A Bible in every bilum February 14, 2013 – Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea – Written by Tim Scott Two are better than one . . . a cord of three strands is not easily broken. The truth from this ancient proverb reflects the value of partnerships. Any time there is a great need, partnerships enhance the possibility that the need will be met. The Bible Translation Partnership meeting held in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea focused on the need to build a cooperative partnership in PNG to meet the linguistic needs of the country. Members from a variety of organisations and church denominations discussed needs, challenges, solutions and strategies for three days. In the end, a covenant was created acknowledging the need and desire to work together in partnership. This partnership was deemed necessary in order to accomplish the task of encouraging ongoing, community-driven language development processes throughout the entire country. While the conference centered on the theme of partnerships, specific topics were presented highlighting training, literacy development and church engagement. YWAM* presented a new orthography development entitled “Uniskript”. Participants toured the training facilities in Ukarumpa. There were multiple opportunities for participants to network and learn what other organisations were accomplishing in the language development effort. “The conference delegates drafted a call to action: “The Bilum Covenant.” The use of the bilum, or woven string bag, unites PNG, and is a fitting symbol for the work of language development. Bilums are used to carry food, firewood, and valuables; babies sleep peacefully inside them. But they are not just practical: each bilum is a unique work of art, the result of hours of labour. Brightly coloured twisted strands are woven together to create designs that symbolise the community in which the bilum was made. Like the different coloured strands of bilum yarn, unified in one artistic creation, PNG is a diverse, multilingual country. The conference delegates hope to use this multi-faceted symbol to motivate others to get involved in the translation and language development effort.” – A conference participant The ultimate goal of The Bilum Covenant is “A Bible in every bilum”. This can only happen if many individuals, organisations and churches bind together in order to partner effectively to meet the need. *YWAM – Youth With A Mission
For more information on this release, contact ThePNGexperience, PO BOX 413, Ukarumpa, EHP 444, Papua New Guinea Phone: 011 + 675 + 537-4431 or Email: thePNGexperience@gmail.com “Tok Save” is the PNG “Tok Pisin” term for announcement or “For your information”. The English spelling conforms to Commonwealth English spelling.