Monthly Archives: January 2013

Urgent! Why is the need urgent?

Leonard BoliokiAt a Good Friday service in 1980, Leonard Bolioki stepped to the front of the church he attended in Cameroon and began to read the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Always before, this passage from John’s Gospel had been read in French, but this time the priest had asked Leonard to read it in the local language, Yambetta.

As he read, he became aware of a growing stillness; then some of the older women began to weep. At the end of the service they rushed up to Leonard and asked, “Where did you find this story? We have never heard anything like it before! We didn’t know there was someone who loved us so much that he was willing to suffer and die like that… to be crucified on a cross to save us!”

Leonard pulled out his French New Testament and showed them that the story was in the Bible. “We listen to this Passion Story every year during Holy Week,” he told them, but they insisted that they’d never heard it before. That, says Leonard, is what motivated him to translate the Scriptures into the only language his people could really understand—Yambetta!

Imagine going to church for years, and not knowing Christ whom has established the church for all time. Can you see a change in understanding this event in one’s own language? The story doesn’t end here.

Leonard had to work full-time to support his family, and for most of the next 28 years, he could only translate when he found free moments. That made for a very long project; by 2008 Leonard and other Yambettas had drafted just 35% of the New Testament. The church was using the Yambetta Gospel of Mark and some lectionary materials, but those whose lives had been changed by the Word were still very much a minority.

Hope began to glimmer when an SIL Cameroon fund made it possible for Leonard to translate half-time for several years. And then in 2008, the glimmer of hope burst into bright light! The Seed Company picked up the project and began providing funds for training, equipment, and living expenses for Leonard and his team of translators and literacy teachers. In addition, SIL assigned Patricia Wilkendorf to work alongside them as consultant.

Lenoard goes on to say, “May this Word of Life that has saved many people from other language groups also save the Yambetta people!”

In 18 months of time, the mere 35% in rough draft has become 75%. They hope to finish the translation in 2014! For more information about the Yambetta project.

Urgency is needed in many areas of the world including Papua New Guinea. So that men, women, and children can come to know who Christ is, what he has done for them, and what they must do to be saved.

New Year! How can you pray?

January 1st just passed a few days ago, so everyone has new year’s resolutions on their minds. Whether it is trying tirelessly to fulfill them or simply trying to come up with this year’s list, many people are striving to meet their goals. If you just Google several “new year’s resolutions” you can come up with all kinds of articles about resolutions. The common ones, the ones you will succeed, and the ones you will fail trying. Always an encouragement to see that last set of articles, right?

Since you have new things on the mind, I wanted to remind many of you that Melissa and I have been planning, working, and preparing to go to Papua New Guinea (PNG). Now we are at a very pivotal stage. We ask you to pray for us as we begin a hard push to find partners. Partners are people who will pray for us, encourage us, and help financially to send us to PNG. God has already blessed us with several people who are partnering with us, but we have a long way to go still. Lord willing we will be leaving the U.S. for PNG in January of 2014.  Making this an exciting and challenging year ahead of us.

Just one of the challenges that face us is leaving everyone behind. Tonight (1/3/2013) my four year old son realized for the first time that one of his friends would not be in PNG. We’ve told him before, but it did not sink in till tonight. He cried for at least quite some time. Challenges lay ahead.

If you have time please pray for these challenges that we will face this year:

  1. That we maintain our relationship with Christ above all else.
  2. Leaving friends and family behind.
  3. Finding partners. Both prayer and financial partners.
  4. Leaving our beloved dog Charlotte in a good but different home.
  5. Packing what we need and selling, giving away, or throwing away what we do not need. (Wisdom as to which is which.)
  6. Encouragement in the day to day. There is a lot of prayer and work to be done.
  7. Preparation for the new baby.
  8. Passports, visas, paperwork, and any other work that arises to for us to go.

Would consider partnering with us this year?