Iwam believers in Papua New Guinea sang on February 25 as they walked toward a large box covered with a sheet.
"Where is it? Where is it? We're searching, searching. Where is God's Talk? Where is God's Talk? We want to find it. We want to find it."
They continued excitedly, as the crowd of nearly 500 people watched and listened.
"Where is the Talk? It's here now. Where is the Talk? It's here now. We've found God's Talk. We've found God's Talk."
The sheet was removed, and from the box the believers pulled out freshly printed Iwam New Testaments.
It has been 47 years since missionaries began working with the Iwams. First, Wycliffe, and then New Tribes missionaries labored for decades to bring God's Word to the Iwam people.
Since the year 2000 the Iwam Church has been functioning without foreign missionaries living with them. They were following God, but the Iwam believers lacked something vital -- a complete New Testament in their own language.
Many times during the last nine years, Iwam translation co-workers traveled far from home to help missionary Hope Sharp work on the Iwam New Testament.
Now it was finally here. The large gathering listened as Daniel, an Iwam believer and translation co-worker, shared.
"We gather here today not to say thank you to the missionaries for this work. No. We gather to say thank you to God. Why? Maybe God wanted to use one missionary like a plate, another like a fork; a translation helper like a knife or spoon."
"He uses different kinds of people for different work. We each contribute our work, but it was the power of God doing this and bringing this work to completion. Now let's give praise to God for Him doing this work for us."
Praise God with us that the Iwam New Testament has been completed. Pray also that more Iwam people will come to Christ by hearing God's Word in their own language.