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Jim Bowen

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Latest Updates from Jim Bowen

24 February 2018

Taking the Next Step
A report on the Trenem Tingting Short Course
Rain welcomed us to Imayo village on Tanna island and remained our close friend for the rest of our stay. But the cloud and soggy ground in no way dampened the enthusiasm of the Imayo community who became the daily participants of the Trenem Tingting Course.
Only two of those we had invited and expected to come, came to the course, but as Loui boldly announced, “It just must be God’s will that we teach these people.” And so we did.
After devotions focussing on the creator rights of God over his creation, Ross, Loui and Epson opened the ‘show’ with a few short dramas. The dramas portrayed real life situations where we are prone to act before we think. We then moved quickly to various activities related to Bible reading and the errors we commonly make such as taking a glance rather than reading carefully. Or taking a single verse out of the passage and so distorting the meaning. Or trying to answer questions the Bible text doesn’t answer. And more!
Loui and Epson, members of Vanuatu Bible Translation, have listened, learned and taken minor teaching roles in these courses for the last year or two, but the Imayo course saw them take a good step forward. They really did step up to confidently present the prepared material using colourful illustrations to point out needed Bible reading skills. Loui then bravely tackled a passage from Mark’s gospel, helping the participants to read through it carefully and determine Mark’s intended meaning. Epson lead them through another activity to stimulate ‘asking questions’. They made comments, answered questions, chatted after hours. They excelled, and were pleased.
Perhaps even better than witnessing their teaching talents was seeing Loui and Epson’s pleasure in seeing their new friends respond with interest and many an ‘ah-ha’ as they grasped what was being presented. That seems like a sign that they are ready to take yet another step and the next one after that.
Back from Tanna, tired but happy and time to relax? No. There’s one more part of the men’s agenda to fulfill. Another step forward is that Loui has recently begun acting on his thoughts; “I hate seeing cartons of New Testaments in the storage container. We’ve got to get them out there,” he says. So Sunday saw us all at Melemaat church handing out New Testaments to Epson’s wider family, from South East Ambrym, who live in Port Vila.
Vanuatu Bible Translation members are increasing in confidence and competence. Thankyou Wycliffe Australia for financially enabling Loui and Epson to move forward. They are already warming up to give it another go in September, God willing!

Submitted by Lyndal Webb

29 May 2017

Taking the Next Step
A report on the Trenem Tingting Short Course
Rain welcomed us to Imayo village on Tanna island and remained our close friend for the rest of our stay. But the cloud and soggy ground in no way dampened the enthusiasm of the Imayo community who became the daily participants of the Trenem Tingting Course.
Only two of those we had invited and expected to come, came to the course, but as Loui boldly announced, “It just must be God’s will that we teach these people.” And so we did.
After devotions focussing on the creator rights of God over his creation, Ross, Loui and Epson opened the ‘show’ with a few short dramas. The dramas portrayed real life situations where we are prone to act before we think. We then moved quickly to various activities related to Bible reading and the errors we commonly make such as taking a glance rather than reading carefully. Or taking a single verse out of the passage and so distorting the meaning. Or trying to answer questions the Bible text doesn’t answer. And more!
Loui and Epson, members of Vanuatu Bible Translation, have listened, learned and taken minor teaching roles in these courses for the last year or two, but the Imayo course saw them take a good step forward. They really did step up to confidently present the prepared material using colourful illustrations to point out needed Bible reading skills. Loui then bravely tackled a passage from Mark’s gospel, helping the participants to read through it carefully and determine Mark’s intended meaning. Epson lead them through another activity to stimulate ‘asking questions’. They made comments, answered questions, chatted after hours. They excelled, and were pleased.
Perhaps even better than witnessing their teaching talents was seeing Loui and Epson’s pleasure in seeing their new friends respond with interest and many an ‘ah-ha’ as they grasped what was being presented. That seems like a sign that they are ready to take yet another step and the next one after that.
Back from Tanna, tired but happy and time to relax? No. There’s one more part of the men’s agenda to fulfill. Another step forward is that Loui has recently begun acting on his thoughts; “I hate seeing cartons of New Testaments in the storage container. We’ve got to get them out there,” he says. So Sunday saw us all at Melemaat church handing out New Testaments to Epson’s wider family, from South East Ambrym, who live in Port Vila.
Vanuatu Bible Translation members are increasing in confidence and competence. Thankyou Wycliffe Australia for financially enabling Loui and Epson to move forward. They are already warming up to give it another go in September, God willing!

