140 Bible Society supporters representing several churches and denominations from the East Coast Bays came together at Northcross Community Church in Browns Bay for coffee and dessert in September. They heard, first hand from the translators involved in the Waskia Translation revision project of Papua New Guinea.
Jan Lee, a member of St. John's Anglican Church in Campbells Bay, spoke of her Waskia brothers and sisters, her work on the original translation in the 70's & 80's, and God's guidance in leading her to return to Karkar Island to be involved in the Waskia translation revision.
People gathered also had the pleasure of hearing from Head Translation Coordinator Rev Lapan Lavong and Linguistics expert Aditha Boroman from Karkar Island.
Aditha spoke of the phases of translations and the importance of people needing to hear and understand God's Word; while Lapan, whose father was the original Waskia Translation Coordinator, spoke of the importance of God's Word in people's lives, the daily lives of the Waskia people, and the need for a revision to speak God's Word to a new generation.
The passion and commitment shown by these three translators was a pleasure to witness.
Stephen Pattemore, the United Bible Societies Translation Consultant, also gave an address about his involvement with the Waskia translation and the necessity of people having the Scriptures in their "Heart Language".
The evening's entertainment included St John's congregational choir singing a song in Waskian, and the rhythms of the talented musical Balzat family.
Since this event Michael Mardon, the Auckland Regional Representative of Bible Society New Zealand, has received the following letter from the Waskia Translators, Rev Lapan Lavong and Aditha Boroman:
On behalf of the Waskia Language Project Committee and the more than 25,000 people of Waskia, we would like to extend our word of appreciation to Bible Society East Coast Bays' Action Group for such a great effort with the fundraising event in September.
We are thankful that this event and the money raised is a great contribution towards the revision and reprinting of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Waskia language for the betterment of the effectiveness of Gospel and the faith of the Christian Waskia communities back in Papua New Guinea. A brief report of the event was sent back to Karkar Island, and the project committee and village leaders and our families heard about it and extended their acknowledgement and wishes. They said they would remember all of us here in New Zealand in their prayers.
We really appreciate your standing with us in the project, and we remember you all too in our prayers with thankfulness.
May the joy of the Lord be with you all!
Rev. Lapan Lavong
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As a little girl, Mrs Bala wanted to learn to read and write, but owing to her family’s poverty she was unable to. Now, at the age of 75 she has been attending Bible Society literacy classes at the Chourkhuli Church of Bangladesh in Kotalipara in southwestern Bangladesh.