Warm Spring greetings from Florida,
Two weeks ago I returned home once again from the country where the Lord has given us a ministry since 1990. Due to security reasons, we are no longer using the name of the country in updates or other correspondence, but instead will refer to it as the ‘Asia-Pacific region.’
The purpose of my trip this time was not to check and approve Scripture portions that had been translated into various languages, as is usually the case. Instead I had the privilege of working with missionary teams who are newer to the Asia-Pacific region, and are just transitioning from the study of tribal culture and language into the beginning of their respective translation projects for their remote language groups. The occasion of our gathering was a Team Translation Workshop which lasted two weeks. Each day of the workshop presented training in principles and procedures for accurately translating the Word of God in a clear and natural way. There were 20 missionaries and six native speakers in attendance, representing six different people groups. These six groups, Lord willing, will soon be reading and hearing Scripture portions in their own heart languages for the very first time. The teaching was done in English, and then each afternoon the teams worked with the native speakers from their tribal areas in order to put into practice the principles and procedures, by translating Joseph’s story from Genesis into the respective tribal languages.
The amount of material covered during the two weeks of the workshop was considerable, but all the missionaries were very diligent, some of them putting in many extra hours in order to learn as much as possible. I enjoyed observing and helping them as they worked with their fellow missionaries and also with the native speakers, who came out to the city specifically to help them during the course of the workshop.
You may remember that I had originally planned to travel into the Tugutil tribe after the conclusion of the workshop in order to work on our own translation of the few remaining New Testament books. However due to the quickly deteriorating health of Debbie’s mom and the strain and grief it creates for the family, we decided that it would be best if I came home as soon as possible after the workshop. In the end the Lord opened up a seat for me on all three legs of my itinerary so that I could get home two weeks ahead of schedule and be here with Debbie and her parents during this difficult time. We are now at the stage where all of us, including Debbie’s mom, are praying for a very soon and peaceful transition for her from this earth to her permanent home in heaven.
We would love to hear from you, and we definitely appreciate your prayers for us, our family, and those to whom we minister. Thank you so much for your partnership with us!
Additional Note: Not long after this update was written, Debbie’s mom passed from this earth to the presence of the Lord. She died in her sleep, which was an answer to our prayers and hers. Thank you all who have been praying for us!
Because of Calvary,
Bob & Debbie Clark