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