24.11.11

Mission Possible

Marilyn Laszlo left her family, her job, and her convertible behind to go to the jungles of Papua New Guinea to translate the Bible into the Sepik Iwam language. A former headhunting tribe, the Sepik Iwam people welcomed Marilyn and her translation partner into their village (Hauna) unaware that their lives would be impacted for generations to come by the power of God. Though the people of Hauna village were intelligent people they lived in very primitive conditions, had no written language, and had never heard the name of Jesus. They also had never seen a white skinned person until Marilyn and fellow missionary Judy reached Hauna Village. Seeing that these beings had such pale skin and had a second skin (clothing) the villagers couldn't determine if they were male or female. They finally decided they were neither - they were spirit beings. It didn't take long for the villagers to see that though these missionaries looked very different from them, and brought many strange things with them, they were very much human.

The translation process was a long and difficult challenge. With no written language to translate from, Marliyn and Judy had to begin at the very beginning - writing down the Sepik Iwam language. Not knowing the language, Marilyn and Judy had limited ways to communicate with the the villagers. They began walking around the village with pen and paper, with curious children following and watching to see what they were doing. They learned the names of many objects by touching or pointing and saying the name of the object in English, hoping that someone would understand they wanted to know the name of that object in Sepik Iwam.  They would then write the Sepik Iwam word phonetically using the English alphabet in order to develop a written language for these people. This was the beginning of Bible translation work in Hauna village that would take years to complete. Along the way there were many challenges, trials that required deep faith, friendships forged, times of fun and laughter, times of deep sadness, and miracles wrought by God. A large portion of Hauna village is now Christian after having "asked Jesus into their throats". They have built schools, medical clinics, churches, and are faithfully sharing the gospel with other villages along the Sepik river.  They are happy that Marilyn came to their village to "carve their talk on a banana leaf" so they could have "Papa God's" words in their own language.

My Rating
If you want a first hand account of modern day mission work this is a great book to read. Marilyn's heart for God and for these people is evident in her respectful but truthful account of 24 years of life among these precious people.  I give Mission Possible 5 stars!


2338810: Mission Possible Mission Possible
By Marilyn Laszlo / Tyndale House

Giving up a comfortable life as a teacher, Marilyn poured herself into Bible translation. Strange sights, sounds, and customs became a way of life, but the payoff far exceeded anything she had imagined. Mission Possible is the story of Marilyn Laszlo's relentless efforts to translate the Word of God into the Sepik Iwam language resulting in the transformation of an entire people group.



Don't miss these other titles by Marilyn Laszlo:

A is for Airstrip: A Missionary’s Jungle Adventure by Marilyn Laszlo with Elizabeth Maddrey and Linda Ellen Perry

Fear, Faith and Following GodExtreme Answers from Extreme Missionary Marilyn Laszlo 20 minute DVD

Mountain of Light First Encounters with a Stone Age Tribe in Papua New Guinea 42:36 minute DVD

Come By Here A Church is Born in Hauna Village While Another Tribe Waits… 25:35 minute DVD. Angel Award Winner in the religious category.

Return to Hauna A Bible Translator’s Story from the Jungles of Papua New Guinea 48 minute “Special Edition” version DVD.


Please donate to the work of Laszlo Mission League by making your tax deductible contribution here.

Blessings,

1 comment:

Andrea R said...

I really think I would start my kids out on volume 1. We do arts and crafts, but we haven't learned any actual rules or methods of art. Thanks for the giveaway. I have heard many good things about this set!