Joanna Frampton

Boomerang to PNG

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I feel a bit like a boomerang sometimes. Since I ‘officially’ returned from Papua New Guinea, I’ve already had the opportunity for a couple of short trips back for translation-related work and another such visit is currently looming. On Saturday, I will head back to Alotau for three weeks to help with the checking of translated scriptures in two different languages. I’m conscious that I’m a bit rusty in that activity these days, but both the languages I’ll be working with are ones I have checked before, which helps a bit.

For the first week there (27 Feb – 3 March) I’ll be checking some Old Testament portions in the Kaninuwa language, spoken on Goodenough Island. Kaninuwa were part of the VITAL multi-language programme with which I was involved for several years, so I already know the translators and it will be really good to see them again.

For the two weeks after that, I’ll have the privilege of checking the last few epistles in the Gumuwana New Testament. Gumawana is spoken on the tiny and remote Amphlett Islands, by fewer than 400 people. Clif, the SIL advisor who works alongside them, has had to be US-based for the last several years, making twice-yearly trips to PNG, so progress on the New Testament has inevitably been slowed, but the end is now in sight. I have checked with Clif and his team twice before and learnt a lot myself in the process, so I am really glad to be able to be in on the ‘home straight’ with them as well!

A huge fringe benefit of this trip is of course that I will get to spend three weeks sharing a flat in Alotau with my friend and longtime teammate, Marisa. We are both looking forward to having plenty of time to catch up with one another.

I’d love to be able to cross paths with Margaret Poynton too, as it’s looking like we both may be briefly in Port Moresby at the same time over the last weekend of my stay.

I’d value your  prayers for this time away especially along the following lines:

That I’d be able relate well to the translators and checking assistants and that together we would find any areas where the translation might need to be improved. That the translators would be encouraged, and that the village folk who come to help with the checking would be blessed by this time of hearing and reading the scriptures in their languages. That I’d be able to be an encouragement to Marisa For all the travelling arrangements to proceed safely and smoothly

Nursing Plus book review

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Nursing Plus is well-named! It certainly does tell the story of Edna Brooker’s 24 years of service with CMS, providing nursing care in a remote part of Northern Australia, often as the only medical professional on her station, and in living and working conditions that could at best be described as decidedly challenging. But it does much more than that. It gives a window into the lives of the indigenous people among whom Edna served and the various challenges they faced as their culture came into contact both with the Gospel and with the increasingly available accoutrements of urban culture. Drawing heavily on letters written home during those years, Edna paints an honest picture, often laced with humour, of the joys, frustrations, disappointments, sleep deprivation, medical crises and various other adventures that made up her life in Arnhem land. Above all, however, she tells of the individuals who peopled it and of the way God led her there, sustained her for two and a half decades in a demanding environment, and enabled  her to minister both physically and spiritually to the communities among whom she served. Edna’s story is worth the telling and worth reading!

Joanna the Master

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Many thanks to those of you who have been praying for me over the last two or three years that I have been working on my M.A. studies through Otago University. I submitted my thesis in October last year and a few weeks ago was pleased to learn that it has been accepted. I just scraped into the pass with distinction category (your prayers again!) and am currently making some required corrections and improvements before it is bound. In spite of the catchy title (‘Maisin: the Grammatical Description of an Oceanic Language in Papua New Guinea’), I am not expecting it to be a best-seller, but am still glad to have been able to contribute something to the documentation of this unique and beautiful language. I would also love it if it could be a resource that will be of some use to the ongoing translation of the scriptures into the Maisin language.  I am so grateful to NZCMS for the gift of the opportunity to undertake this study.