Sunday, October 19, 2014

Now I can see it!

Check out the artist's website!
Norbert had never seen a painting like this one. It was his first visit to the Ukarumpa Meeting House and above the stage a giant painting stretched over the room. Painted by Chris DeJong in 2001, it was filled with angels and clouds and animals and people from around the world all focused on the very centre, where a Lamb stood before a scroll. It’s Revelation, he realized.

As he gazed at the Scripture, tears filled his eyes. His friends, Elden and Bea Sandy, who were sitting next to him, bent closer, “Why are you crying?” they asked. “What happened?”

Norbert shifted on the bench, then turned. “Before I came here, I had a vision in my early childhood about what God wanted me to do with my life, but I’d never seen it depicted before—until today. Now I can see it.”

Since 2010, Norbert has supported Bible translation by teaching computer skills to national translators, from basic typing to using specialized translation programs like Paratext. “We create a dialogue in the classroom,” Norbert explained, “So [students] can discuss not only problems they are having with their computers, but other things too.”

“Teaching is a call for me—ever since I was a little child I’ve wanted to follow the example of Jesus Christ as a teacher.” Norbert first studied computer science in seminary and later went back to school to study education to improve his teaching skills. “I’m always studying!” he laughed.

Although the classes are small, interest is high, and Norbert is optimistic about its continued growth. “I teach them how to use antivirus and protect their work. It’s very valuable for translating in the village—otherwise they can lose all their translation work if they get viruses.”
“I used to teach at other schools and universities,” Norbert explained, “It was the life I thought I wanted, but it wasn’t satisfying. But now, [by helping translators], this is where my excitement and my joy have been found: serving the Lord through computer science.”

I've had lots of fun visiting with Norbert and the students in his classes. Teaching computer skills is a huge demand here in PNG, and it's exciting to be able to pair it with discipleship and Bible translation!