Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bluetooth it to my phone!

Michael, a sixth grader, pleaded with his friend.  “Please, bluetooth it to my phone! I want to watch it, too!”

Shrugging Michael off, his friend stared transfixed at the video of Jesus translated into Kamano-Kafe. “No, I can’t do that. But my cousin [Lani] sells these SD cards. You go to her house and buy one of your own like I did.”

Michael craned his neck, “Please, send me just one song! Then I’ll go buy it!”

“No! Get your own!”



Early Monday morning, before school, Michael sprinted across the village to Lani’s house. Lani was sitting by the fire, cooking breakfast when he arrived, panting. “Please,” he begged, “Do you sell these SD cards?”

Lani grinned up at him and laughed, “Yes, I do.”

Michael frowned, “No, I’m not being funny—I really mean it. I want to buy one. I really need one!”

Lani nodded, “Yes, I can sell one to you. But it’s 20 kina [Papua New Guinea currency].” Before she was done speaking, Michael had bolted from her yard, back to his parents’ house to ask for the money. He returned in a rush with the kina and left clutching his precious SD card.

Many schoolchildren watch the videos about Jesus on their phones.
As Michael watched the videos about Jesus and listened to songs, all in his own language, the rest of his classmates began asking questions. Lani soon found herself selling SD cards to many schoolchildren, and was asked to sell them on the school grounds during lunch hour. “You must come!” they said. “There are lots of students from other villages, and they keep asking about these videos about Jesus in our language. They need SD cards, too!”

Later, Lani shared about the importance of the audio and visual recordings. “The young men and women need these SD cards so they can hear God’s Word and worship songs in their own language. When they see the videos about Jesus, they become interested, and they [understand because] it’s in their language.”

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Lani is the wife of one of the translators, whom I have the privilege of working with every week. Her joy as she told her story was absolutely infectious! I originally wrote this article for the The PNG Experience (our publication site for translation in Papua New Guinea).

*Names changed for security