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MAY 2010

A Clear Message
Sign-language translation supports the growing
Deaf missions movement

 NARD’S
 STORY:  A
 COMMUNITY’S PASSION:
Free Bible-focused VBS materials 2 Branchu New Testament dedicated 6
Nard’s Story
Words From Roy Inspiring the next generation
As we enjoy a season The high value we place Nard Pugyao was born and raised in a small remote
of life and hope already on individuals and cultures
village in the mountains of the Philippines. His
knowing our Creator, is a heritage many other
parents would never have dreamed that their
I have some great news: nations don’t have.
“This same Good News son would grow up to help Bible translators as a
People who don’t know missionary pilot. It was rare for children in that part
that came to you is going
that God loves them often
out all over the world. It is of the northern Philippines to leave their village.
live with a deep sense
bearing fruit everywhere This summer, through a partnership with GoFish
of shame and low self-
by changing lives, just as VBS curriculum that will feature Nard’s story, many
esteem. Many Bibleless
it changed your lives from
groups see themselves in children will learn how they, too, can be used by God
the day you first heard and
that same light. Globally, and make the Bible a central part of their lives.
understood the truth about
the people groups in power
God’s wonderful grace”
may treat other ethnicities GoFish, a Christian band for children, will share
(Colossians 1:6, NLT).
like slaves. Nard’s story as a missions component of their popular
That’s just as relevant
today as it was when Paul Through His Word, God is Backstage with the Bible VBS program.
first wrote it nearly 2,000 transforming people and
years ago. Nard’s story is a natural fit for a group focused on
validating cultures. The
good news God Himself “Putting the Bible back into Vacation Bible School.”
Thanks in part to your
sent in the language of When Nard was a child, a foreigner came to his area
involvement, people are
their deepest thoughts to translate the Bible. This man, Dick, became a
translating Scripture
offers them power, friend and mentor to Nard. Dick helped Nard with his
in more than 1,900
freedom and equality that studies, and Nard helped Dick learn his language. As
languages worldwide today.
changes them forever.
“God wanted them to know Dick shared with Nard what he was translating from
that the riches and glory of Thank you for your part, God’s Word, Nard came to know Christ.
Christ are for you Gentiles,
too. And this is the secret: Like Nard, every child needs Christian friends and
Christ lives in you” mentors that point them to God’s Word.
(Col. 1:27, NLT). Photos courtesy of Nard Pugyao

Sometimes we can
forget our unique biblical
foundation here in the
Roy L. Peterson, President
A Great VBS Addition
United States. Already selected a VBS program?
You can still use the FREE
OneVerse missions materials. Find
SEEDLINKS, MAY 2010—2
out more at oneverse.org/vbs
Sharing the Clear Message
Sign-language translation is the first in South Asia
Cocos translators hold up
the translation story board
with pictures of the signed
translation.

Hashar never wanted to be a Christian.


But after nine frustrating him. He soon became was a devout group but numbers. Without a clear
years in a school with curious about this Jesus. they deviated drastically translation in their sign
hearing students, Hashar After someone explained from Scripture. This cult language, print literature—
transferred to a Deaf school the gospel clearly to him in sent him to the office of including the Bible—is
where he was around his sign language, Hashar D.O.O.R. International incomprehensible.
believers. As he learned accepted Christ. (Deaf Opportunity
This is changing. More
to communicate in Cocos OutReach) as a spy. God
Hashar didn’t have many than 1,200 Deaf people
Sign Language, he mocked had other plans, however,
options to help him grow from throughout the nation
Christians he met there, and today Hashar is
in his young faith. He gathered to dedicate the
but their lifestyle impressed faithfully serving God.
joined what he thought first set of 32 Bible stories
Hashar’s confusion in Cocos Sign Language on
highlights a significant January 30. They celebrated
problem among “core” completing this set, which
Deaf, that is, those born explains the salvation
deaf and those who became message. Through a new
deaf before learning to partnership with The Seed
speak well. Only about 15 Company, Wycliffe Bible
percent of the Cocos group Translators and DOOR,
Over 1,200 Deaf are literate. Reading words Hashar has been involved
people celebrated on a page with no sound in outreach to other Deaf.
the arrival of the
is like trying to memorize (Continued on page 8)
salvation story
and others! hundreds of phone SEEDLINKS, MAY 2010—3
God at Work:
Stories From Around the World
Bendo’s New
Beginning
CAMEROON, AFRICA—Bendo’s
French Bible didn’t make much
sense to him and it showed.
His family lacked what they needed because he wasted
his money on liquor. “I didn’t take care of my family. I
was living contrary to the will of God, because I didn’t
understand His Word in any depth.
“But from Genesis 2:18-25 I understood the place of the
wife. God created her with a rib from man—that is part of
myself! This Word of God in Yambetta penetrated to the
core of my heart.
“Now my wife and I manage our finances together. We’ve
decided to celebrate our marriage in a church ceremony
very soon. Thanks to the Word of God in my mother
tongue, we’re able to do this. May the Lord be praised!”

