The Tay People of Papua New Guinea Dedicate their New Testament

Image titleFor the Tay, God’s Word is Sweeter than Salt!

In the midst of the joyful, traditionally garbed, swirling, dancing Tay men and women, these words were sung over and over again: “God’s Word travelled and travelled and then arrived, right in the middle of the Tay! And we are happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, God’s Word makes us happy!” Their exuberant dancing and singing and ear-to-ear smiles said it all. After decades of waiting, God’s Word in Tay, their beloved heart language, had finally arrived. The Tay celebrated the dedication of their New Testament on July 17th with joy and enthusiasm. It included dramas and songs especially composed for the day, speeches that glorified God and challenged the people to dig deep into the treasures contained in the Book, and a feast with unprecedented proportions of food. Hundreds of people, including several international guests, descended upon the normally small, quiet village of Yimnalem to join in the celebration.

Click Here to See Photos of the Tay Dedication

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The more impactful moments were not the swirling, exuberant crowds, but the quieter, individual reactions to holding and reading the Tay New Testament for the first time. When Yuwolim, one of the co-translators, was handed the New Testament, he reverently held it, gazing at the cover design, gently tracing his finger over the embossed gold letters, and read aloud the inscription. When he finally opened the cover, his reactions were delightful. He would read aloud for a short time, then break into laughter. “This is EASY to understand! All the years of hard work, and now it is finished!” Yuwolm continued, “This Talk is sweet like salt.” Salt, not readily available to the Tay, is greatly prized to “sweeten” their food. But then Yuwolim paused and corrected himself, “No! Salt is way below the sweetness of this Talk!” “I will die, the Bible translators will die, but this Talk will last forever, for generations to come, until Jesus returns.”

You Can Pray:

  • Pray for many Tay to read and study the Tay New Testament. Pray for God’s Spirit to put His Word in their hearts and that it will lead to transformed lives & communities.
  • Pray for those who attended the Scripture Application Leadership Training Course (SALT) in July, using the recently translated Scriptures. This Bible study includes key topics like: Who is God? How do we relate to God? Who is Satan, and how do we overcome him? What does a Christian family look like? What does a Christian community look like? After holding this course in other language groups, testimonies have been given of powerful revival and transformation. May it be so among the Tay people, Lord Jesus!
  • Pray for the completion of the audio recording of the Tay New Testament. Audio recording has already begun.

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Thanks to those who encouraged the Tay people by completing a card of blessing. Notecards of blessings were presented from Christians in the United States. They were translated and displayed during the dedication ceremonies.

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