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Sivini's story

This is Sivini's story of his experience during the Translators' Training Course of 2007.


"Hello everybody! My name is Sivini and I live in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Have you ever had an experience that changed your life completely? That is what happened to me when I attended the Translators’ Training Course in Ukarumpa.

"I had gone to Ukarumpa to arrange for the transport of a wheat machine to thresh the wheat my people have been growing. I was asked to stay and attend the Translator Training Course in the place of those who had not been able to come. When I agreed to participate, I had no idea that this was the hand of God working in my life to have me in that place at that time so I could hear His message of salvation.

"The purpose of TTC is to teach Papua New Guinean translation teams the skills they need to work independently to translate God's Word into their own language, and also to become translators for other languages in PNG. This intense study and translation of God's Word has given me a new understanding of who God is and taught me that I can have a relationship with Him.

"When we were reading the story in Genesis about Cain killing Abel and Abel's blood calling out to God from the ground, the words pierced my heart. I felt as if the blood of those I had killed was calling out to God from the ground.

"Yes, I have killed many people. You see, I am Sivini, a leader in my community and the fight commander for the Usarufa people. When someone in our village is attacked by people in a neighbouring group, then it is my responsibility to lead a group of Usarufa men in seeking revenge. In this way I have killed many people. There are many times when bullets should have caught me, but they did not. People from my village, both young and old, respect me for this reason.

"But when we were translating the story of Cain and Abel during the Translators’ Training Course, God spoke to my heart. I knew I had been wrong and I wanted to be clean from my past. The next Sunday at the Tok Pisin church service in Ukarumpa, I went forward to repent of my past and to ask for prayer. God lifted from me the burdens I have carried for many years. David Wake, the SIL Advocate for our language group, says even my looks have changed since I accepted Jesus because now I no longer carry the weight of the guilt of my past. Who but Jesus could do such a wonderful thing?!

"I know I cannot continue as the fight leader in my village. Instead, I want to spend my time helping the translation team in turning God's talk into the Usarufa language so that my people can know the Lord. I want them to find peace and freedom and forgiveness of sin, just like I have.

"Please pray for my people that many of them will commit their lives to the Lord. And pray for me that I will remain strong in the Lord and that God will help me and the rest of the team to translate God's Book into the Usarufa language for our people. Thank you."
Sivini [front row, right] at the Translators' Training Course Sivini [front row, right] at the Translators' Training Course in 2007.

The on-going conflict.
The Usarufa language group (EHP) has been involved for the last ten years in an inter-tribal war with neighbouring language, Kamano-Kafe. On Thursday May 24th, the two groups meet for a "peace gathering." An agreement will be signed and the two groups will attempt to formally reconcile. So far this has not happened. Please continue to pray for a lasting reconciliation.
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