Bible Distribution and Leadership Training on Tanna and Luganville, Santo in 2016
This is a brief report from Pastor Graem Jackel and his wife Sally who have been coming to Vanuatu for the last 4 years distributing more than 2,000 copies of Bislama Bibles to the people of Tanna. This year 2016 they have extended their trip to Santo running short leadership seminar for pastors and leaders and distributing Bibles to the needy people in the remote villages.
Pastor Graem and Sally Jackel came from a Baptist church in Melbourne Australia. They have plans to return to Luganville, Santo in August for another leadership training seminar for pastors and leaders in August this year 2016. They are currently raising funds to purchase another 500 copies of Bislama Bibles for free distribution to the people of Santo Bush mission villages in Santo.
Bible Society of the South Pacific – Vanuatu branch partnered with pastor Graem and Sally Jackel by giving them special mission discount to purchase Bibles for free distribution to remote villages. We also encourage other churches and Christians to come forward and get involved great Bible mission work putting Bibles God’s Word into hands of the poor people in the remote and rural villages of Vanuatu like what Pastor Graeme & Sally are doing.
Sally and I visited Tanna and Santo in April. Previously 400 Bibles had been sent to Chief Tom Numake and these were distributed to Pastors during our stay there. Another 100 Bibles and other Christian materials were forwarded after our visit there We held a seminar for 18 Pastors for 4 days and taught on End Times as outlined in the book of Daniel and Revelation. All were very hungry to receive the Word of God.
Following this we went to Luganville and met up with Wilson Kali (Christian Policeman) and Pastor Bruno of the Praise and Worship Church there. We went to a church about one hour trip away and ministered there. It was a great joy to be able to distribute Bibles to the people from the 100 Bibles that had been sent there previously. So in all we saw 600 Bibles sent out to these two places in both English and Bislama. Praise the Lord.
Last Sunday on the 6 of March at 2pm VCC launched church appeal to support cyclone Winston victims in Fiji. The appeal will closed on the 3 of April with an ecumenical church service to dedicate offerings and donations from the churches at PMC church to send the appropriate relief agencies in Fiji to distribute to areas of need in Fiji. VCC member churches expressed their deepest regret and sympathy to families who are affected and who have lost their loved ones during the disaster. The churches in Vanuatu stand in unity with the government of Vanuatu and prayer for the churches and the government of Fiji for recovery of the lives of the people of Fiji.
Father Dustan who preached the word of God emphasized duty of the churches in times of disaster like cyclone Winston and Pam to stand in Unity in (1) Prayer (2) Give to Support (3) Witness to support our Christian brothers sisters who are in great need now in Fiji. The church is a body of believers who live in unity in supporting each other in times of great challenge of disaster.
During cyclone Pam Vanuatu had received enormous support from a lot governments and relief agencies around the world in terms of food and housing materials physically. The churches expressed their appreciation and thank the United Bible Societies for making this possible to launch Vanuatu’s appeal for Cyclone Pam Bible Replacement project last year 2015 and the response by the Bible Society of New Zealand to provide funding for this project which came to almost US$40,000.00.
The new arrival stock of 3,000 Bislama Bibles and 4,000 Good News Bible have arrived kindly sponsored by the Bible Society of New Zealand as part of Bible Society response to cyclone pam rehabilitation program to help those lost and damaged Bibles can get a new copy to continue to read God Word.
The churches the Bible Society wishes to express our thanks and appreciation to the government of Vanuatu granting Vat and tax exemption to allow free distribution to cyclone Pam affected areas in Vanuatu.
We look forward to working with churches to carry out fair distribution to cyclone Pam affected areas. Please contact and liaise with Bible Society office in Port Vila to get full information about the distribution of these Bibles on Telephone 23286.The churches appeal to churches and business houses take note of this special appeal to support cyclone Winston in Fiji and make all effort to announce this appeal to all churches and members to contribute funds and clothes and cooking utensils, plates, glass, cups, spoons and forks to support those families who lost everything in the disaster.
Please bring all support and join with all the churches combine service at PMC on Sunday 3 April 2016 at 2pm in the afternoon.
1. To complete the review of Mark chapters 4-16 (whole book)
2. To recruit 2 or 3 new translators
3. Give out the gospel of Mathew, Luke and John for translation
4. Get the translators sign a Translation Contract.
5. To pay the Translator and the reviewers team their dues.
On Wednesday at 8.30 am, a team of 7 men and women gathered together at Ba Town Methodist church and carry out a verse by verse checking of Rev. Savenaca’s 1st translation draft. We started from Mark chapter 4 and we finish the day at 5pm reaching chapter 8. It was a slow start due to the majority of the reviewers not trained in the know how.
