the language they know best’. What a cause and what growing influence! We long to see every people group on the planet engaging with God through the Scriptures He has given, all of us receiving His Word and responding in our heart language.
Financial resources have influence. Now I am in my late 50s I think about what influence Caryl’s and my money can have to help see everyone have Scripture in their own language, whether written, audio or visual – all are necessary. We give much time to this cause but, increasingly, I ask myself, What about our money? When I have passed on from this realm of living, where should my resources go? My wife and I have decided to include Wycliffe as a beneficiary in our wills. This means that some of our financial wealth will continue to have an influence after we are deceased.
I ask you to consider making a similar bequest in your will. If not to Wycliffe then to something that you believe strongly will influence many for the sake of God’s kingdom after your time here is over. Please contact me if I can help you consider other worthy causes and organisations which I have seen being effective in God’s kingdom. Included with this mailing is information that will assist you in discussing this matter with your legal advisor.
If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life. Galatians 6:8 GNB
God richly bless you in Jesus’ precious name as you consider this important matter!