Strengthening the Faith of Indigenous Australians
…Wycliffe Bible Translators is dedicated to doing this for indigenous Australians through mother-tongue Scripture as well as worship songs, discipleship exercises, and storytelling and evangelism programs.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Wycliffe personnel to go to Aurukun, an indigenous community in Queensland, Australia. As part of the mid-year celebration of the anniversary, three DVDs were released: the stories of Creation, Christmas, and Easter. Audio recordings of Matthew 26-27 and John 20-21 were available as well, with accompanying booklets containing the text in Wik-Mungkan. The people of Aurukun were very happy to receive these newly- released resources.
The first highlight of the fiscal year, though, was the holding of an Adult Discipleship Course – the first one ever to be held in the Kriol-speaking area. There was an enthusiastic core of 10 participants who completed the course, as well as others who came as they were able. Many of the participants went home and shared a verse or the story and teaching with other family members.
Highlights for the staff included seeing people delve into the Kriol Bible. Paraphrased below are comments from one team member’s report:
“’Brabli strongwan pramis!’ [I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts...] J told me as he pointed out each word to the passage in Jeremiah 31:33-34. There were tears in the Kriol man’s eyes as he read the passage in his language over and over again. He went on to read the next verse about „Whether low, or poor, or rich’, and as he read it, it was as if his heart was longing for the day when EVERYONE would know God.
“And then he continued to read: „Ai garra larramgo olabat fri brom olabat nogudbalawei, en ai kaan jinggabat ol detlot nogudwan ting weya olabat bin oldei dumbat. Mi na YAWEI bin tok dijan.‟ [For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.] ...a BIG smile.”
Other highlights for the staff included being able to use Kriol for teach-ing and discussing topics without need for translation or interpreting, and the work of an experienced teacher (who serves with Mission Aviation Fellowship) who was instrumental in beginning to develop a children's version of the course.
In the Wik-Mungkan language group, four weeks were spent recently recording Episodes 1, 2, and 15 of Luke (covering the Christmas and Easter stories) and Episodes 1 and 2 of Genesis (covering the Creation and Fall). These were recorded for dubbing onto Scripture videos. Audio programs for Matthew (Easter) and John (the resurrection) were also recorded. The recording of the Wik-Mungkan Scriptures was particularly important as there are now very few people who read their language and many who do not read English, either. There is great need in this community for the transforming power of the Gospel, and the team rejoices to have reached this milestone toward that end.
Please remember this work in your prayers, being particularly mindful of these requests from the field:
• There are many recording sessions planned for various languages. Please pray for the editing of the material and then the choices made regarding presentation – DVD, CD, electronic devices.
• The Kriol discipleship workshops have tremendous potential. Pray that the participants in the August workshops will both grow themselves and be able to use what they learn in helping others.
• Pray that there will not be major disruptions to community life (funerals, traditional ceremonies, or sickness) that will hinder progress in the recording.
- from Wycliffe Last Languages Campaign Report
- Pray for Alan & Lucy Rogers, in their audio recording and CD distribution work – based in Humpty Doo, NT
Jan Mountney is encouraged by the Bible Storying Workshop held at Blackstone, in the Ngaanyatjarra area recently. Participants are eager to learn the stories & to tell others in the community.
“This is really good! We should learn it properly for next Easter.” This was a comment made by participants at the Bible Storying Workshop held near Blackstone May 17-23. People of many cultures respond better to a story or drama than to listening to someone read the Scripture and for Ngaanyatjarra people, storytelling is part of life.
After reading or listening to a passage several times, participants drew a series of pictures to show the main events.(Some of the women used leaves & other materials to tell the story in the sand, which is one way women in the desert tell stories. Then they closed their Bibles and told the story using the pictures as reference, and then moved on to telling it without the pictures. Some stories, eg the crucifixion, were then acted out.
Recordings are also being made of some of the songs the Ngaanyatjarra people are writing.
TORRES STRAIT BOAT FOR SCRIPTURE USE
There are 274 islands in the Torres Strait and 17 have permanent settlements where the trade language is Yumplatok. After nearly 25 years of work, the Yumplatok Bible is set to be introduced on July 1, 2012. A two-to-three year endeavor to get Scriptures into the hands and lives of islanders will commence after the celebration.
Plans include training leaders, holding Bible studies, and recording audio Scriptures. To do this, safe, reliable water transportation is needed in the form of a 40’ to 60’ boat with living quarters for the crew and Scripture Use specialists, as well as an on-board audio recording studio.
Torres Strait Islander Simeon Harry has already seen how storytelling and audio recordings can excite people about Scriptures. While checking the translation of Genesis, Simeon retold stories at home to his extended family. Each night they waited eagerly to hear more. His family and friends also responded enthusiastically to an audio recording he did of the Gospel of Mark.
While encouraging use of the Yumplatok Bible, the boat’s crew and staff will have a significant role in teaching Torres Strait Islanders how to incorporate God’s Word in their daily lives.
Pray for the printing of the Yumplatok Bible and for provision of the boat and the right crew in time for the dedication of the Bible.
www.jaars.org/S6111 JAARS, Inc.P.O. Box 248 Waxhaw NC 28173
JAARS is an organisation supporting Wycliffe/SIL in transport and other logistic areas.
Khesed Productions have begun to make DVD/CD recordings of Eagle Rock Church Sunday services. The messages from Ps Tim Edwards and the team are inspiring and helpful, so we are making these DVDs available each month. Some groups in remote communities are getting together to watch them together.
If you would like to receive them, we will post a month of DVDs to you at a time.
Cost is $20 a month, or $200 for a year – ask about sponsoring them for a remote community at our special mission rate.