Paul and Bella Gervasi serve among the Sekadau people of Asia Pacific. They are preparing for the last translation check.
Recently Bella had to check through around 700 verses with her language helpers. She checks through them three times with three different people. When she finishes, she goes through it all over again with all of them together. When she was finished, Paul had to translate them back to English so their translation checker, who is American, can see what is there. The checker goes through them and makes notes for her as well as questions as to why Bella chose to translate things the way she did. Mostly the notes and questions just catch spelling errors or things left out. It is all very tedious, but also very necessary.
Currently Bella is reading everything that has been translated in the Old Testament. Their daughter, Cori, translated some of it. The longer they are in Asia-Pacific, the better they speak the language. So going back over the first things they did seems a wise thing to do. They realise that there will be mistakes in the final translation but they hope to keep them to the minimum.
The children’s programme is going well. A second child in twelve years of running the programme recently finished all the workbooks. There are seven books for children who need more help with reading and six bigger books for the ones who read well. Almost all of the young children need extra help with their reading. Bella works with some of them one afternoon each week. Finishing all the workbooks means that this boy has memorised hundreds of verses as well as doing all the other things the course requires.
The church continues to do pretty well. The men teach several nights a week in three villages. They also teach on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Paul still makes lessons for those meetings since it is the first time they have seen those books. They are studying 1 Peter, 2 Corinthians and Matthew. Paul makes the lessons and then goes through them with all the men before one of them teaches it. Before Paul and Bella leave, they hope to be able to revise and leave all the lessons Paul has made over the years.
- For a good check. It will be for two weeks in early April
- That they will faithfully translate God’s Word and that it will sound like a native Sekadau speaker.
- For health. Bella has very brittle bones now, and they are sure she has had three breaks in the last three months. It does not seem to slow her down, but they are painful.
- For them to be able to get the translation ready for printing and distribution before they leave early next year.
- That the church will continue to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.