“But from Genesis 2:18-25 I understood the place of


the wife. God created her with a rib from man—that is
part of myself!” “ —Bendo

Hiding the Word in Their Hearts


NIGERIA, AFRICA—In an cannot read, and she is so
environment of civil unrest excited to hear God’s Word in
near Nigeria’s capital city, our language! She is making
the Ichen translation team my children read the gospel
is making steady progress. stories from John to her every
Believers are hungry for night so she can memorize
the Word. them.”
One translator’s family is The gospel is bringing
using the newly published hope and assurance in the
Gospel of John during regular midst of personal and civil
family devotions. “My mother uncertainties.

“[My mother] is making my children read the gospel


stories from John to her every night so she can
memorize them.” —Ichen translator

SEEDLINKS, MAY 2010—4


Setting Prisoners Free
PHILIPPINES, PACIFIC—Inmates recently published
in a prison of Antique Province in Kinaray-a New
Marking His Words the Philippines deeply appreciated Testament. When
UGANDA, AFRICA—
a special gift from Governor Sally project advisor Bea
The Lubwisi-speaking Zaldivar-Perez. She had brought recently visited the
churches in western Uganda each one a Scripture portion in prison and rehab
are making good use of their their Kinaray-a mother tongue. center, she saw the difference
only published Gospel so far: “They read it over and over again,” it was making.
Mark. A leader shared, “I she said. She promised them
thank the Lord for the Gospel “When I read the Bible in my own
copies of the soon-to-be-published
of Mark in Lubwisi. Although language, the heaviness in my
New Testament.
I’ve been a church leader for a heart becomes lighter,” said one
long time, I can’t understand Since then, the governor has prisoner. Another told Bea, “I am
ordered 1,700 copies of the learning to humble myself and to
the New Testament in the
have patience.” God’s Word doesn’t
other language the church has
Governor Sally Zaldivar-Perez just rehabilitate people;
been using.
(pictured) ordered 1,700 copies it transforms them.
“For example, the real of the recently published Kinaray-a
meaning of the important New Testament for prisoners in
word ‘grace’ wasn’t coming Read more about these projects and
her province.
across. But as I read Lubwisi, other projects around the world at
I understood the meaning theseedcompany.org
well. In fact, it was as if Jesus
Himself was speaking to me!
May God bless the translators
for the great job they’re
doing.”
The team is planning to
complete the New Testament
in 2011.

“I thank the Lord for the


Gospel of Mark in Lubwisi.”
—Lubwisi leader

SEEDLINKS, MAY 2010—5


Preserving Their Culture and Growing the Church

God uses many means to five years old. With a phenomenon rather than The New Testament
initiate Bible translation backdrop of civil conflict as a foreign religion. is complete, but God’s
projects. In 1999, it was and overt religious work among the Branchu
Over ten years as Scripture
clear that the Branchu opposition, this courageous people is just beginning.
portions became available,
people had a strong desire group requested help. The six-member Branchu
the number of believers
to preserve their Branchu team is transitioning
Very early in the project, has increased about
language and heritage. into a new project to help
George and other Branchu 500 percent! In one of
This was the open door facilitate translation in
workers published three New Testament
Christians needed to add a cluster project for four
calendars, songbooks, dedications, more than
the New Testament to the neighboring languages.
literacy booklets and 650 believers gathered.
growing body of Branchu Photo by Todd Sasnett (The Seed Company)
small magazines in their Branchu Christians
literature.
language. They sent a contributed more than
The church, consisting traveling “road show” team $3,000 toward the
of about a few hundred using Branchu dances celebration activities.
believers scattered in and entertainment and Because Branchu speakers
a people group of over finishing with offering live in two countries,
300,000, was only about materials in the language. the New Testament was
People soon embraced the published in two scripts on
New Testament translation each page.
project as a local work and
The team distributed
accepted the Christianity
45 audio players to
associated with it as a local
leaders who successfully Working Together
completed their training
Over ten years as Scrip- “We’re all a part of God’s
and committed to starting
work, whether we’re doing
ture portions became new listening groups. The
evangelism or translating Bibles.
available, the number of device will help grow new
It’s God’s plan to fulfill the Great
cell churches from the
believers has increased seed of God’s Word in their Commission and do His work in
about 500 percent! mother tongue. these last days. I’m just honored
that I got to be there and be a
part of that.” — Mike Ketner,
international evangelist
SEEDLINKS, MAY 2010—6
Deaf Kenyans now have
a Scripture DVD and
storyboard book in their
language!

