An Update from the Allen’s in Amdu

Translation Check Update


               Thank you for praying for our team as we hit another milestone here in Amdu – our very first Bible translation check!  Our consultant Jason was here with us for about 3 days and during that time he was able to officially check 9 chapters – 4 chapters in Genesis that Bart had done, as well as 3 chapters in Exodus and 2 chapters in Numbers that our teammates Benjamin and Missy had done.  All of this was part of the training to officially get the go-ahead to become approved translators.  Our consultant was encouraged with how well the check went!  

We’ll give you an idea of how the process worked.  Our consultant would ask Bart to read a chunk of the text that he had translated into Amdu.  The Amdu guys helping (who had not previously heard the translated material) listened and then told our consultant in Melanesian Pidgin (the trade language here in PNG) what they heard.  It was pretty neat to see how they could listen to large chunks and be able to very accurately retell what they had heard.  That shows us that the translation was very natural to them, and therefore easily understood!! 

Jason had lots of good advice for us and was able to answer many questions we had about the whole translation process.  We are very thankful for his experience and expertise in this area!  There were only a few places in the text where corrections needed to be made for accuracy.  Those have been completed, and we now have 9 chapters of the Bible officially translated into the Amdu language!  However, there is much more to go!

     Our consultant Jason, Bart and 3 Amdu guys during the translation check


Change of Plans


            If you’ve been reading our updates for very long, you might have noticed that we often have to be flexible.  While we do our best to plan ahead and project wisely for the future, sometimes the Lord changes those plans.  We didn’t know how long it would take our team to learn this language.  But it’s quite a difficult one and it ended up taking longer than we expected.  Now that we are past the official language and culture learning stage, we have moved into the phase of teaching literacy and beginning translation.  Up ahead is being able to teach God’s Word to our Amdu friends – beginning with the beginning of His story and leading up to the amazing news of the Savior through whom they can be made right with God and then beyond into learning about the Christian life and walking with the Lord.  And somewhere in there, we have to fit in a furlough.

               Our goal had been to remain here in PNG until after the initial chronological Bible teaching (which takes about 4 months) and return home in the summer of 2019.  However, as we looked as a team at the timeline, it was becoming apparent that we would have to adjust things.  So, to get right to the big news, we are going to be taking our furlough a bit earlier – heading back to the US sometime this summer!  By the time we leave, we will have been back from our last furlough for 3 ½ years so it’s not very early in that respect.  It’s just earlier than we had planned in the timeline of the work here – before we are able to do the Bible teaching.  Our teammates the Hatton’s have been back in PNG for just over 2 years and had already planned to leave for their furlough in May.  As we look at all that is ahead in the ministry here, we have come to the conclusion that it would be better for both of us to take overlapping furloughs and be able to be here on the ground together for the initial Bible teaching as well as the discipleship that will need to follow. 

               However, this is a big change in our plans, so we have had to add “furlough planning” and all that entails (figuring out dates, buying tickets, finding a place to live and a vehicle, etc.) to our already full schedule of working hard on Bible translation.  This is a very recent development so we are still in the midst of thinking through and working out details.  Because of the amount of work that we will still have to do on Bible translation in preparation for the chronological Bible teaching (that we plan to begin later in 2019), we will not be taking a full furlough.  Please pray for us as we have many big decisions to make in a short amount of time!


               Thank you for praying for us as we trust the Lord with this change of plans.  Feel free to write with any questions you may have.  We might not know the answers yet, but you’re welcome to ask! 


For His glory,

Bart and Emily


Tribal Church Planters

Amdu Tribe, Papua New Guinea




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New Tribes Mission · PO Box 625 · Wewak, ESP 531 · Papua New Guinea 

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