As it turns out, the ‘Finish Line’ for completing our Tugutil Bible is not a narrow ribbon which sprinters break through in a single moment in time, but rather consists of many segments. In our last update we mentioned the first stage of completion, which was the final consultant check of our New Testament translation (late 2019), and also the final editing stage that took much of 2020 and the first few months of 2021. Now we are thrilled to pass along that two more ‘finish line’ stages have been completed – the actual printing of the first 1,200 copies of the Tugutil Bible, and their shipment by boat and truck to our regional center, where they can later be delivered by small plane to the Tugutil people!
But a few stages of the finish line remain, due mostly to the ongoing pandemic that is still hitting Asia harder than the US. We had been planning to hold a large Bible dedication ceremony in the Tugutil village this Fall, but we are now pushing that back to sometime in 2022 when it will be safer for all involved and less complicated for international travel. Although the celebration is on hold, we don’t want to keep the newly printed Bibles out of the hands of our fellow believers who have been awaiting it for so long. So, we are now communicating with some of the Tugutil leaders to determine when we should send the first several hundred Bibles interior to them, and how their distribution should be handled.
Also, we have heard that the audio recording of the Tugutil New Testament started in late June but was suspended in mid-July because of the pandemic after completing 11% of the NT text. At this point there is no firm date for resuming the recording project.
Another stage of the finish line that we are nearly ready to check off our list is the Tugutil Bible app for smartphones and tablets. Now that the editing of the text is finished, we can update the app for the handful of Tugutil believers that have compatible devices. Believe it or not, the availability of such technology is slowly growing even in such remote areas as Tugutil land!
To summarize these various stages of the Finish Line for the purposes of praise and prayer requests, here is a checklist:
- Consultant Checking (Nov 2019)
- Final Editing (Mar 2021)
- First Printing (June 2021)
- Shipping to Regional Center (Aug 2021)
Yet to be completed:
- Delivery of Bibles to Tugutil church
- Distribution to Tugutil outreach areas
- Audio Recording of NT
- Update of Tugutil Bible app
We very much appreciate the role that all of you have played through your continued prayers for the growth of the Tugutil church and the completion of their Bible. It is very exciting to reach these final stages!
We also heard recently that the original church building in Tugutil land is deteriorating rather quickly. This comes as no surprise since it was built in 1995 with less-than-stellar construction, and is in the middle of the tropics, where decay is accelerated. The believers there have contributed the equivalent of US$7,000 to date toward a new church building project, which paid for an architect’s blueprint, a cement foundation and a few pillars. The initial cost estimate for the new church is US$57,000, a mere fraction of what one would cost in most countries. One church here in the US is contributing a very generous gift of US$20,000 to the project, and the Tugutil believers are trusting the Lord to raise up the rest of what is needed to complete their new meeting place. If any of you are interested in helping, please let us know.
Because of Calvary,
Bob & Debbie Clark