New Life: Deaf believers in Kenya receive


God’s Word for the first time.
God’s plans are always more amazing than we can ever expect. DVD Bible Story and a storyboard he can use in teaching. The
This has been clear as D.O.O.R. International (Deaf Opportunity literal English translation of the title is Know God How. The study
OutReach), a Seed Company partner in our sign-language will help the learners understand the gospel and give them
translations, builds its International Deaf Bible Translation and opportunities to respond.
Training Center in Kenya.
In addition to this evangelistic outreach, Deaf fellowships are using
A foreman on the construction project started a Bible study with the DVD series for group study during their meetings. New believers
some hearing workers and five came to Christ. Mwiti, a Deaf can find encouragement and can grow in their faith as they interact
construction worker wondered how he could bring this same with other Deaf in these fellowships.
experience to his 15 Deaf co-workers. “Do you have something we
While the men working at DOOR’s site are building a translation
can use for our Deaf Bible study?” he asked the DOOR staff. Then
center, the translated Scripture is building them. They’re working on
he signed, “But I really don’t want books. Do you have something
holy ground. Photo by Todd Sasnett (The Seed Company)
we can use for our Deaf
Bible study?”
“The members of the Deaf world see themselves not as
For the first time,
people with a disability, but as members of a language
the answer was an
enthusiastic “YES!” minority whose native language happens to be a signed
Mwiti now has 17 copies language.”— John Holzman, Seed Company partner
of the newly released
Kenyan Sign Language

SEEDLINKS, JUNE 2007—5 SEEDLINKS, MAY 2010—7


Seed Company launches a new initiative
Meet Elvis Guenekean
Each day in translation projects around the world, difficulties, and this showed me that
God is using highly qualified nationals to bring the He had a plan and purpose for me.”
Bible to their people. Elvis Guenekean is just one of
Seasoned Bible translators like Elvis
the new candidates for The Seed Company’s FACT
can provide valuable insight and
internship, a program that helps prepare Facilitators,
oversight for new projects. That’s why
Advisors, Coaches and Trainers in their community.
The Seed Company launched a new
Elvis isn’t new to translation work. He has worked initiative to prepare capable project
faithfully as the translation project coordinator in leaders. FACT leverages capacity
Central African Republic for almost ten years despite among mother-tongue translators whose projects
a period of government instability. are completed, so they can assist as project managers
in neighboring areas. This program will help build
Elvis writes about his experience: “When our project
appropriate translation capacity within 1,000
was forced to relocate because of violence in our area,
language groups over the next ten years.
it served to reinforce my sense of calling to this work
and my trust in God’s protection on my life and that Elvis is eager to begin. “I want to be of service to the
of my family. He preserved us through enormous work of Bible translation in my country and maybe
in the future even more broadly.” It’s certain God will
use him in a powerful way.

“I want to be of service to the work of Bible


translation in my country and maybe in the
future even more broadly.” —Elvis

Sharing the Clear Message (Continued)


He’s started numerous Deaf fellowships stories so they can apply the truth to
and been a signer for the Cocos Sign their lives.
Language Bible DVD.
Cocos is the first sign-language
Deaf fellowships are hungry for the Scripture project completed in South
DVD Bible. These groups, led solely Asia. An estimated nine million Deaf
by Deaf believers, use the Scriptures live in this nation. Cocos is the mother Deaf Bible translators sign the
in DVD format along with dramatic tongue for about 100,000 of them. Bible passage for a camera
retelling, picture books called This DVD Scripture series is shattering in front of a green screen that
storyboards and signed discussion the sound barrier that has long is later digitally replaced with
to help their members understand, marginalized the Deaf community and
pictures and other visuals.
memorize and effectively retell the isolated them from God’s truth.
Photos by Elyse Patten (Monsoon/Wycliffe Australia)

See photos from the recent Cocos dedication.


Visit theseedcompany.org/cocosphotos

SEEDLINKS, MAY 2010—8

God’s Word 3030 Matlock Road, Suite 104, Arlington, Texas 76015-2934 The Seed Company Vision
For Every Language Toll-free: 877-593-7333 • Fax: (817) 557-2393 God’s Word transforming lives in
—In This Generation www.theseedcompany.org • A Wycliffe Bible Translators affiliate every language in this generation
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