JOY IN THE COMMUNITY AS THE NEW TESTAMENT TRANSLATION NEARS COMPLETION
Catechist Maika Raisilisi expressed his joy as the completion of the Maumi New Testament (NT) translation draws near. Maika is one of the translators of this project which has been running for the past 8 years. A workshop to conduct the final proofreading of the text was held in the village church on 17th April, 2018 where Catechist Maika shared from the Gospel of John chapter 14 during the devotion. He mentioned that the Maumi community is looking forward to the completion of the New Testament and God’s Word will clothe the community now and in the future. As part of his reflection, he said some powerful words claimed to be echoed by some Indian locals when the missionaries first brought the Gospel to India, quoting: “Don’t give us the Gospel in a pot plant; give us the seed of the Gospel (Jesus) so we can grow it in our own soil.”
At present, there are only a few elders in Maumi who still speak the language. The new generation hardly speak in Maumi but the common Fijian (Bauan) language amidst other district and provincial dialects. This was evident at the workshop as one of the proofreaders struggled to read in Maumi at the start but improved a lot as the checking exercise progressed. Nevertheless, the village elders are happy that through this translation project, their language will definitely be salvaged from being lost. This comes with the hope that the completed Maumi New Testament will encourage the speaking of the mother tongue and keeping the language alive in the community.