The end of July, missionary Hope Sharp went to help Poul and Carol Joensen revise their literacy primer for the Sorimi people of Papua New Guinea and ended up getting more ideas for her ministry among the Iwam people.
Hope’s time with the Sorimi team was extremely profitable for revising the materials used for teaching the people to read and write their own language. While revising the primer four Sorimi men -- Mark, Saimon, Noel and Obed -- were being trained to help with future literacy work.
Hopefully these four men will be able to translate some of the simply written stories that a local artist has done illustrations for.
"Our goal is for them to do all the initial translating, computer typing, editing, etc., so that by the time they give the work to Poul and Carol it is totally ready to be formatted into a booklet," Hope wrote. "These fellows are also keen to help with the literacy course when it starts up again, hoping to be the future teachers in their local community and outlying areas of their language group."
Next on Hope’s schedule is getting ready for five weeks with two Iwam translation co-workers, due to arrive within two weeks.
On the agenda for comprehension checking this time around is Pilgrim’s Progress, a biography of John Bunyan, possibly a book about an African who becomes a Christian, and further work on a chart or booklet about "what the cults believe."
Many Iwam believers are all too willing to be led astray by groups that promise them physical and material benefits. Please continue to pray that reading the Word in their mother tongue will bring conviction and repentance to Iwams’ hearts, and that they will follow the truths of God’s Word.
Please pray too for the Iwam church elders as they decide who will work with Hope. The potential for jealousy, anger and bitterness among those not chosen is very high. Pray that God’s choice of the man for the work will be appointed, and that it won’t be a "political" thing with someone designated to come just because of his status.
Hope believes her agenda "is probably overly optimistic in what we can accomplish in just five short weeks. … I do so want to get these books into Iwam hands though -- to spur them on to want to read, to sharpen their reading skills so that they can read the Word of God with comprehension and not be constantly struggling to just decipher words."