To help speed up work the next day which was our last day, we distribute the 9 remaining chapters to them to read in the night and mark off any corrections or improvement they suggested. At 6.00 pm we presented our sevusevu to the elders of Ba Town Methodist Church and also they presented theirs to us. We spend 2 hours of talanoa around the bowl discussing and answering questions about Translation work and Ba Translation project to an interested group of men.
On Thursday we started at 8.30 am again beginning at chapter 9 but unfortunately the volunteers still need to learn more. We pushed on to 4.30 pm but only managed to finish chapter 12. Since we need to complete the chapters from 13 – 16 I requested the volunteers if they are willing to continue tomorrow as it will be expensive if I go back to Suva and come back for the remaining chapters. With a little of dicussion the volunteers agreed in which this time the venue will be at Rev. Savenaca Nakeke’s residence in Nasolo.
On Friday the last day we started at 8.30am with just 3 people. By 9.00am everybody was in Rev Nakeke’s house was ideal for the day. It was quiet and away from town, with beautiful scenery and cool breeze throughout the day. They were a few ladies serving us with refreshments and lunch. We worked till 6pm completing the 16th chapter of Mark. Then I had to leave in a hurry at 6.00 pm to catch the last bus from Lautoka to Suva at Ba bus stand.
It was a 3 day of continuous checking of every verse in those chapters. I admired the endurance and the lively participation of those men and women. It was my joy to work with them.
Story By Apenisa Lewatoro, BSSP Translation Officer, Port Vila, Vanuatu (4/8/15).
After our first day of checking the North Pentecost’s Hano New Testament project yesterday afternoon at the Bible Society office here in Port Vila, the translator Collinette Siba (nee Gaviga) shared her traumatic experience of Cyclone Pam (in March 2015) without hiding her emotions.
“We lost everything during the cyclone. Both our home and guest house were destroyed as we took refuge in the church. It was really a scary experience! After cyclone Pam left, we discovered there was nothing left. Our property had all gone. There was no water as our water tank pipe was broken. It was a very sorry sight! But my husband Robin just thought of the translation books and Bible and attempted to recover them. He had put all the books and Bible inside a plastic container and placed the container under a small table inside the house. Amazingly, the container and its content were all safe, not even wet. That’s why I’m able to bring them to Port Vila with me this week for the translation checking.”
Collinette has worked tirelessly on the translation of God’s Word into her native Hano language for the last 19 years. Her dad, Anglican priest Fr Mark Gaviga, was part of the review team that had worked on the Four Gospels and later translated Paul’s epistles and other NT books. Her younger sister, Annie, now works as a Translation Clerk at the Bible Society in Port Vila. The Hano New Testament project has struggled to reach the finish line since it started in 1979 (Four Gospels launched in 1988) and has been revived lately with the goal to complete the project by 2016. Contributing to the delay in progress was the lack of supporting funds and its history of the translation books gone missing or severely damaged by past cyclones. This often resulted in Collinette being tasked to re-translate whatever is in the missing manuscripts. Now there are only a few missing chapters and verses that she needs to translate again and the financial support from the United Bible Societies amongst other donors is greatly acknowledged. However, there still exists a real need to practically help Collinette and her family in restoring their lives after all that has been lost.
Apart from the importance of receiving project funds to propel the translation work forward, the life of a translator such as Collinette is also very critical in order to achieve the translation goals. As for Collinette, she’s still living with her husband Robin and their four children under a tent in their North Pentecost village. Drinking water is strictly rationed and all washings are done at sea (about 45 mins walk). They’ve only received food rations twice from the government so far. A friend from abroad has helped bought six roofing iron sheets for their new home. But unfortunately it’s not enough to rebuild their livelihood and get their house back. Please pray for Collinette and other people here in Vanuatu who still goes through deep suffering and pain after Cyclone Pam. And do let the Bible Society near you know if you’d love to give a financial donation specifically for Collinette’s family. This will in turn help speed up the Hano New Testament project, too.
And whilst in Port Vila since last Monday, my work plan had changed after listening to some translators’ personal stories about their encounter with Cyclone Pam. This was prior to Collinette’s arrival. My set goals for the two weeks in Vanuatu were primarily to check the scripture comic translations in four languages and work on the Hano NT project. However, after my exposure to the deep hurts and suffering faced, I am currently facilitating an impromptu Trauma Healing seminar for all the translators each morning for two hours before the translation checking. This has helped Collinette and the other
translators to share their experiences in our healing group and find comfort in God though our prayers. The team is also prepared to translate into Bislama (common language of Vanuatu) the Trauma Healing book titled, “Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help” (by Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill, Richard Bagge, & Pat Miersma). I trust and pray that this scripture booklet, once translated, will be a great tool for the Church to use in the near future in terms of ministering to the many lives that are still deeply traumatized.