Page 1

2012­03­25 Cooper PNG InfoBites.  ZZZZ



Each trip to PNG– during my two to three months sojourn there - lack of Z's is the norm! I am often up between five & five-thirty AM, and we usually "shut down" our translation activities sometime after eight-thirty in the evenings. My fellow translator Joyce's husband, Simon, provides daily transport to Alotau for our part of Sagarai valley in his big truck, and his hours are sometimes longer than ours, so it was no surprise to me when I (Russ) caught him snoozing in the back of his truck on one of the benches. Simon Sleeping in his Truck (left) Later, Simon told me that he had done a two-thirty AM run the previous night (that is to say, early that same morning).

However, the following week, after my returning to the SIL centre in Alotau it was my turn to be caught napping – as our manager, Mark Farr, caught me snoozing in my temporary room in the TRFbuilding. Russ Snoozing in his Temporary Room at the Centre in Alotau (right) Needless to say, after two months of very long work days – often continuing into the night, I have found myself sleeping "a bit extra" on my return to the States. Haven't made it up before sunrise my whole first week! (and I find myself falling asleep in my recliner chair at times also!) After our Revised Draft, What's Next for Acts? On February 27th Joyce Simon, Matie-matie Igayoma and I finished the revisions of the final chapter of ACTS, from chapter 28 verses 29-31 ! We then selected pictures, worked on our footnotes, and formatted and printed out 40 copies of the last 9 chapters for village checking. 2012-03-25 Cooper PNG InfoBites

reprinted 3/25/12

Page 1 of 4

After this a round of community checking took place at Sinalili which is the southernmost village in our main Buhutu area. (There are other Buhutu-speaking villages on the other side of the range to the south also.) When all of Acts is community checked – Lord willing in 2013 – it must then be consultant checked and prepared for publication, in a procedure similar to what we've just done for Mark's Gospel Mark Dedication -- Setting up the Steering Committee On SATURDAY, March 3rd we held an all day planning meeting underneath our Ipouli house (which is right in the middle of the Buhutu area).

Dumodi Wolaka (left) was elected as chairman of the Steering Committee for the Buhutu Mark Dedication, which is scheduled for Sunday September 16th, on PNG Independence Day! The Steering committee will begin meeting on the first of May to plan for all of the activities related to this celebration of the arrival of Mark's Gospel, which is entitled Wasa Loholohona Maleko ya Uli in the Buhutu language. Dumodi has an equal representation of Protestant and Catholic leaders on the planning, or steering committee and each local church representative will be responsible for collecting payment for the individual copies of Mark's Gospel (at USD $3.00 each) and he or she also will report to their own denominational leadership in planning for this event.

Antaumana -- Church Visitation To promote the Buhutu Scripture translation project throughout the whole valley area and in particular to bring awareness concerning the Buhutu Gospel of Mark dedication, the team does "Antaumana" or church visitation activities, during which time team members share in the worship service and also do awareness after the service. I (Russ) was able to participate in three such awareness visits during this brief trip to PNG. The first was the semi-annual meeting of the Kwato denomination's pastors and lay leaders in February (at Ipouli village), then the visit to Gabi- te'u congregation on March 4th and to the Lele-bada congregation on March 11th. On March 4th our antaumana or translation team visit was to one of our most distant churches Gabi- Te'u in the Northwest “corner” of the language area. We had "six" people share testimonies and scripture passages,and it was my privilege to share from the last chapter of Acts. My surprise was in a cloth bag and when I got to the part where" a snake came out (of the fire) on account of the heat and fastened itself to Paul's hand" I reached into my bag and extracted Mary's rubber snake (which we keep at our Ipouli house.) The Following Sunday (March 11th) our antaumana visit was Hwalu- hwalu which the local folk now call Lele-bada. We did not get photos there but the retired pastor there is "pushing 100," and entertained us in the afternoon with traditional chants. Some of our younger team members who'd lived in towns, had never heard these traditional songs–but I had collected many similar chants back in 1968 at Suau. 2012-03-25 Cooper PNG InfoBites

