|“Rather, as it is written: ‘Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.'” – Rom. 15:21. This verse has just come true in the Wantakia tribe!|
“Why are you asking us questions about God’s Word and expecting us to understand it?” When the missionaries in Wantakia started to translate the Bible into the Wantakian’s language, they read portions of it to their language helpers, and asked them questions to make sure the translation made sense. However, they didn’t expect the response that they got. The people were confused as to why the missionaries were expecting them to understand God’s Word. Any missionaries or religious leaders that came in the past had never expected them to truly understand. They had just read them the Bible in the trade language, told them what to do, and moved on. This idea that God’s Word could be something understandable was new.
Making God’s Word understandable is a major goal of NTM. It’s why we translate the Bible into people’s heart language, live with them so we understand their culture, teach through the Bible chronologically, and teach literacy so people can read it for themselves. A lot of people ask why it takes NTM so long to plant a church. Well, time is what it takes to make the difference between people hearing God’s Word, and truly understanding it.
Let me illustrate this point by sharing with you a few stories about my kids. Now, they are native English speakers, but there are many times that they hear something without understanding what is meant by it.
Matt: “Mommy is losing her mind.”
Wyck: “How will she get her mind back?”
TV show: “He’s never had a drink in his whole life.”
Ty: “He has never drinken anything in his whole life?!”
They understood the words, but not the meaning. A good translation takes into account people’s understanding and writes in a way that will make sense to them.
This is the goal. This is what we are laboring for. And we are rejoicing as people have just understood and accepted God’s Word in Wantakia, Amdu, and Pei! Thank you for working with us in this goal.
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
|Left: Ty standing in front of the school here. Right: Ty “piloting” one of NTM’s helicopters.|
– God’s Word continues to go forward in PNG
– Homeschooling the boys is going well
– Karissa’s headaches have been better lately
– For missionaries to be able to come back to PNG (most people have gotten their flights cancelled)
– That the school here will be able to start in January
– For Matt as he balances his different roles
|This month’s tribal focus: The Tangguat work. These are our friends, the Chens, who recently came to our center and we were able to visit with them. They, along with another missionary family, are working on learning language and culture right now, so that they can share God’s Word clearly. The area they are in is near an area that already has believers, so they have the cool opportunity to partner with those believers to reach another village near them.|