Thursday, May 28, 2015

When God Closes A Chicken Factory

back-translating a story--photo from The PNG Experience

One day Kosseck, James and the rest of the team of the Kamano-Kafe translators were sitting at the table with Rich, their translation advisor, brainstorming. They needed some good readers to help with their audio recording of the recently translated New Testament. It was the goal of the team to provide a clear recording of every translated book to accompany the written version, to help their traditionally oral community understand God’s Word as clearly as possible. So far the recordings had been a resounding success, loaded onto hand-held solar-powered “Audibibles” which were durable enough for the village setting. But, finding enough fluent readers wasn’t always easy.

“Remember that one man who helped us before on the Acts Video? The one who delivers day old chicks? What about him?”

“Yeah,” Kosseck mused, “But he’s really busy. He’s constantly driving across the country to the Zentag Chicken plant to pick up the chicks and bring them back up here to the mountains to deliver to stores. He’s never going to be available.”

Not too long later, Kosseck had just hopped on one of the local public transportation buses, on his way to work on the recording, when he saw a familiar face on the side of the road. “Hey,” Kosseck yelled out the window, “Are you busy? Are you driving down to Zentag today?”

“Actually, no!” the man yelled back, “Zentag is unexpectedly shut down today and don’t have any chicks to sell. I’m free!”

“Quick,” Kosseck urged, “Get in the bus!” And the two of them went to the Kamano-Kafe recording studio where they spent the day recording. The next day, Zentag opened back up again, and the man was able to return to his regular chicken runs.

“God shut Zentag down, just so we could finish recording,” laughed Kosseck.

I originally wrote this article for The PNG Experience (the blog that chronicles translation and language work in Papua New Guinea). Over the next year, I'm planning stepping into the Kamano-Kafe team as translation adviser while the primary advisers are in the US on home assignment. Stay tuned for more Kamano-Kafe stories and videos to introduce you to these remarkable people!