Bible Week Booklets for downloading
The Tonga Contemporary Old Testament project is progressing steadily since it started in October, 2015. It all began with a weeklong translation workshop conducted at the Toutaimana Catholic Centre in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. This project is quite unique in the sense that each workshop participant from various Christian Churches had to work with a computer as modern technology is now adopted to speed up the translation work. It is a moving away from the old practice of writing translation drafts on separate books to doing translation on the computer right away. At the end of the workshop, all the participants were encouraged to start translating a book from the Old Testament. This was led by the former Bible Society Tonga Branch Chairman, the Reverend Lopeti Taufa, and the newly elect chairman, Lord Afu’alo Matoto. A follow up workshop on Paratext (computer software used) carried out in April 2016 at the same venue was very useful to the Tongan project team. An exciting development this year is the recruitment of a key translator and Theological College lecturer, Rev. Dr. Ma’afu Palu, to serve as the Project Translation Advisor in 2017 whilst undergoing training in this field under the Bible Society’s Translation Officer training program at the same time. The LORD is to be praised for the work progress so far which also reflects the great input and commitment from the project coordinator, Bill Falekaono. In addition, big Bill had also displayed his big heart by purchasing two laptop computers recently in October, which are now used by two potential translators/reviewers on the project. On the completion of this project, it will be joined to the already published Tongan Contemporary New Testament (commonly known as the ‘Taulua’) to become the Tongan Contemporary Bible. Almost 65% of the Old Testament books have been drafted so far.
More than 300 people converged at the Nailaga Methodist Church on Sunday 4th December 2016 to witness the launching of the “Tuxutuxu Vina sa Vola xo Marixa – ena Tata vaxa-Ba” (Gospel according to Mark in the Koronubu-Ba language). Receiving the first scripture booklet in the Western-Fiji itaukei language at this historical occasion was the prominent chief of the province, the Gone Marama na Tui Ba, Adi Senimili Cagilaba. She thanked the Bible Society and everyone who worked tirelessly on this special project. It is the first of its kind and more books of the New Testament will be translated and published in the coming years. The support from the ‘vanua’ and the Churches in Nailaga Ba was tremendous. Many people showed a lot of excitement about this project especially when the gospel is written in the new writing system of the Fijian
itaukei language; for example, the adoption of ‘x’ instead of ‘k’ to specifically sound out the guttural ‘kh’ (or ‘chet’ in Hebrew). God’s Word in the Koronubu language is indeed a timely Christmas gift for the Ba community in this advent season.
The Society’s Annual Donors’ Dinner was held at the Holiday Inn in Suva on the 28th of November. A little more than 100 people attended the fundraising event which was a success. The Every Home for Christ Ministry Regional Director, Pastor Manasa Kolivuso, was the Guest speaker for the evening and spoke on the theme for the evening, “God’s Word – Living Hope for All”. As a Bible Society donor himself, he challenged everyone at the Fundraiser to
support the Bible work in Fiji and the Pacific. Ongoing Bible-a-month donors were acknowledged and the invitation extended to potential donors present that evening as the Society continues to seek new donors who are willing to commit themselves to praying and giving towards the ministry. Also acknowledged were a number of long time faithful supporters of the Bible Society work who have passed on to be with the Lord.
A second major earthquake recently struck Nepal, killing dozens of people and injuring more than 1,000, though these numbers are likely to rise.
The earthquake, which was 7.3 on the Richter scale, hit the town of Namche Bazaar, near Mount Everest.
It comes just two weeks after a previous earthquake hit the country, killing more than 8,000 people.
With widespread damage to homes and buildings, tremors continue to be felt both in Kathmandu and around the country.
Many temporary shelters have now been cut off and with most communication channels still down, it is hard to evaluate the full scale of destruction.
An early start to the monsoon is hampering relief efforts. The first earthquake destroyed sewers and pipes leaving water supplies contaminated. Whole communities are now homeless and in desperate need of basic supplies.
So far, some £80,000 has been pledged from Bible Societies around the world, including £20,000 from the UK.
The local team has started to put together aid packs that include mosquito nets, medicine, food, blankets and scripture portions.
David Smith, Head of Bible Society’s International Programme, said, ‘When we learned of the first massive earthquake in Nepal a couple of weeks ago, we knew that our Bible Society colleagues in Kathmandu would be looking to help their country, and so that we had to do something to support them.
‘Bible Society is responding to provide physical and spiritual nourishment to the people of Nepal. Now that the second earthquake has hit, we’re waiting to see what we can do to stand in solidarity with them. In the meantime, please pray.’
Nobody in the Bible Society team has been killed in the two earthquakes, but the building is badly damaged and there are fears of a third quake.
General Secretary of the Nepal Bible Society, Tej Jirel, said, ‘Many thanks for your continued efforts to help us and for your prayers. There has been lots of damage.’
Arun Sok Nhep, United Bible Society spokesman for South East Asia added, ‘Following the first earthquake, many International agencies on the ground are bringing emergency relief to Kathmandu and the worst affected locations. However, smaller remote communities remain out of reach.
‘Our response is one of solidarity and compassion. The initial quake hit with such impact, it is impossible to bring help to all affected. However, we aim to supplement and help where we can. Through a big network of churches throughout cities, towns and villages, we aim to reach those unattainable by emergency relief.’