It is with great joy that I can tell you that the Mengen New Testament is now completely finished and is on its way to the printers!
Our faithful and loving Father has had His hand on the Mengen work from the very beginning and we give Him all glory, honor and praise!!
In October 1998, the Mengen work began with 2 families. They moved into a remote jungle village, built houses and began an airstrip all in an effort to reach a group of people who had never heard of a righteous God and their need of a Savior. At that time, the Mengen language was unwritten and it was a huge challenge for the missionaries to sort out various sounds and then to form them into an alphabet and into written word.
In May 2001, my co-worker Keri and I joined the Mengen team. We also began the long journey of language and culture study. Those initial years were difficult as we were unable to communicate God’s Word to our new friends. We saw quite a few people slip away into a Christless eternity and the reality of life and death in the tribe became real to us.
By the time Keri and I were finishing language study, our teammates had started writing Bible lessons. Keri and I began to translate Bible portions in 2004, starting with the initial verses needed for the teaching and then eventually branching out into a couple of Old Testament books and then into the entire New Testament. It has been a labor of love for Keri and I and also for our Mengen translation helpers. My main helper was a mother of 9 children!! Many times I would sit in my office bouncing a baby on my knee while we worked our way through a chapter of Scripture!! A huge sacrifice of time for Kariang and her family.
In 2004, our team presented the chronological Bible teaching to the Mengen people. We started with the foundations of who God is, and about Creation and where did sin come from. We taught our way through various passages of Scripture pointing the way to the promised Redeemer and finally presented the message of the Gospel to the Mengen. We were excited to see several people place their trust in Christ at that time and the Mengen church was born! Over the following years, we have continued to teach and disciple the believers and have been excited to see the church grow and mature and eventually reach out into neighboring villages.
Finally, after many years of work, I am so thankful that the Mengen church will finally have the New Testament in a complete book where they can sit and read God’s Word for their own.
I am convinced that there is nothing more important for the growth of the Mengen church than God’s own words in their language!
Now that all the formatting and proofreading is finished, the Mengen New Testament will be sent to the printers very shortly. The plan is for me to send several copies to PNG as soon as they are available. That way the Bible teachers will be able to start using them right away. We are planning on having the official Bible dedication in May 2020. Please pray that all the details would come together in the Lord’s timing and that the Mengen would hunger and thirst for His truth!
Thanks so much for your faithful prayers and financial support for myself and for the Mengen work. You have had a huge part in reaching the Mengen people for Christ and seeing God’s Word printed into their language. What an investment for eternity!!
With Praise to the King,