Saturday, March 1, 2008

So...when am I leaving and what about Australia??

I've talked to many of you and hinted around since Gretch and I went to a conference with Wycliffe in Portland in January about Bible translation training in Australia. Here is the down-low on all of that now that our team has gotten an answer back about our applications. As of February, our entire Vanuatu Bush Team has been accepted to be trained by Wycliffe/SIL at their school in Australia, called Equip ( We have been awaiting this acceptance to determine our timeline more adequately for heading out for Vanuatu. Our tentative timeline at this point now is the following:

Aug. - Dec. 08 Port Vila, Vanuatu

What we'll be doing: learning language and culture, building relationships and contacts with Ni-Vanuatu people and others living in the capital city. The Richards and I will fly out from LA on August 3, Lord-willing and have tentative housing with SIL for a few weeks. The rest of our team will join us a week or 2 into September. They don't have living visas like us so can only be in-country up to 4 months.

Jan. - Nov. 09 Kangaroo Ground, Australia - near Melbourne on the southeast coast, 4 hour flight from Port Vila

What we'll be doing: being trained as Bible translators, linguists, and literacy specialists

From this point, we may return to Vila for a few months then return to the US or come straight back to the States for a short time. When we return to the States, we'll pack up our containers with all our long-term supplies (transportation, solar panels, generator, office and ministry supplies, as well as all remaining living needs such a furnishings, clothes, etc.). We will also reconnect with supporting churches briefly to update supporters. Then we will ship our container out and move to Vanuatu long-term. We will most likely still go back to the capital city, Port Vila, for another year or so to continue language and culture acquisition and acclimatize ourselves, as well as t0 finish survey work to determine which people group in the bush we will be working with. When we have an invitation in to a bush village, we will seek the Lord's guidance and ask for prayer and input from Homefront Team Vanuatu to make the final decision about which tribal group to begin the ministry of church planting and Bible translation with. Following that decision, we will make the slow and gradual move into the tribe.

Why is the translation training so long? Well, Bible translation isn't something one can just "wing." It is a huge work to translate in a culturally accurate way that is true to the original Greek and Hebrew meanings. Following is the listing of our classes at Equip. We will split off and focus in different areas (as a team, taking different tracks) so I'm not sure if I'll focus on translation or literacy, but I will be taking the graduate diploma program. This list includes electives:

Phonetics (Summer School) ,Language Learning (Summer Sch.), Language Awareness (Summer Sch.), Anthropology (Summer School)
Ethnography, Introduction to Phonology, Introduction to Grammar, Introduction to Sociolinguistics, Field Methods for Linguistic Data Collection, Field Methods for Literacy, Phonological Analysis, Grammatical Analysis, Training Across Cultures, Language Programme Design & Management, Word Processing for Linguistic Papers, Introduction to Literacy, Semantics, Translation of Sacred Texts, Literacy Education, Literacy Materials, Community Based Orthography Design, Field Methods for Research, Research Project, Seminar Topics, Special Topic 1, Special Topic 2

Please pray for the Lord's continued provision, not only for my monthly support, but also for monthly prayer partners. This program costs about $6,400 in tuition, books and fees so as people give one-time gifts, I am asking that anyone led to do so give toward my "lifelong learning" project, which is a tax-free and administrative fee-free account I can use directly to pay my tuition toward this training. Please also pray for wisdom for the moms on the team about how much of this training to take as we are told it is very intensive and will leave us very little free time. If you have any questions, please contact me! I'm very excited about this opportunity and have great interest in literacy and translation work so it will be awesome to be able to not only see a reproducible, sustainable tribal church planted to the praise of His glory, but to also be able to give the tribal people (who don't currently have written language) a Bible in their own heart language along with the new ability to read it. Praise God for the opportunity!

1 comment:

Laura said...

WOW! how exciting...i haven't read up on y'all for awhile, but this sounds great. what an opportunity for you, one that isn't as available for moms. i am jealous of your zeal and faith to follow God into a life of change!
Prayin' for ya,