|Missionary Update: Greg & Laura Melendes
Post Date: 2012-05-21 13:52:07
For a trip with such a tentative start, this one turned out to the the most productive ever regarding the Waxe New Testament translation.
The trip went so well in so many ways that it will be hard to keep the list of highlights succinct enough to read in one sitting so, to borrow from ESPN`s Top 10 Plays of the Day, here are the Top 10 highlights of my recent PNG trip in chronological order.
# 10 I arrived! `Lost` two days at the beginning of the trip, but the Lord allowed me to adjust my original flight itinerary nonetheless, arriving Monday evening. Still 30 hours post-to-post from Los Angeles to Wewak, but I was just glad to be there!
# 9 We started the check of Luke the next morning and the four guys flew through that Gospel in less than four days! It`s now ready to print.
# 8 No wasting any time. Began Hebrews on Saturday morning and finished it in less than a day and a half! It`s also ready to print.
# 7 We`re well ahead of schedule, and our flight doesn`t leave until Thursday, so we begin our comprehension check of John in Wewak with two of the members of the team. Will continue this in Malaumanda.
# 6 Flying in there the Thursday before Easter. Consultant checked Ephesians for the Malaumanda team, and since we don`t fly on `Easter Monday`, we continued the comp check of John in our `spare` time.
# 5 Spent some very special time with the Waxe church and leaders, first in Wenim, then in Meska. Very happy to report that both churches are doing well and there are no major dramas in either. Nine elders, deacons and their wives will be attending a local leaders` seminar in the neighboring village of Yembi Yembi May 7-11. Alex from Meska will be one of the session speakers.
# 4 Returned to Wewak on April 16 with three different translation team members. Having comp checked 17 chapters of John, we were able to complete the book on our first day of work! This book should be ready to check on my next trip.
# 3 As the great Keith Jackson would say, `Whoa, Nellie`. We`re a couple days ahead of schedule, but the Lord knew we`d need them when we hit 2 Corinthians. Working in the Gospels for so long, I forgot how much longer epistles took, and this is the hardest of them all due to the wide use sarcasm and metaphors, the background information unknown to the reader, and the style of Paul?s arguments. And as we worked through the text, though, it presented an excellent opportunity to teach through the book and explain how it is tied to Paul`s first letter to the Corinthian church. This was beneficial to both the teachers and the translation, so it was worth every minute. And, we finished at noon on the team`s last day in Wewak! It will undergo two comprehension checks next trip, prior to consultant checking and printing.
# 2 This highlight blankets #3-9, the incredibly rich time spent with the translation team. During the checks, which involve eight hours of sitting and listening to me read, summarizing the text, and answering pointed questions posed by the consultant, the team never lost focus and it handled every passage just the way you`d want, either confirming what communicates well or pointing out what does not. During our own check of John and elicitation of 2 Corinthians, I was blessed and encouraged by insights and questions posed by the team. Days after the check of Hebrews, during a discussion of John 21:22-23, Kletus stopped the action by stating, `I have four thoughts about Melchizedek - bang, bang, bang, bang.` I don`t think I`ve ever heard anyone put it as succinctly and accurately as he put it. These guys love the Word of God and do dwell upon it day and night. Every day working with them was a delight!
# 1 After a day of wrapping things up in Wewak and an overnight in Port Moresby, it was just a matter of holding my breath during the four flights that would land me in Denver late Saturday night. Even the little girl in the next seat who sung along with the `Wiggles` couldn?t deter me. As great as the time was in PNG, it?s always great to get back home again with the family.
And in this light, I want to thank Laura and Aubrey, who make the sacrifice of our separation on a regular basis and, counting the cost, they are always willing to pay it for the sake of the Waxe churches. I also want to thank the doctors (who will remain nameless but forever in our Hall of Fame) and Rick and Debi Klingsporn who looked out for me in LA, and Jim and Karen Lyons who did the same in Laguna Niguel.
On behalf of our family and the entire Waxe team and church, I want to thank all of you who prayed for the success of this trip on every level. Though you`ve never met, the churches know you are there and that you`re one big reason they`re getting God`s Word in their own language.
Finally, may we all thank God for His grace and the understanding of it brought to us by the Scriptures.
Our Love in Him,
Greg for the 3 of us!