During our years in Lae, we often shared stories of the Numanggang OT translation team, headed up by brothers Isum and Saleng. A highlight was seeing Saleng’s hand-written translation of Deuteronomy before sending it up the mountain to Ukarumpa so that it could be typed up for consultant checking. March 2016 newsletter. At the time, Keith noted Saleng’s beautiful flowing script, evidence that he had certainly written out the text more than once.
This past month, the translation team has been in Ukarumpa working on consultant checking of the last five Old Testament books, so we took the opportunity to invite the brothers for a meal. While Saleng’s handwriting has not diminished one bit, this dear saint has lost much of his hearing, and struggles to participate in open conversation even with a basic audio mic and headphone system. Isum is very gracious, and often repeated key points loudly and clearly so that his older brother could be included.
What was clear, though, was the bond between us of serving together in the Kingdom task of Bible translation. Our brief nine years seems nothing compared to the decades committed by these two, yet they greeted us as valued colleagues, and friends.
There is much more to tell of the Numanggang OT work as the team nears the end of the task, but we’ll make space for that in our June newsletter.
- Praise God that the Numanggang OT is now fully drafted, and final consultant checking is in progress.
- Pray that Saleng – who is about 86 years old – remains in good health to see the complete Bible published. His dear wife went home to Jesus in 2022 after several years of poor health.
- Isum is also heavily involved in training the community in literacy and Scripture use. Pray for wisdom as he undertakes this foundational work.
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