I'm still trying to learn how my amazing neighbors think about time. Yesterday, I wanted to wait long enough for the Bible Story workshop so that my neighbors would have a chance to cook and eat breakfast and complete any morning chores they might have. So around 8:30, I walked around the village checking with my friends to see if they were almost ready to get together. Everyone seemed ready, so I sent Benjamin to ring the church bell (an old gas cylinder) to let the community know the workshop was ready to begin.
I took water, notebooks, and pens over the the church, then walked over to Skita's house to ask for help in moving a heavy table to where the ladies planned to meet. Skita and Eta helped me maneuver the table around the corner, and Sarah soon brought ginger snaps to strengthen us in our work. Around 9:30 we finally began with prayer, and I asked them up front if they were interested in continuing the project or if they just wanted to quit. They assured me that even though they hadn't continued the project in my absence, they were very interested in moving forward. Then we talked about which stories to tackle next. They decided to keep moving through Genesis and the life of Jesus.
We divided up into two groups and begin diligently retelling the stories in Lavukaleve, while I walked back to the house and grabbed some fresh banana cake to share. There were small interruptions for babies needing to be fed, a toothache, and taking clothes off the line for impending rain, but the ladies worked hard.
Around 10:30 three ladies from Karumulun showed up. I was so excited to see them! By 12:30, everybody's brains were fried, and we decided to meet next Friday in Karumulun to finish up the rough draft of the stories. Then my hard work will begin in the back translating and comprehension checking as we revise the stories. I've asked the ladies to begin thinking about who they want to draw the pictures for the stories and who might read the stories when we record them to put them on the Sabers. Janet (Ezekiel's wife) even brought her Saber to play back the recordings we made in 2011. Her Saber still works! We closed out our morning with an "action chorus"!
in Lavukaleve and a prayer.
Thanks for all of the prayers surrounding this project! Please keep them coming. Our village only hears God's Word in tiny pieces during Morning and Evening prayer, and even then the reading is muffled and has to be heard over the cries of babies and the chatter of children. Watching these ladies try to figure out what the Pijin Bible really says, and helping them figure out concepts like the Passover feast, excites me. This is the only time they are immersed in God's Word. Yesterday afternoon, Eta told me that crafting those stories and choosing just the right words was hard work!