A couple of weeks ago I flipped on the radio in the car on my way home. I was surprised to hear an advertisement for a new radio program that would be starting in a few weeks on the topic of “Languages of the Solomon Islands”.
I went down to the radio station the next week to find out about the program and find out if there were ways that we could help provide resource people and information. My friend Karen and I sat down with Moddie, the host of the radio program. Moddie explained that it has been on her heart to start a program on languages, but she was happy to have some help on ideas for program topics. Karen has an MA in linguistics and loves to talk about languages – especially from the Solomon Islands.
Moddie asked us to come back to the station today so she could interview Karen for the radio show. Karen recorded two programs today and they will start airing this Thursday all over the country.
What a wonderful opportunity to be able to share about languages around the Solomons and share about Bible translation work.
One of our translation team members out in the village came down with malaria last week. She began treatment and soon was feeling better. But along with the malaria came a case of cellulitis and blisters covered her legs.
The family takes a supply of medicines with them, and after consulting with a doctor by email (sent via their two way radio), she began a course of anti-biotics. They only had enough drugs to get them through Thursday night, so more drugs were purchased and we began looking for a ship heading in their direction that could carry the package out to them.
A local dive company often takes divers to the beautiful islands where this family lives. A phone call to the company office confirmed their plans to go to islands and their willingness to take the package. The ship was due to leave Thursday afternoon.
Yesterday I packed the drugs, a few veggies and their mail and took it to the dive office. Later the woman called to say that the dive shipped planned on getting to the Russells on Sunday afternoon. I thanked them, but my heart sank as I thought about Joanna’s blisters and the much needed drugs that would keep the healing process going. What would happen if she didn’t have the antibiotics for two days?
This morning the office manager from the dive company called to say that the ship’s captain had called to say that they had changed plans and were now going to be in the Russell Islands THIS morning (Friday). The captain said that if the family didn’t get word in time, he would leave the meds in the hands of the village chief and they could pick up the package from him later.
Wow. The God who calms the seas can also change the direction of a ship full of tourists out on a dive tour. I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised, but oh, my heart is happy this morning.
This morning I head to the airport to begin my journey to Chiang Mai, Thailand. The first (16 hour!) flight will take me to Dubai where I will spend about 12 hours. It will be nice to have a shower and a rest in the hotel room that is included with my ticket! The next step is a flight to Bangkok where I will catch a flight to Chiang Mai.
The purpose of my trip will be to attend a conference. Global leaders and member representatives in Wycliffe and SIL International will gather for ‘once every four year’ meetings. As Pacific Area Communications Coordinator this will be an opportunity for networking with colleagues around the world. Important decisions will be made in these meetings and being there will help me to be able to share with our region.
I’d appreciate prayers for my time away.
please pray for our family as we are separated
pray for journeying mercies
pray for important decisions that will be made in these meetings
This week Tim is in Albuquerque attending a conference on Multilingual Education. We are excited that he is able to represent our organization and increase his understanding of this important topic.
Our experience in the Solomons taught us that kids that learn to read and write in their own language will do much better in school. While Tim was able work with the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education and start to develop language policy, he often wished he knew more. While we are in the USA, multilingual education is an area that he would like to learn more for the future. This conference will help Tim get a better understanding of the issues and meet others involved in multilingual education.
What does multilingual education have to do with Bible translation? Kids who learn to read and write in their mother tongue will be able to access God’s life changing Word in their heart language and that’s a good thing!
For the past couple of weeks, Tim has begun helping to teach a literacy course for Bible translators at our center here in Dallas. He is team-teaching with a colleague who has served in Africa. Tim is enjoying being back in the classroom and sharing his Solomon Islands literacy experiences.
Another plus for Tim being at our center and working with students preparing to go overseas is the opportunity he has to interact with students who are interested in serving in the Pacific Area. This morning he was invited to a meeting with a couple who are considering serving as Bible translators in the Pacific region and looking for a specific assignment.
While we sometimes long to be overseas, we are encouraged that we can help equip new members headed overseas and encourage people to consider service in the Solomon Islands.
Recently Tim and I were invited to be a part of a literacy workshop here in Dallas at our international offices. We met with colleagues working in literacy around the world and heard about amazing projects that are happening. Tim also had the opportunity to share what is happening in the Solomon Islands and the future of literacy there. It was encouraging to have a chance to hear about literacy in the wider context of our organization.
This morning I dropped Tim and our new colleague, Karen, off at the wharf. They are heading to the island of Malaita where Karen will be staying in a village for five weeks as part of her orientation. As director, it’s Tim’s responsibility to get her there and make sure she is settled well.
Karen is from Australia and has been to the Solomons many times. She is a elementary school teacher, but became trained as a literacy specialist so she can train teachers and help produce literacy materials. We are thrilled to have Karen as a part of our group!
In early December we are looking forward to another new addition to our group – The Choate Family from the USA who will be working in translation. We will be busy with helping them get oriented to life in the Solomons when they arrive.
Over the past few months, I (Martha) have been privileged to be serving on two government committees.
One is the National Trade and Agriculture Show Committee. The government has 4 stated goals for the National Trade Show – one of which is to help our group launch the Pijin Bible! The Trade Show Committee has agreed to designate a large area of the show grounds as the “Year of the Bible Area”. Inside the special area there will be a stage that is the same size as the Show’s main stage. This special stage will be used for Christian activities all day long for each of the 8 days of the show! Each evening we will show a Christian movie. Christian churches are busy planning how to best use this time and space to spread the Gospel.
There will be a prayer chapel at the show grounds, with people praying throughout the day and evening for the Solomon Islands. Nearby will be the ‘House of Hope’ where a team of pastors will be standing by to talk to people who have a concern to share or just want to talk to someone.
A special stall will be set up where we will have a display about Bible translation. We hope that this will encourage people to get interested in Bible translation in their language.
The Solomon Islands Government is paying for the construction of all of the Year of the Bible area of the show.
I’m also on the national committee that is planning the 30th Anniversary of Independence of the Solomon Islands. The Pijin Bible launch on the 6th of July is being considered a part of the national celebrations. The government is financially backing this launch as well. We are overwhelmed by the amazing support of this government.
It’s interesting being on these government committees. In each meeting I attend is opened and closed with prayer – something that wouldn’t happen in the USA these days!
As part of the Year of the Bible, the Solomon Islands Government is sponsoring twice daily 2-minute Pijin Bible readings on the national radio station which broadcasts throughout the Solomon Islands. We thank God for this opportunity!