Written by Tim Scott*
The new translators were meeting with the Moro villagers of Papua New Guinea. Sadly, the previous translators could no longer stay, but God had graciously provided a second set of translators to continue translating the Bible. As the helicopter waited with the previous translators inside ready to return to the base, Paul and his family greeted the many villagers who had gathered to welcome them.
When the regional director challenged the people to support Paul and Jennie as they had supported the previous translators, one of the older men stepped forward.
Buyuwe, a small man barely over four feet tall, said with a strong voice, “We brought food for the other family, we brought firewood for them, and we have taught them our language. Now they are gone and a new family has come. We will bring food and firewood for this family, too, and teach them our language. But, I am afraid . . . I am afraid that I will not see God’s Word in my language before I die.”
These words stuck with Paul for years, often serving as motivation during tough times.
Fifteen years later, Paul brought the proofs of the completed New Testament to Gumbarami village for a final read-through. This will be the last step in the process before sending it off to be printed.
When people from Moro came for their turn at reading, Paul recognized Buyuwe and called him over. He said, “Buyuwe, do you remember what you said to me when I first arrived?”
With expectant eyes, Buyuwe watched as Paul handed him the entire stack of more than seven hundred pages. Paul exclaimed, “Here. Here is your entire New Testament, God’s Word in your language . . . and it is in your hands before you die!”
With great joy and loud laughter, Buyuwe grabbed Paul’s hand and shook it strongly. In fact, he would not let it go, and for several minutes he continued to shake Paul’s hand, his laughter resonating throughout the area.
Truly God’s Word had come to the Iyo people.
*Tim Scott is the chief communications officer for SIL in Papua New Guinea, Wycliffe’s primary strategic partner.
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