The Simbari church is doing these classes as a ministry to the community. There are twenty adults in one study, twelve at another and twenty in literacy, and even more kids. They are meeting in different places around the village for the daily teaching. Pray for regular attendance and for God to open hearts and minds to the truths of the Bible. Some from the church had trusted in Christ when the NTM missionaries were presenting later lessons in the foundational teaching curriculum. Therefore, they are really looking forward to hearing the whole story from the beginning along with the new folks.
The Simbari church in Port Moresby is currently teaching in 1 Corinthians. David and his translation helper Raymond recently completed working through another revision of 4800 verses of the New Testament and Shari is back-translating the book of Luke. Since the teaching and literacy classes started the attendance has continued to grow. Please pray.
There is a saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” to which the answer is “one bite at a time.” Similarly the answer to: “How do you spell-check in a previously unwritten language?” is simply “one word at a time.” After completing a recent translation revision, it was time for a spell check. Spell checking is one of the many procedures that must be completed before the translation is ready for printing and distribution. Normally when spell checking using a word processor at a click of a button job is done in seconds. However, that is dependent on having a completed lexicon/dictionary in the language.
The Simbari lexicon/dictionary has been a work in progress for many years but it is not complete. Before this current spell check, the team had about 25,000 words entered. It has been a while since they spell checked the translation, confirming the spelling of new vocabulary and adding them to the lexicon. Ten-thousand words with unconfirmed spellings are not yet in the lexicon. The only way to check these words is to go through each one comparing it with other similar words to confirm the spellings while basically writing the dictionary for the language at the same time. David and Raymond have spent the last three weeks trudging through Ten-thousand long, complex words from the Simbari New Testament. It is one of the most tedious parts of the translation process but very necessary. Misspelled words will undermine the credibility of the translation and would make it very difficult for newly literate people to read. Recently a new Simbari literacy class was started and many of the people signed up specifically because they know the translation is nearing completion and want to be able to read it. As tedious as some of the translation work can be at times it is so worthwhile for the Simbari people to be able to read, study and be transformed by the Word of God in their own heart language.