Friday, 23 October 2015

Jesus Film

Today we dedicate the Jesus Film in Kope.

When I return from the village in four weeks I’ll be able to write and let you know how the dedication went and what the initial impact of the film was. All blog posts until then (including this one) will be pre-written (if I can manage to write them before flying out) and scheduled to go online during my village time. Until I can give you an update though, I thought I’d tell you about how on my second language learning trip I can possibly be dedicating the Jesus Film already.

In short, I walk in the footprints of those who went before me.

Robbie and Debbie have been working with several languages in Gulf Province to help them with translating, checking and recording the script of the Jesus Film. This will be the third of these films completed and dedicated, and there are two more in the works.

Through the translating and recording process, the Kope community demonstrated their commitment to translation. Many communities express a desire to have God’s word in their language, but not all show their willingness to make it happen. The Kope did, and when they finished the recording process and were asked ‘What next?’ their response was ‘The New Testament!’

This is where I come into the picture, as translation adviser to the Kope people. My job is to help the Kope community continue with their translation work. Calling myself a Bible translator always seems a bit amiss, as I rarely do any actual translation. Rather, I am a trainer, adviser, checker, resourcer, typist, formatter, networker and motivator for the actual translators, who are the native speakers of the language.
The commitment to translation demonstrated through the Jesus Film process has continued. This was evident in how soon I had a completed village house to live in as I work with the Kope. The enthusiasm is still evident in that they want to start drafting the gospel of Luke straight away. I can barely put a simple sentence together in Kope, but we can still start on this work if they wish, as they are all language experts already. For now I will use a trade language (English) for my part in the process, although I intend to continue language learning.

We will be starting with Luke as that is the gospel that the Jesus Film is based on. We will then continue with the second volume of Luke, more commonly known as the Acts of the Apostles, as this is already partially in draft form. These drafts are thanks to the work of Tiramu in the 80s and his careful storage of these drafts over the intervening years. Between these two things (old drafts and a new film), we hope the translation process will get off to a good start.

On my first language learning trip, we dedicated my village house. On my second trip we will dedicate the Jesus Film. This is a rather remarkable start!

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