Earthquake strengthens translator’s resolve

Yuna Translators in remote PNG

A powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake in February rattled forest villages and properties in central Papua New Guinea where thousands of people live in the forested highlands.

Joel Peters, Bible Society Papua New Guinea (BSPNG) Translations Officer, reports the earthquake resulted in the loss of more than a hundred lives with thousands of locals displaced and property devastated.

The area is also home to BSPNG translators working on the Yuna Bible translation, one of BSPNG’s most remote projects. Translators in this region lead subsistence lifestyles, and their locally made homes and vegetable gardens were washed away by landslides.

Two of Yuna’s translation centers, Arou and Kelabo, which included missionary houses were destroyed.

“The people are thinking very hard how to rebuild centres again and see the Bible translation work continue,” said Joel Peters.

Other services like road and communication towers were destroyed too, creating more problems for people in the affected areas. Translators were out of reach for almost 30 days.

“’What’s next? Should translation work continue? Where will our help come from?’ These were the most important questions John and Daniel (Yuna translators) asked themselves following the earthquake,” said Joel Peters.

But despite it all, the translators haven’t lost their passion to continue the work. They are constantly praying, still many months later now, to see the centres rebuilt.

“What’s so encouraging is their courage to go through their first ever earthquake situation. Slowly, life is getting restored from physical, emotional and mental trauma. God has kept them safe,” Joel said.

Please pray for the rebuilding of their lives and the work of translation.

Written with information from Joel Peters on behalf of the Yuna Bible Translators.

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