What Gene Does
Twenty five years have gone by since we started church planting among the Manubu’ people. In October of 2011 we completed translating the New Testament into two Manubu’ dialects and it was printed by The Philippine Bible Society. I am presently doing a final revision of approximately 300 Bible lesson in each of the two dialects. They have been the best 25 years of our lives. It has been a real privilege to be God’s channel to the Manubu’ people. And, God has been shaping and molding us also during those years – sometimes much to our discomfort – but always for our benefit.
Translation of the Scriptures
Manubu’ believers have been doing all of the evangelism and other Bible teaching for many years now. Having completed translation of the New Testament, the next step in translation is to translate more of the Old Testament for them. I don’t have enough years left to do it all, but I want to do all that I can. When translating, I study to determine the meaning and then do a rough draft translation. Then I go over it with Manubu’ translation helpers, who are also Bible teachers, until I am confident that it communicates to them what I understand the passage to say and until they are confident that it will be easily understood by those reading it or hearing it.
After Carol enters the corrections they have made into the computer she prints it out again and some of my translation helpers check it with other Manubu’ believers to make sure it communicates. Carol enters any corrections they have made into the computer and then she converts the translation into the lowland dialect. About every 10 days translation helpers travel 22 miles down the rough, discontinued logging road by motorcycle to check the translation with lowland Manubu’ believers. We make note of any changes and leave the translation with them to check over again by themselves.
Revising Bible Commentary
After I revise a Manubu’ Bible lesson I give it to my translation helpers and they correct it – often rewriting some of it to make it clearer – and they also add more cultural illustrations. When they are done with a lesson it is usually has quite a few red corrections and rewrites which they have done to make it more natural Manubu’. Either Carol or a Manubu’ believer will then type the corrections in the computer, and I will go over it to make sure that everything is correct. Then, translation helpers read the lesson through as “homework” and make more corrections. When it is all done Carol converts it to the lowland dialect. Any major changes are then checked by my translation helpers with the Manubu’ translation helpers in the lowlands
Advising Church Leadership
All of the Manubu’ churches are now led by Manubu’ men. They are able to handle any problems that arise and seldom need counsel from me anymore.
I also keep the motorcycle, computers, mud truck, and other equipment and the house maintained and oversee the maintenance of our airstrip.
What Carol Does
I am very thankful that God in His grace has allowed me to have a part in taking the Gospel to the Manubu’ people. I am not a great language learner and I have no outstanding talents, but I have had the privilege of actually being present when after months of chronological teaching people have understood that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for their sins on the cross. One lady was so in awe of what Jesus had done she kept repeating what Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.” She had been trying for years to work her way to heaven.
I have had the privilege of hearing Gene’s translation helpers as they discuss God’s Word that they were hearing for the very first time. What a joy to hear Manubu’ believers reading God’s Word out loud in their homes!
I have seen children whom I taught to read and write several years ago become Bible teachers and translation helpers and men and women who desire to please God. I have had a part in improving the health of people who used to depend on sacrifices to the spirits for good health. Sometimes people say, “You have sacrificed so much to live in the jungles of the Philippines,” but it’s not a sacrifice – it is a wonderful privilege.
Being a Translator’s Helpmate
My job is to do whatever helps Gene so he can concentrate on translating the Scriptures and writing the Bible lessons. For example, if there is a book that Gene wants to use for reference that has no Scripture index, I make an index. If there is something that needs a lot of research, I help him with that.
Providing Snacks & Heading Off Interruptions
As Gene and his translation helpers work I bring them snacks and also handle as many requests as I can from people who come to the door so Gene and his helpers aren’t interrupted.
Converting the Translation
We work in two dialects. When Gene has the mountain dialect translation done I make the changes to the lowland dialect and print it so that it can be taken to lowland Manubu’ Bible teacher\translation helpers for them to check it. I do the same with the Bible lessons.
Formatting and Printing
I take the Bible lessons and Scripture portions that Gene and his translation helpers have completed and reformat them in the computer into book form, add drawings and pictures where appropriate and then print the books on our laser printer. Now that the New Testament is finished and commercially printed I will continue to that for the Old Testament portions he translates. I oversee the Manubu’ believers who put together the books for the Bible teachers and for anyone else who wants them to read and study. We make covers for the books and then drill holes along one side and sew them together.
As the Manubu’ continue to evangelize my job keeps getting bigger and bigger as the number of believers and Bible teachers keeps increasing. Sometimes a Bible teacher just happens to mention that he is nearly done teaching one book of the Bible and needs the teaching material for the next book of the Bible so all of a sudden I need to have several new books of Bible lessons ready within just a few days. I am very thankful for the computer equipment the Lord has provided to enable us to do the job.
The only reading material the people have in their language is what we can provide so I work on small reading books that we hope will encourage the people to improve their reading skills.
Writing a Manobo Topical Concordance
When ever I have time to do so I work on making a Manubu’ topical concordance of scripture. It is a massive job that will take many years.
Updating our Manubu’ dictionary
We can’t remember all the Manubu’ words we hear so I type new words into a Manubu’ dictionary in the computer with examples of how they are used so Gene can refer to it when translating.
Helping the Clinic Ladies
I also help the women who work at the village first aid station when there is something they can’t handle. I translated the book “Where There is no Doctor” into Manubu’ and those who work at the first aid station have to first study it and take a test on it.
… And, in my spare time, I do the cooking and housework.