During our last school break, I got an opportunity to do some teaching of a different sort.
At the far end of Ukarumpa is our Training Centre – the hub of our programs for nationals learning the ins and outs of Bible translation. The Training Centre offers classes in Greek and Hebrew, in Biblical exegesis, and – among other things – letter writing.
And so, on a Friday afternoon, I found myself teaching a small group of Papua New Guineans the art of business correspondence. It seemed like an odd request, but I soon learned that in translation, this is a skill that has real importance. Often, the work of translation – like so much other work – can’t go on without the support of the local community or without donations of time and resources from local businesses.
Here’s our small crew:
That day, after going over the do’s and don’ts of formal letter writing, together we drafted a fundraising letter for the Aiyura valley. Thinking I was just going to model a hypothetical letter, I ended up helping them collectively draft a real letter that they sent out the very next week.
One of the participants wrote me in thanks:
Thank you tru, brata Alan for this picture. It was a blessing and I really like the number of students. Just the three of us sumatin and we had a wonderful teacher too. Well, M— has drafted the letter and both him and T— will be doing some running around talking to Business houses and companies in Kainantu and Goroko using the letter we drafted. How cool is that? So cool.
I am going to draft my own letters for my Bible Translation project too. Thank you for taking time to teach us again.
Who knew a short afternoon teaching a small class of three could be so rewarding?