Friday, May 25, 2012

Question from Price

Hi Ms. Joanne!  We just finished reading And the Word Came with Power, we are praying for the Balangaos, and wondering if there is another way we can help the translation team along with prayer?  Thank you for your great book!

Age 8
Air Force Family

Dear Price,

It’s wonderful to hear from you! Please pray for God to lead Ignacio (the Translation Team leader) to some men who will be skilled and have a gift to translate.  We need some men!  I am not sure if you are asking about help besides prayer.  Of course, they always like to get a little salary.  If you would like to give like that, you can send a gift to Wycliffe and ask them to please apply it to the Balangao OT project, Philippines.
 (The address for Wycliffe is PO Box 628200, Orlando, FL, 32862-8000.)

 Have a wonderful summer, Price!
“Aunt” Jo (In Wycliffe we get to play “auntie” to all children!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

From Ignacio’s daughter, Kim, training to be a second generation missionary!

From Ignacio’s daughter, Kim, training to be a second generation missionary!

My parents have almost finished translating the New Testament for the Majukayong people, across the mountain from us here in Balangao. I came to know the Lord as a child,
I’m a Balangao…a second generation Christian. My parents are both serving the Lord with TAP (Translators Association of the Philippines) as Bible Translators for the Majukayong people, across the mountain from us here in Balangao. Since childhood, they have been teaching us from the word of God. We five children learned the importance of knowing God and accepting Christ Jesus personally. At the age of five I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior through my parents’ witness. As a kid I did not completely understand the implications of these things but as I grew up in Sunday School, DVBS and other church activities and by my parents’ guidance, I came to understand more and more about God and His Word. My knowing Him as my Savior and Lord was not dramatic but I feel His presence in my life.                                              
My father carried me back home after                                    Pineapple grows big in Majukayong!
meetings away from home.

From childhood I would often hear from my father that there are many people here on earth who do not yet know the Lord; so at first I thought I would study medicine and be a Missionary Doctor, using that to reach these people, so in preparation I focused my college work, majoring in Biology. I attended ECC (Evangelical Cell Church) during my 4 years in college where I got involved with the music team. I also taught kids in the DVBS programs during summers. I even facilitated during youth camps. I was also involved with Campus Crusade for Christ where we witness to our fellow students. Joining these different ministries and activities I grew spiritually and I desired all the more to become a missionary doctor. But after graduating from college, the door to medical school never opened for me. I was very disappointed at that time but I was reminded of what my parents always taught us about surrendering our wishes and desires to
God and just waiting on Him to lead.
                                                With my parents just before my college graduation, 2010

I waited for the Lord’s leading or for him to open a door for me For one year after I finished college. Two opportunities were opened, 1) There was an invitation for me to go to Chiang Mai, Thailand and minister to Missionary Kids or 2) to follow after the footsteps of my parents. But I thought kids of missionaries have already heard God’s Word from childhood like me. So that is not much of a challenge than going into a place where God’s Word was never heard before.

Growing up as a Missionary kid, I have experienced and also seen the hardships and difficulties of going into full time Christian service, but these things did not discourage me knowing that these hardships are nothing compared to God’s promises that He will give to His children in the in the days to come. Also, I thought of that passage in the Bible that says, “…What does it profit for a man to gain the whole World and loses his soul?” I understand this to mean that a single soul is far more valuable than all the wealth that planet earth can give.
So in preparation for the task ahead, I will be enrolling this coming June at PNU (Philippine Normal University) to take up MA in Applied Linguistics. After my MA, I want to do literacy works somewhere in Africa…. I’m also open of doing Bible Translation if it’s what God wants me to do.

Please pray with me for the following;
1) Pray that the Lord would lead me to the right people as I begin to raise ministry partners and prayer support.
2) Pray for my schooling to take up MA in Applied Linguistics by June of 2012. Pray that the Lord would give me a sound mind and hearth to go for it.
3) Pray that I would always hunger and thirst for His Word and to walk according to His leading every day of my life.
            DVBS class where I taught                                                                       Singing at a Group’s Christmas party

