Sunday, September 11, 2011

Update and history from the translation team

July 10,2011 marked the day that finally the Balangao and Majukayong translators could shout, It’s truly finished! We have a place to translate!”
No words can express our thankfulness to everyone who helped, prayed and gave for the project. We thank God so very, very much , and all those who helped build and for those who prayed for this project. We pray God to truly bless all of you.
Before Daryl, Kyle and Robinson [the last building crew] left and the building was finished, Daryl said to us, "We’ve finished the building…but the big job is yours—the translation work.” That’s why we still need YOU and other people to help us do the big task before us! We need you to pray for us—a lot! You have become our support team.
In the last set of pictures you saw us at our desks, working.
History of the Balangao Translation Team
God started speaking Balangao when SIL missionary Joanne Shetler obeyed God and traveled from “a million miles away” to the land where people were forced to obey the spirits—they controlled their lives.
When the word of God started to appear in the heart language of the Balangaos, people started believing. Then in 1982 the Balangao New Testament was completed with the help of so many who contributed to the task in one way or another. That book was dedicated at one of the Bible conferences that was held in Butac. Besides the NT, Genesis 1-30 was also printed and in trial use during that time. The completed Balangao NT was like giving the Balangaos a two-edged sword to use in everyday life. The believers were so very happy to have their sword; they treasured it so very much. Then they came to know that the NT was only the second part of the whole God-story. In the analogy of evangelist and Bible teacher, Doming Lucasi, he said, “Having only the NT is like having a sword without a handle.” He needed the Old Testament to teach from. The more the people heard about it, the more they started to clamor for it.
In 1999, Doming formed the first Balangao Translation Team: Robyn Lucasi, Genny Galdayén and Alipio Baleo-ang under the guidance of Doming and Loree Lucasi. The following year Joanne Lucasi was recruited to join the team. Alipio left the team the end of 2000 and Genny Galdayén’s health caused her to leave in September 2001. That year in August Grace Dontogan joined the team. She was recruited as the representative of the Roman Catholic group. Cristy Seb-oton also helped but only for a number of months—she had young children at home and could not stay away from them for so long.
The team did not have adquate training for the task; the great need caused them to just plunge in and work! How the team thanks the Lord for the people along the way who had the expertise and were willing to help train us novice translators.
This need led to the establishment of the Northern Philippines Mother Tongue Translators Association (NPMTTA) in June 2000 at SIL-Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya. It is our umbrella organization for a number of teams who are to continuing translation of God’s Word into their languages. SIL has sponsored countless workshops and seminars training the mother tongue translators. And SIL translators have been mentoring them in their work.
Our team has gone through many struggles as we have tried to work on our own. We were able to do a rough draft of most of the OT. Sadly, none of those books progressed to the printing stage yet when the Lord took our visionary and encourager, Doming, home to be with Him in 2007. This left the team with only three members: Joanne, Robyn and Grace.
In 2009, five books of the OT was printed: Genesis, I Samuel 1-15, Nehemiah, Jonah and Malachi. The three of us kept working on second drafts and exegesis of the other books.
Currently, we’re working on different stages of different books. Joanne partner-checking Jeremiah, Robyn is partner-checking Leviticus and Grace is doing second draft of 1 Chronicles.
Please join us in thanking the Lord for this beautiful finished translation building and for His provision of this place. Also, THANK Him for all those individuals, known and unknown, who helped in this project by building, praying and giving toward it For good health. We thank the Lord, too, each day for meeting our personal needs.
But we still need your prayer help. One of our chief concerns and greatest prayer needs is for the church leaders here in Balangao to “join the team” by helping us check the translated scriptures by using them in their Bible studies. We desperately need their help. Please also help us by asking the Lord to give us the wisdom we need to continue this task before us. And pray for God's provision of our daily needs. Please don’t forget to mention our need for good health and that need also for our families.

2004 Balangao Translation Team

Jo and Team going over Jonah

Jo and Translation Team checking Nehemiah 2

The Forever grateful trio


  1. Dear Robyn
    Me and my sister and mum are reading And The Word Came With Power. We want to pray for you and everyone doing the translation. Last night we prayed for the balengaoes and the missionaries and whatever they are doing. This morning mum found this post and showed us. I hope you get the translation finished.

    Love Kiera-Lee (9 years)

  2. It was quite exciting to find this blog after praying last night after reading the 12th chapter of Ms Shelter's book. We were wondering about where the Balangaos are now hence my googling them. We are really enjoying the book. My daughters are wide eyed and challenged by all we are reading. Thank you for this blog - it also helps people like us to keep praying for the current needs of the Balangao people. :-) Taryn (mom of Kiera)

  3. We have just finished the amazing story of the Balangao people. How mightily God works! We will never forget the Balangao people and we will keep praying for you all. We are also curious to know if Robyn and Joanne are the same twin girls that Joanne Shelter mentions in her book? And if Doming and Loree are the parents? :-)