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'I stayed up reading my new Bible'

Ralf and Elli Schlegel recently shared an exciting event with the Dinangat church.

Six years of hard work recently came together in an event that caused the Dinangat believers to rejoice.

Missionary Ralf Schlegal says that work on Bible translation for the Dinangat people began in 2006. Six people have worked together tirelessly during those years to translate portions of the God’s Word.

At the beginning of July, Ralf says, “We were able to hand out all the Scripture portions which we have translated and consultant-checked so far in one bound book.”

The translation project began with chapters from Genesis. Those chapters begin this new bound edition, which also includes portions of Exodus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. In addition, it also includes almost the entire book of Romans, and the complete book of Ephesians. “There are altogether about 1,700 verses that are printed in this edition,” Ralf explains. “There are still another 6,000 verses that need to be translated before we can hand out the whole New Testament.”

But handing out this bound edition of Dinangat Scripture was a tremendous triumph. In fact, it’s hard to adequately describe the joy of that day of celebration.

Ralf shares a few reactions from Dinangat believers. Jaspa declared the next day, “I’m really tired because I stayed up most of the night reading my new Bible. It was just so sweet I couldn’t stop.”

And Felix expressed his heart saying, “When we got those Bibles, I was so happy that I wanted to cry.”

Ralf says that the Dinangat people kept shaking the missionaries’ hands and thanking them for giving them God’s Word in their own language.

Ralf adds, “Our desire is that the believers will continue to grow in their understanding of the truth and in their walk and relationship with their Heavenly Father. We desire that they continue to go out to their neighbouring villages to teach them the precious truth.”

In addition, Ralf’s hopes are locked firmly on the goal of continued Bible translation. Currently, the translation team is finishing up the books of Mark and 1 Corinthians, and they have just begun to translate 1 Timothy. “We as a team want, by God’s grace, to finish the New Testament in the next five to six years,” Ralf says.

“Now that the believers have at least part of God’s Word in their own language,” Ralf explains, “they can feed on it anytime that they want to and hopefully by doing that, they will live more and more according to truth and will grow in their love for their Saviour and in doing so, will glorify God through their lives.”

Please pray for Ralf and Elli Schlegel and the Dinangat translation team. Pray that God will encourage them and guide them as they work on the task of Bible translation. Pray for the Dinangat believers who are so excited to have their own copies of Scripture portions in their own language.

Posted in Asia-Pacific, Dinangat People, News, Papua New Guinea, Prayer Requests