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Bible poetry comes alive in the Tokples

23 October, 2012 – Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea – Tim Scott (photos by Steven Ttopoqogo)

“The translation team in the village is working on the Old Testament. They are struggling with the books that have poetry in them. This is one way BTA can help them, by bringing all the people together so that they can share ideas and see how poetry in their Tokples reflects the poetry in the Bible.” Steven Ttopoqogo – PNG Bible Translation Association (BTA) The workshops were held in Morobe province in the village of Garasa and included the Guhu Samane language and the Amam language which is located close to Kunimaipa. The leaders of the workshop invited forty people but were excited to see fifty-four people actually participate. One of the strategies that the participants developed was singing translated Biblical poetry using Tokples music. As others heard these songs, they wanted to hear them again and again so that they could learn them. “There was a real sense of ownership of the songs when they heard them in their heart language and in their familiar tunes.” One of the impacts of the workshop was the renewing of relationships strained from fighting that occurred over twenty years ago. On the first day of the workshop, community, workshop and church leaders met and decided that the participants from both groups would live, eat and work together. “These two language groups have never met together to work on anything because there was a fight many years ago. Bringing the two teams together was a scary thing for us to do. We prayed hard that God would reconnect the relationships between these two groups. This was the first time in over twenty years that the two groups have come together as one. Before this we didn’t share the same house or eat with each other. So this was something awesome. We felt the hand of God over us and we could come together and had fellowship and shared together.” Steven Ttopoqogo - BTA Overall, the workshop was considered a great success and the work accomplished there is expected to improve the translation work and community relationships. SIL-PNG known as “Summer Institute of Linguistics” in Papua New Guinea is a faith-based non-profit organization committed to serving language communities throughout Papua New Guinea as they build capacity for sustainable language development. PNG Bible Translation Association is a Papua New Guinean organisation committed to translating the Bible into the languages of the country. For more information on this release, contact SIL-PNG, PO BOX 413, EHP 444, Papua New Guinea Phone: 011 + 675 + 537-4431 or Email: DO-CCO@sil.org.pg “Tok Save” is the PNG “Tok Pisin” term for announcement or “For your information”


Poetry Workshop