Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Need for Numbers!

Krompe and Franky at the Culture Meets Scripture workshop this month
Krompe leaned forward, studying the computer screen, his mouth silently forming the Hebrew words. “It says, ‘accepted for him to make atonement for him,’” he pointed out, pushing his woolen cap out of his eyes. The other men nodded, then broke out in noisy discussion. “No, it’s not clear yet!” one man shouted, waving his hands over the table, as James typed a few more words on the computer.

Last month, Krompe and his five colleagues (along with myself and Rich, the two translation advisers) were diving into the translation of Leviticus into Kamano-Kafe, a language group of over 80,000 people in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Verse by verse, the men argued, negotiated and polished until the Scriptures were communicated in clear, beautiful Kamano.

Krompe is one of only a few PNG translation consultants who is able to check his own mother-tongue Scripture as it is being translated (most PNG consultants come from languages where the Bible translation is already finished and no longer needs checking.) Checking by a consultant is an important step in the translation process—it ensures the translation is clear, accurate, and natural.

In order for Krompe and many other PNG translators to focus on their work, they are supported financially by various partner organizations.  The oversight and accountability provided by the finance team makes it possible for money from those organizations to provide training, equipment and travel costs for these dedicated men.

However, an immediate personnel crisis in the finance team means that translators like Krompe may no longer be able to receive their needed funds. Without accountants and finance specialists to oversee the financial transactions, Bible translation in PNG is severely crippled—many of the 200 language programs relying on the finance team will have to shut down or significantly restrict their goals over the next few years.
Do you have a gift for numbers and accounting? (I don't--trying to figure out how to best manage the complexities of the Kamano-Kafe finances feels like designing a nuclear reactor blindfolded while swimming with Great White Sharks!) Contact Tara Ellis ( to learn more about how you can directly support Bible translation in Papua New Guinea!