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Majukayong update

Ignacio “cut his translation teeth” working on the Balangao NT translation many years ago. That book brought new life to many. But Ignacio had a burden for the people across the mountain from Balangao. He learned to be a Bible Translator, working with Translators Association of the Philippines (TAP) and he is on the “last lap” of his translating the Scriptures for the Majukayong people. (When finished next year, Lord willing, he will work full-time on the Balangao Old Testament!) The Scriptures are totally new to the people of Majukayong—Scriptures are something only leaders of a church might have—in another language. He reports on the impact of Scriptures in the language of the people.
Story one:
We went to visit one of our seven Bible-Reading Classes in up-river Majukayong to test the naturalness of our translation. [These groups are not from churches, but ad hoc people who come together to read something in their own language.] They were reading Acts 8: 1-40 in the Majukayong Translation. They each took turns reading the passage. Then the leader commented, “I think that Ethiopian official was reading it the same way we do… Just think—how could Philip have heard him reading the Isaiah passage if he were not reading it out loud? I think what we are doing is the right way to do it. When we read it out loud, then we discuss what the passage means...that’s a good way to do it.” After a few seconds of silence, one from the group raised a searching question: “In verse 8, it says ‘…at amud sey layad da tagu assey vubruy saji.’ (‘…then the people in that village were intensely happy!’) And in verse 39, the official was not only alarmed when Philip just vanished after being baptized, but rather went on his way rejoicing. But look at us, here we are, reading the passage and I do not see any evidence of rejoicing among us—what are we lacking.” A lively but very interesting discussion followed. A leader from one of the other reading classes who was with us, a Christian, promised to go back that week and talk more with them about issues the Scriptures brought up!
This has led to a House Church being formed in that very place! Annie Sogan, one of the present “read-through-the-revision” team leaders is now in charge of this group that meets every Sunday to learn more from God’s Word in their own language!
Story two:
Going further up-river, we attended another Reading Class. That leader reported to us, “I have a neighbor who has two sons who joined the Anglican priesthood. But this woman herself still won’t attend any of the Anglican services, including those one of her sons leads. She is very strict in her own group…and she only attends functions performed by a leader from her group. But the reading class leader told us, smiling, “Now, however, she’s a member of our reading group, hearing the Word of God in her own language!”
After some time the mother of the leader of this reading class died. Our MTT’s and I walked far to their village to attend the wake and burial. As is their custom in this Anglican area, the Anglican priest is expected to perform the mass and lead the people in praying for the soul of the dead so that this mother would be accepted into Heaven. But the priest at that time had a severely sore throat and couldn’t talk! So he asked me to say the mass in his behalf. But I said, I can’t do that the way you are doing. But he insisted, saying, “Just use the prayer book…read it from there.” Feeling obligated to him because he was one of our friends and a promoter of our translation, I said, “Yes I can help you—but may I reword some of the readings to fit our situation?” He consented, so instead of praying for the soul of the dead, we prayed for the bereaved family, their relatives and all the people who were present to come to know the Lord.
After the Scripture reading, I gave some further explanation, which they call the homily. And then, looking at the chicken tied beside the coffin, the husband of our reviewer explained, “We borrowed that practice from you Balangaos. I do not know what it means, but they say it is a good custom to send a present to the dead for them to take to the other world where they will go and live.” That was my opportunity to tell him that was the reason why we translate God’s word so that we can learn and understand where we will go and live next.
(Ignacio loves a joke if the occasion presents itself! He tells this story:) The following day, we were carrying our loads on our two-hour hike down the river towards our translation office. A group of Down-River people were also hiking with us. I overheard one behind me say to one of the younger ones, “You are not carrying anything...please go help Father Magangat carry his staff (RC and Anglican Priests are addressed as Father).” Another asked, “When were you ordained, Father?” I answered back and said, “I became a father of 5 more than two decades ago.”
Praises and prayer concerns;
Pray for our Majukayong Translation Project. We have now submitted many books to our Consultant for final checking. We are waiting…please pray that she will find time to check for us. (We cannot move on with our translation without first having it checked by a consultant.)
Our 3rd son Titus just graduated from college, (BS Mechanical Engineering) April 10, 2012. Pray for God’s provision as he will be going down to Manila for a 4 months review from May 21 to the mid of September and then take the Board Exam on the 3rd week of the same month.
Our only daughter, Kimberly Ruth (who graduated in 2010, BS Biology) decided to join the Translators Association of the Philippines after hearing me mention many times about the many people groups around the World who have never had what we have—God’s Word in their mother tongue. Pray for her as she now begins to raise prayer and financial support.
Pray too, that as we grow closer to the Lord, that we would also grow closer as a team with each other—fellow workers in the Lord—in love, humility and peace so we can accomplish more, following His leading.
Pray also for us, that the Lord would continue to supply our family’s daily needs.