Bible Translation in Papua New Guinea

By Kendrea Rhodes

Hanna Schulz is no stranger to the love of God, ‘disclipling’, languages, hardship and exploring. These opportunities have provided her with the skills and aptitude to survive situations like living and working at sea, or Bible translation within a remote village in Papua New Guinea.  Odd examples to just pluck from thin air, but in […]

Hanna Schulz is no stranger to the love of God, ‘disclipling’, languages, hardship and exploring. These opportunities have provided her with the skills and aptitude to survive situations like living and working at sea, or Bible translation within a remote village in Papua New Guinea.  Odd examples to just pluck from thin air, but in fact they have been plucked from Hanna’s life.

She is a qualified First Mate and has spent years at sea, literally. These and other careers, jobs and life experiences have built her ‘adapting and coping skills’ into an almost tangible muscle set! Now that her feet are firmly planted on land, Hanna has answered her ‘calling’ as she put it, through her recent commissioning as a Bible Translator. She wants ‘to translate the Bible into the heart language of people’ and through her work with Lutheran Bible Translation Australia (LBTA), she has been able to marry her theoretical skills in linguistics, anthropology and theology, with her interests in discipleship and community development.

Hanna has been living in Alotau, Papua New Guinea (PNG) since March 2011. She is currently working on a programme called VITAL (Vernacular Initiative for Translation And Literacy) which trains and mentors a number of local people to translate the Bible and other literacy materials, into their own language.  There are more than forty people attending the current VITAL program, translating exerpts from 1&2 Kings. Between them, there are eleven different languages, which creates quite a buzz within the busy work area. In 2005, when VITAL first began, some of the languages were not written languages, which posed an even greater challenge for translators. However, now they are on paper and recorded for posterity, not to mention education and all the other amazing aspects of having a written language – something we take for granted. With over 800 living languages within PNG, it’s possible that Hanna will be busy for all of the twenty years she is planning to live there.

She will be assisting many different translation programs during her first two years in PNG, before hopefully settling into one long term project. Hanna is directly reliant on the generosity of others and as she puts it, Bible translation is not a profit making enterprise! So if you find a desire to support this significant work, please contact the LBTA.  For an enlightening look at Hanna’s life, visit her blog at blessingsandbubbles.blogspot.com, you won’t be disappointed as she takes you through the ups and downs of life in PNG.


If you would like to consider the opportunity to donate to Hanna Schulz, who is serving as a linguist and translation advisor in Papua New Guinea, you are invited to go to https://wycliffe.org.au/member/hanna/

For more information about Hanna Schulz, go to http://www.lcamission.org.au/about-us/who-we-are/countries/papua-new-guinea/papua-new-guinea-hanna-schulz/

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