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These pages will contain vignettes of our life here in Sentani. Most will be about the work here. Sometimes the writings will be just notes about our daily routines. Other observations may be more spiritual in nature. Expect a potpourri of subjects.

I, Mary, am currently on a personal retreat at the Ligonier Conference, Fool's For Christ, at Briarwood in Birmingham, AL. Last night was a great talk by Harry Reeder on the Foolishness of the Gospel and then God's Free Grace presented by Burke Parsons.  My take away so far is to be more bold in my witnessing. To often, I feel intimated. Pray God's boldness will be more real in my life.

Hunter Goff is the musician leading us into and after our messages. He just blessed me with a beautiful rendition of "I Vow To Thee, My Country." It is a personal favorite melody.

February 23, 2015
By: Hannah WeiandBibles in Translation

It’s a blessing to have many versions of the Bible in our language, but many people want to know which version we use to translate the Bible. We’re happy to tell you!

Actually, we don’t translate from an English translation, because that would be like making a copy of a copy! In order to achieve clear and accurate translations, we train our translators to look to the original biblical Hebrew and Greek texts. They also have to carefully study the language they are translating into in order to understand how it works and how people who speak that language think and communicate.

A good translator does far more than simply exchange Hebrew and Greek words for words in the new language. Their job is to understand the original meaning and discover the best way to communicate that in the new language so people can clearly understand what the Bible is saying, just as if their mother was talking to them.


To clarify further, when developing a new Bible translation the source text used can vary from country to country or people group to people group. The local people who are translating Scripture into their language for the very first time have to start somewhere, and will often refer to the Bible in the national language or language of wider communication that they can understand.

In some cases, mother tongue translators are able to work directly from the Greek and Hebrew themselves. But even if they can’t, our consultants and facilitators are able to work from those texts to ensure the accuracy of the translation. In any case, the goal of every translation product is for the end result to be clear, natural and accurate to the original text.

People celebrate receiving God's Word

The following are excerpts from the One Story website. We hope this provides a more complete overview of what that is [the bold emphasis is ours]:

The majority of the world’s unreached people groups are made up of oral preference learners, who often have no written language of their own. In order to reach them, OneStory works with mother-tongue speakers to develop and record worldview-sensitive, chronological Bible “story sets” for each specific group — typically 25 to 50 stories in a three to four year period.

Mother-tongue speakers spread the stories to others. These story sets can be the first step toward a traditional written translation or non-print media like the JESUS film or The HOPE video.

Mother-tongue speakers spread the stories to others. These story sets can be the first step toward a traditional written translation or non-print media like the JESUS film or The HOPE video.

Thy Word is a lamp to my feet.
Thy Word is a lamp to my feet.

Today at church, we heard a testimony from two Bible translators just back from an interior trip. They were traveling to different villages within their language group and having people read newly translated Scriptures. This is to help check the translation for readability and correctness prior to publication. The translators reported that one of the common exclamations they heard was, "We understand it now!"

This is why we're here. We're here to help bring light into darkness; God's Word to people who don't have it. It is as simple as that.

The pastor today was Buzz Maxey, whose parents translated the New Testament for a group in the highlands of Papua. Buzz grew up here and now he and his wife Moira minister and disciple people of that same group. Buzz related today that not long ago the elders of the church decided they needed to have the whole Bible in their language. The previous Maxeys had translated the New Testament and "bits and pieces" of the Old Testament. The church wants the entire Bible.

So, for the last three months Buzz and Moira have been facilitating the work of translation. They are not translators themselves and it has been difficult to do this job for which they're not fully trained. Just recently they were working through the Book of Leviticus and all the different types of offerings. Suddenly, one of the older elders shouted, "This makes sense!" He explained that he had worked with Buzz's mother many years ago as they translated Heb. 10. He finally understood verse one, "For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near." He realized that human sacrifice couldn't pave the way to heaven and a more perfect, complete sacrifice had to be made. He understood the revelation of the work of Christ in verse fourteen, "For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."

When I taught "The Unfolding Covenant, the Work of God Through the Bible", I had my students learn the phrase, "Old Testament shadows become New Testament realities." This older elder realized the truth of that statement in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Translating the complete Bible into his language made these eternal truths sensible and clear.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;


The girls next to me gasped and grabbed the chairs in front of them. It took me a moment to realize what was happening. We were having an earthquake!

I like earthquakes. Let me be more specific. I like small earthquakes. Most everyone slightly panics when one strikes. I yell, "yippee!" and look at a clock to try to time how long the shaking lasts.

We get a lot of earthquakes here. We are living at the convergence of three fault lines right smack on top of the "Ring of Fire." A few years ago, I took my sixth-grade to the office of Geophysics here in order to see a seismograph. The scientists there told us that we average 50 earthquakes per day. Most of them are not felt.

But, I like the ones I have felt. It is hard for me to explain why I do. When I feel one, I enjoy the movement of the shaking earth. But, deeper than that, I am reminded that I am not in charge. And, that I should not in this earthly life depend on anything other than God's permanence. Mountains are fairly solid structures. A pilot told me that he will not fly through a cloud because there is often granite in those clouds. That granite has been the death of many a soul on this island.

But, as solid as that granite mountain may be, God is more solid. He contours and shapes this world. He contours and shapes our lives. Verse one of Psalm 46 is, "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble." The verse at the top of this article follows it.

Today's earthquake was a 4.4 on the Richter scale. It was located just offshore, about 13 miles from here and happened at 10:01 local time April 3. As far as I have learned, no damage was caused.