Boas opened the box of Ura New Testaments, for a moment falling quiet as the tears welled up. “My people need this.”
Boas had travelled to the SIL Regional Centre in Kokopo to see the recently printed scripture, then he took four copies with him for the village translation team members. The rest of the shipment will be forwarded to the Uramät community in Baining, East New Britain, for a dedication ceremony on September 20. As always, the ceremony is the responsibility of a local Planning Committee, but this will be a scripture dedication with a difference.
Here in PNG, restrictions are still in place in regard to large public gatherings, so the committee have had to creatively resolve this issue. Local leaders, pastors and village councillors have been invited to a down-sized event, with multiple ‘mini-dedications’ to be held in village churches and communities as the scriptures are distributed to the people over ensuing weeks.
In addition to this the SIL translators, Gary and Peggy Rosensteel, will not be at the event as they are currently in the US, having been advised to evacuate under the COVID-19 requirements earlier this year.
The Rosensteels are praising God that the various village leaders and denominational leaders are united and looking forward to the process.
It is a testament to all involved that they are focussed on the answered prayer, and the potential blessing to the community of the dedication and distribution progressing. To be honest, it would be understandable to be disappointed at the lost opportunity of a big shared event, and for the Rosensteels to feel they are missing out on seeing the conclusion to over three decades of ministry. Having experienced a dedication event ourselves, and seeing many videos of others, they are a powerful acknowledgement of God’s Spirit moving amongst His people.
Yet, serving the Lord can be like that sometimes. Peter wrote of the prophets…
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 1 Peter 1:12
However much we invest in kingdom service, it remains the Lord’s work… not ours. If we see a blessing from our efforts…. praise God. If we pass the baton to others to finish the race, then that is the task set for us. We are simply called to be faithful in service – whether that involves carrying the banner high out in front of the team, or applauding from the sidelines – giving glory to God in all that we do.
Please pray …
. that God’s glory and power will be evident in the September 20 event and at each village ceremony
. for the logistical elements of distribution across multiple village communities
. that God’s Word will impact the lives of the Uramät communities, through preaching and personal reading