Hello Edolo

(This was sent out as our February newsletter. Steve just returned from this trip and will hopefully post more soon–Editor.)

Steve's first arrival in Huya

Steve’s arrival at Huya last fall. From left to right: Steve Geis, a veteran missionary pilot (with his back toward camera); Jess Theissen, a translator/linguist from another project passing through; Jan Gossner, of the Edolo Translation Project; Josh Eicholtz, a pilot in training; Duluba, the main Edolo translator (on crutches); Steve; and Gòˆsaia, another Edolo translator. (Photo: Debbie Gossner.)

Last fall, I (Steve) visited the Edolo Translation Project at Huya for the first time. (Edolo is pronounced like “EH-toe-roe”, with the l pronounced like a Spanish r.) The trip went well, and I have been working on learning the Edolo language since then. I plan to return to Huya in February to get to know some of the people better and maybe speak an Edolo sentence or two.

Jan and Debbie Gossner

Jan and Debbie Gossner

Jan and Debbie Gossner started the translation project in 1990, after the Evangelical Church in Papua New Guinea (ECPNG) extended an invitation for Bible translators to come. It took the Gossners five years just to learn the language sufficiently to start translation. The Edolo people started to build the airstrip in 1993 and finshed ten years later in 2003. The Gossners built a house at Huya in 1996 close to the airstrip.

The Gossners left Huya after Jan became director in Papua New Guinea, and then he moved on to be the director in the Solomon Islands. The Gossners are living in the U.S. now, working primarily in HR, but they still designate part of their time to work in the translation project. Today about half of the New Testament has been completed. An Edolo translator named Duluba is the main translator. He continues to work on the first draft of the other half of the New Testament. Jan helps with subsequent drafts and checking.

Jan asked me to consider taking over the translation project in the spring of 2016. That seemed a little overwhelming then, and it still does now. But I did start to study and learn the language then, using a wealth of language material the Gossners and others have collected over the years. If all continues to go well, I might just take over the project in a few years, when the Gossners retire. We’ll see.

Please continue praying for me. Language learning is one of the more difficult parts of the job. Please continue to pray for Debbie, too, as she does a variety of tasks to care for people in Ukarumpa.

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