High in the Eastern Highlands of Indonesia, a crowd waits at the edge of an isolated runway. The silence is broken only by the occasional sound of weeping and wailing. A small plane can be heard approaching.
The wheels touch-down. The plane slows to a stop.
Boxes are handed down and, as if at a signal, pandemonium breaks out. The Kimyal people have the New Testament in their heart language for the first time.
It’s a translation story spanning decades. In 1968, work on the translation was abruptly halted when two missionaries to the Kimyal people, Phil Masters and Stan Dale, were martyred by a neighbouring tribe.
The work lay dormant until 1995 when a translation team under the supervision of Bible Society Translation Consultant, Dr Lourens de Vries, took it up once again.
Watch this 5-minute video to see the emotions of the Kimyal community in West Papua, Indonesia, as they receive the first copies of the New Testament in their language.
This article is from The Word at Work – New Year 2011.