Thursday, February 25, 2016

Why translate the Old Testament anyway?

Recently, I’ve been asked about the relative importance of translating the Old Testament for languages here in Papua New Guinea (PNG)...much less the importance of translating the ugly stepchild book of Leviticus. Shouldn’t you just focus on translating the parts about Jesus? The modern church doesn’t really need all that stuff anymore.

hard at work on Leviticus!
For the last nine months, I’ve had the privilege of working through Leviticus (and now into the middle of Deuteronomy) verse by verse, phrase by phrase with the Kamano-Kafe translation team (who had finished their New Testament translation and dedicated it Christmas of 2014). And, just like 2 Timothy 3:16-17 proclaims, the Old Testament (and even the Law) is just as crucial for the development of a healthy Christian life as the New Testament (and in some cases, like here in PNG, the Old Testament can be even more valuable than you might imagine!)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Walking A Bush Road

Bush roads in Papua New Guinea!
“As Christians, we walk a narrow road—like a bush path. You climb up and down mountains, you cross lots of ditches, and it’s hard work. But, on the other side...there is blessing.”

When Sakias joined the Agarabi translation team in 2003, he found this road was rather rocky and soon was ready to abandon translation to find a better job. “I was just an [unpaid] volunteer, and I had to support a wife and three young children,” he explained. “But, my wife [Ampiya] encouraged me to stay with it. And so I did, and we dedicated the Agarabi New Testament in 2011.”

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Moving Past Survival!

Buddy, our dog and mascot, of course made an appearance!
Creating art has been a part of my life ever since I could wrap a fist around a crayon (my sister loves reminiscing about it here). In many ways, it's a life-giving endeavor; I can tune out the world and pour myself out onto paper (I even have a website dedicated to my art: www.catherinerivard.com).

But, in order to be able to allow myself to do that, I have to have an excess of energy that isn't already earmarked for survival activities...like eating and walking and talking to people.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

From Camels to Qumran!

A great adventure! Fantastic! Amazing! Interesting!

These words and more were used by ten Papua New Guinean men and women involved in Bible translation to describe their recent two-week trip to Israel. As they journeyed around the country, visiting places like Jerusalem, Bethesda, Gethsemane, Bethlehem, and Masada, they saw the Bible come to life. Suddenly climate, distances, locations and events in history were tangible and understandable, and many words that they have to translate (like cistern) finally made sense.