Hanna’s Newsletter August – September 2014

By Hanna Schulz

While away we visited numerous villages in five languages (Iare, Koriki, Urama, Kope, Gibaio), travelling by dinghy between places. In each place we visited we did a combination of language survey work, literacy work, recording of worship songs in the local language and translation work.

While away we visited numerous villages in five languages (Iare, Koriki, Urama, Kope, Gibaio), travelling by dinghy between places. In each place we visited we did a combination of language survey work, literacy work, recording of worship songs in the local language and translation work. In each community, we were blessed by local hospitality (fresh prawns and crabs anyone?) and were able to bless them with our own skills in return. Although we did much travel on the water and negotiated some very slippery mud, we stayed safe and healthy. There were some slips in the mud, but mud washes off and nothing more than my dignity was really injured. I am thankful for how well the trip went.

The reason for this trip was to look at the Gulf region as a possible long term work location, as well as to help the Pettersons with the huge amount of work they take on. My impression at this point is that I would be happy to work there long term, but I am reserving any decisions until after our second ‘pre-allocation’ trip to New Ireland. The area we travelled and worked in has strong vernacular language use and a good network of key people to partner with in translation. Low education levels mean a need of outside training, support and encouragement for translation work to occur. There are generally good relationships between churches, as well as a spiritual need and a desire for God’s word. As this decision is not mine alone, but a group decision, we are all waiting until after our next trip to make a final choice. Please keep us in your prayers as we work our way through this process.

We are due to leave for New Ireland on Sept 24. This three week trip will be primarily to Djaul Island where we’ll run a Sunday School materials production workshop with the Tigak and the Tiang people. Please pray that in the coming weeks we can all get the rest we need to be ready for another three week trip. Please also pray for all the practical details we need to organise for the workshop, travel and general village living. I’ll also be working some more on the Ngaing grammar paper which I have been chipping away at for some time.

September

My month between village trips has flown by and I am now about to leave to work in a village once again. On Wednesday, September 24 I plan to fly to New Ireland Province for three weeks with Catherine, Rebekah, Inga and Susie. We will spend a few days in Kavieng before heading to Djaul Island. In Kavieng we will be shopping, printing and generally preparing for going out to Djaul. We will also attend a hymn festival with the Tigak people. On Saturday, September 27 we will drive across to the west coast of New Ireland and then take a dinghy to Djaul Island. Please pray for calm seas that day, as even a short boat trip like this can be very uncomfortable in bad weather.

We will stay two weeks on Djaul Island, working with the Tigak and the Tiang people as we run a Sunday School materials production and teacher training workshop. We plan in this time to train and support the two language communities in each translating a book of over 20 lessons. As the Tiang already have the first books in the series, but the Tigak do not, each group will be working on different stories and lessons. This will be a busy workshop and I appreciate your prayers for all the details to go smoothly, especially as we will be relying on the primary school generator to charge computers and power our printer. Please pray for everyone attending, leading and in any way participating in the workshop. In many ways, this sort of workshop is like a two week long Bible study, which has both rewards and challenges.

We plan to return to Kavieng on Saturday, October 11, if the weather is fair, and spend Monday and Tuesday printing the freshly translated books before returning to our Highlands home, Ukarumpa, on Wednesday, October 15. Once again, please pray for printers and computers to behave themselves and for safe travels.

Personally, I am tired before I even leave on this work trip, as are many in the team. Between us there have been a number of health and other challenges which mean that we are somewhat the walking wounded. This trip is most definitely being done in God’s strength, not our own! Knowing that between us we have so many people praying us on our way is an enormous encouragement.

Please also continue to hold us all in prayer as we face decisions about a long term work location (allocation). Our Gulf Province trip in August and this New Ireland trip were planned to help us make a decision between the two places as allocations. As we go and when we return we will need to discuss and make decisions between us. Please pray that we may be able to be honest with ourselves and each other, to speak and listen with love and grace and above all to discern God’s will in the midst of all our own hopes and fears.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Your prayers and words of encouragement mean a lot to me.

Blessings
Hanna

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