reprinted 3/25/12

Page 2 of 4

Prayer point: Dumodi (in the photo on page two) and John Bosei, among others, have done additional "antaumana" or church visits recently, and the steering committee plans more such visits over the next five and a half months before the Mark dedication. Acts Checking -- at Sinalili Whenever we go to a "new village" to do scripture checking, the first couple of days involves helping the local community become familiar with the checking process, so we must review what it means for a passage to be "clear, accurate & natural" and show how we go about comparing several English versions such as New International, Good News, and the New Living Bible with the Greek, and also with Motu, Tok Pisin and other neighboring languages such as Tawala and Suau to insure that we have the right meaning when we put it into Buhutu or check the Buhutu version. We also check against T4T (Translation for Translators) and the East Papua Front Translation which has been prepared in English specifically for our part of Papua New Guinea. In regard to the latter part of the book of Acts we also needed to share about the geography of the Mediterranean regions along with the culture of the Jews compared to the laws and culture of the Romans and Greeks. In the mornings we also did a brief S.S. lesson with the small kids who do not yet go to school, and then held devotions both before our morning sessions and also in the evenings after dinner. Some nights we also showed Christian movies on our laptop computer screens. Sinalili pre-schoolers doing "Fishers of Men" action chorus with their parents. Note the beautiful carvings & English and Suau verses carved in the support beams of the church. The teachers were given crayons, and scissors and the various Big Books produced at VITAL, and our translation and literacy team members shared several demonstration lessons with them. By the time we had been at Sinalili for a couple of days, it was apparent that they "got the point" about how to do translation and translation checking, and it was exciting to see them correcting us, the trained translation team members, as they themselves became "owners of the process" and were able to share better ways to express certain key terms and ways of wording things. This Sinalili group were not just fixing spelling and punctuation or an occasional word choice, but were sometimes re-doing whole passages to make them clearer and more accurate! The high point of our one week checking sessions at Sinalili was when on the last day, at the suggestion of the pastor and lay leader of the congregation, we were able to break ourselves up into four smaller groups – each assigned to work on a specific passage. It worked! By spreading our trained VITAL and TTC team members throughout each of their groups, we could help them move 2012-03-25 Cooper PNG InfoBites

reprinted 3/25/12

Page 3 of 4

ahead smoothly, and they were able to engage themselves fully in the translation & checking process, with each group coming up with revisions which were in turn critiqued by the other three groups! Wow! That was a neat experience. Out of the Sinalili experience we have discovered some very helpful things to improve our checking process, but more importantly we have found in this community of believers, a group of people who are committed to helping us get the whole New Testament into their language as soon as possible. Speaking for the Sinalili Youth, Cecily Poli said, "You can call on us anytime, anywhere!" to lend a hand not only for the Mark dedication, but also in completing the community check of the book of Acts. And, I personally believe that they also want to be able to say of these last 8 to 10 chapters of Acts – "These are our chapters. These are the ones we did!" Yes! The Pre-schoolers Were Listening Too Cecily (red shirt in the middle) One last note from Sinalili. Whilst the adults and her group checking Acts were inside the church working on their passages, I passage happened to look outside where the preschool children were playing over by an older almost abandoned buildings. The adults were working on the passage where the Roman commander and his soldiers had rescued Paul from an angry mob of Jewish rioters. The little kids heard the discussions about all of those Tau Hiyala or soldiers and as I watched they began making swords from sago stems (one even made a long, long rifle), and then they began acting out their roles as swash-buckling swordfighters! God bless, Russ& Mary

US address for personal correspondence: Russ & Mary Cooper 2800 SE 1st Street, Apt 64 Gresham, Oregon 97080 USA Phone: 503-491-8915 Email: <>

Wycliffe USA Office for financial support: Wycliffe Bible Translators P.O. Box 628200 Orlando, Florida 32864-8200 USA

Any designated gifts toward scripture publication should be identified as such: for Russ & Mary Cooper: Buhutu Gospel of Mark & publication. Please visit us on Facebook also. 2012-03-25 Cooper PNG InfoBites

reprinted 3/25/12

Page 4 of 4

2012-03-25 Cooper PNG Infobites  

monthly update from Rusds & Mary Cooper on Bible Translation programme in the Buhutu language, Sagarai Valley, Milne Bay Province, Papua New...