Edited by Mary Tindall
Victor Opungu worked on the Mekeo Bible translation with the Papua New Guinea Bible Translation Association, a Wycliffe partner organization.
One day in Veifa’a, my home village, I saw an elderly woman walking toward me.
“When are you going to finish the book that you said you would?” she asked me. “I want to read what God is saying.” She was referring to the Old Testament.
“It’s taking a long time,” I said. “We need people to help.”
This long journey began back in 1994 when God’s Word first spoke to my heart at the age of 24. Back then I spent hours alongside other translators at a wooden table, carefully rendering the book of Acts into the Mekeo language.
In Acts 19, I read about people burning their sorcery books as a result of seeing God’s power when Paul preached. A similar event happened while we were translating Acts. A man in my village came to believe in the Lord, so he burned his books and paraphernalia, but evil spirits from the books went into his son-in-law, and he began speaking nonsense.
When a missionary and one of my co-translators prayed for this young man, God answered, and he immediately gained his senses. That’s when I knew this God must be powerful. A short time later, I accepted Christ. I tell people today that when I translated the Word of God, it translated me.
We had finished the New Testament translation in 1998, and it had caused a spiritual breakthrough. People were studying the Bible together in their homes, and God was healing bodies and minds on a regular basis. Yet I knew the New Testament was only the beginning. I had read 2 Timothy 3:16, which says that all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true. I knew that included the Old Testament. For the next four years, I poured myself into translating the Old Testament into Mekeo.
I believe that when my people have the Old Testament, it will transform their lives as they learn more about who God is, how sin came into the world, and why we have a need for Jesus. When they read about King Saul, who disobeyed God and lost his throne, they will understand that God commands obedience. They will know Jesus in a deeper way, too.
Bible translation is not an easy task, but I cling to the vision God gave me: to see my people read Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. I long for the day when I can walk up to the old woman in the village and place a complete Bible in her hands.
Please join us in praying for the Mekeo language group and the translation team still working faithfully to provide them with the complete Bible in the language that speaks to their heart.
Read Full Post »