Submitted by Lyndal Webb

09 March 2017

Lyndal Webb shares some short encouraging snippets of discussions from last September’s workshop.

Bible discussion on the last morning of the workshop:

‘OK,’ began Manita, ‘Verse 8 says tell God thank you, verse 9 says we must praise him,’ and he continued noting what David wrote in each verse. ‘Yes, but look at Verse 11 and 12,’ added Grem. ‘We must look only to God and we must talk about his miracles. That means how he has saved us, ah?’

‘You know,’ continued Grem, ‘at the first session of Trenem Tingting (name of the course) I didn’t really ‘get it’ but this time, I have. I see now that following God is not about ‘prosperity’. No, the good things from God are what’s in His Word. I get it now.’

Pier, a single young man, reflects on passages from Genesis and Ephesians:

‘My thinking changed through reading what God’s Word says about marriage.’

Praise God for the things that these participants have learnt. Pray that they will be able to share what they have learnt with their community.

30 January 2017

Both the local community and churches are supportive of the translation and literacy efforts. The publishing of Luke in March 2015 has been well received.

Déli Timothée, Sunday school instructor, says:

As a Sunday School instructor, I have realized that these translated Scriptures make teaching more effective. Children easily understand the message when they are taught in their heart language rather than in Fulfulde or in French. It has been a wonderful experience for me.

ZRA Konaï says:

I have never been to school, but thanks to the literacy classes, I learned to read and write in my language. Now I can read the book of Luke in my language that allows me to discover God. I now know that God loves me but he hates sin. I would love to live in the fear of God so that sin does not prevent me to benefit from his love.

02 January 2017

This project has been renamed. The following 2016 projects are now combined into this one project for 2017:
Project 8814 Consultant Support for National Translators – South Asia
Project 8810 K* Literacy & Health Training – South Asia
Project 8812 T* Translation, Literacy & Community Health Training – South Asia

30 November 2016

The Moba literacy project has been ongoing for a few years. We thank the faithful supporters who have given towards this project and enabled testimonies such as Noumpoa’s, mother of seven:

I had gone to spend Sunday night with my parents in order to be able to get medical care on Monday morning. On my return, I did not see my daughter, who is eleven years of age and illiterate.

After asking around, I learned that a young man came to take her Sunday night. Thank God that we learned in the primers the seriously bad consequences of child marriage and the advice that the primers gave us for having an enlightened marriage (to be at least twenty years old and have a job so as not to be always dependent on one’s husband). Thus I went to see the sub-chief of my village on Thursday. Since the sub-chief did not want to deal with the situation immediately, I told him that I preferred to put the problem into the hands of more competent authorities.

I was in the process of going to see that authority when I received a telephone call that my daughter had been returned. I am very happy that literacy brought me out of ignorance. Without literacy, my daughter would have had to live with the seriously bad consequences of child marriage.’

09 November 2016

One particular benefit of the Trenem Tingting course is that participants learn how to apply Scripture in very practical ways. For example, one man said, ‘I see now that following God is not about prosperity. No, the good things from God are what’s in his Word. I get it now.’

The results of the training are also having a ripple effect. In one community, an elder applied his critical thinking training by teaching the children to think before killing small crabs so that they could grow and reproduce. In the same community, the women who took part in an analytical skills course realised that their propensity to gossip was causing division in their village because they were jumping to conclusions rather than seeking truth from God’s Word.

31 January 2016

Since its publication in March 2015, the Gospel of Luke in Basnami* has been used in almost all the local churches and many home Bible study groups. And the impact of having Scripture in their mother tongue is very clear, as people begin to understand the meaning of God’s Word for themselves.

The team’s aim for 2016 is to finish Acts, draft Matthew, and expand their 11 literacy classes currently operating in the community.

*pseudonym

Thanks for your patience...

Waiting is hard, isn't it. But imagine waiting 2000 years for Scripture in your language! Thanks for your patience. And thanks for your generous support which will help bring the long wait to an end...