I haven’t written a blog for a few days because we have been pretty busy and then when I had time to write, the power was down.
After such a crazy year in the USA of traveling, we left feeling pretty worn out. I made a promise to myself and some friends that I would concentrate on getting the family settled and the house in order before I jumped into ministry. This week some cracks in that resolution began to form.
Just before we returned to the Solomons, we read in an email that the Solomon Islands Pijin Bible is due to be launched in July 2008. Some people in our group were talking about the event and how it should be celebrated. It was suggested that the Matzkes take this project on. I felt my resolution start to crack.
The Solomons has about 65 different languages. Solomon Islands Pijin is a trade language that has developed as a means of communication between the various languages. It is spoken widely around the country.
Our group is working hard to help translate the New Testament into a number of the indigenous languages but there are many languages still waiting. But for those who don’t have any Scripture in their own language or for the people who only speak Pijin, the Bible in Pijin is a milestone. The Pijin New Testament has been available for a number of years, but except for Genesis and Psalms, the rest of the Old Testament has not been published.
One of the challenges to the acceptance of the Pijin Bible is that while Pijin is widely accepted as a spoken language, many Solomon Islanders are not excited about reading it. It is our hope that good publicity will help people welcome God’s Word in Pijin.
For a long time I have thought that a Pijin section in one of the English newspapers in town would be an interesting way to promote Pijin reading. Stories from the Old Testament could be included in serial form along with other interesting features. We could have puzzles for the kids and coloring pages.
My resolve cracked further as I picked up the phone and called Elizabeth, one of the reporters that I know at the newspaper. She asked about my year in the USA and what was happening in our mission group here. When she asked, “Are there any new projects you are involved in?” I couldn’t resist taking advantage of that open door.
I talked to her about my idea of a once-a-week Pijin feature in the paper. The reporter got excited about the idea and promised to help set up an appointment with the editor for me in a couple of weeks. I’m not sure where this will lead, but I am really excited about helping promote the Pijin Bible. Please pray that I will have creative ideas that will be accepted by Solomon Islanders and help them welcome the Pijin Bible.