Because we just moved to Sentani in January from another base in Papua, I am still getting to know many of the ex-pats who make up the large mission community here. Many ladies exercise at Hillcrest International School because it is a safe place to walk, and, as its name suggests, it boasts a large hill. Several months ago I had the opportunity to walk with two other ladies. I found out their names were Gwen and Lenice. As they pushed their children in strollers up and down the hill and we chatted, I learned that they were working together as consultants for a new Bible translation. They were translating the book of Ruth and the life of Christ in the common language of the Papuan people, called Melayu Papua. I didn’t really grasp it then, but have come to learn that the type of Indonesian spoken by the Papuans is actually different enough to be considered a separate language.
Now, several months later, my son Ryan just finished grade one at Hillcrest International School. Toward the end of school he brought home a flyer inviting him and all the grade one students to the dedication of the book of Ruth and the life of Christ in Melayu Papua. On the flyer was a picture of his class, along with Gwen and Lenice. I learned that his class had been praying regularly for this translation project. We decided to attend the dedication. Ryan’s teacher was also there. After the celebration, they invited special guests who had helped with the translation project to come forward and receive a complimentary copy of the newly translated books. Ryan was as pleased as punch when they invited him forward as one of those special guests! My heart was blessed as I pictured how God must feel about those grade one prayers!