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Tribe in Papua New Guinea to receive completed New Testament translation.

By December 16, 2004

Papua New Guinea (MNN) — With over 700 indigenous languages in Papua New Guinea, Bible translation is an ongoing task to reach people with the Gospel.

New Tribes Mission has worked with the Aziana tribe in the highland region of Papua to complete translation of the New Testament and parts of the Old Testament. The tribe has had portions of the Bible in smaller books, but has not had the full New Testament in one book. The people are anticipating having the completed copy.

Mike Henderson is with New Tribes. He explains the importance of this tribe having the Scriptures, “These people need to have the New Testament, need to have the Bible in their language, in their mother tongue too. And even though there’s only 1000 of these people, they mean a lot to God, and to themselves – I mean, if you were one of those, you’d want to know what God’s message was to you, and you’d want to know it as clearly as possible.”

The common trade language had previously been used to reach the Aziana people, but there were misunderstandings about who God is. With the Bible in their own language, it is a much better way of communicating.

With all that’s been done to get God’s Word to the Aziana people, prayer is needed to continue the Gospel’s work, says Henderson.

“We taught them how to read and write their own language, and trained teachers, and now as we’re gone, to see those teachers continue to teach the younger ones, that’s probably the biggest thing as far as keeping this translation a living translation where people can use it in the future.”

The completed New Testaments have a long journey before finally reaching the Aziana tribe – over land and sea and air. Pray that God will provide safe travel to His Word, so that it can reach the Aziana people and change lives for eternity.

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