Day 3: Alphabets and Alphabet Makers

Sominak Yuna

Sominak Yuna

I have a friend named Sominak who lives near Uria Village. He is gentle, intelligent, thoughtful. He has a charming way with people and immediately puts children at ease. He is a school teacher, a leader of teachers. When Angela and I first moved to Uria Village in the late 1990’s, Sominak was working with several other teachers to develop reading primers for Somau Garia speaking children. The idea was to develop a whole library of simple story books, introducing letters, vowel sounds, and simple words along the way–richly illustrated so that young minds could connect the images with the words on the page.

Sominak is gifted at taking the 16 letters of the Somau Garia alphabet and making them interesting. He is an artist who did most of the artwork for the primers, so he can draw a lot of fun cartoons on the board. Imagine having a teacher draw an amazing picture on the blackboard and letting you come forward and write the name below the picture. He knows how to draw the best out of people.

Vowels: A, E, I, O, U. Consonants: K, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, W, X, Y. These are the elements of written Somau Garia. These letters can be combined to make a story about a snake in the jungle or a man who takes off his arms and legs and head to warm them in the sun (weird) or to write Bible verses like the following, “Yesusue pa kapia xekerina kisamaira wati, nupo tatiwopi kanikina, ‘Tini nonomi weinikitari kouwa. Kakixanari taiyeri nikaku. Xuwe. Xoiteu Waiwai Purotai Wese paiya, muanum nono nikau.’ ” which in our mother tongue reads, “But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.’ ” Mark 10:14, Somau Garia translation; ESV

While Sominak’s primary role over the years has been literacy, he has given much of himself to the translation of the New Testament into the Somau Garia language. The Gospel According to Mark has been in use since 2007. The remaining 26 books await translation. Men like Sominak await their translation. The Word of God in the language of the heart has the power to transform a people.

Angela and I long to be in Papua New Guinea again soon, working alongside friends like Sominak, getting the Word out to a people needing the power of the gospel at work in their lives.

Will You Join Us?
Now through the end of 2013 we are asking God to raise up 40 new monthly financial partners, 40 new special gifts partners, and 40 new intercessory prayer partners to see the Word of God be available in the mother tongue of the Somau Garia people. If you’d like to partner financially with us in this venture of faith, you can click here to visit our Donate page where you’ll find instructions on how to do so. If you’d like to join the cadre of prayer partners, click here to drop us an email informing us of your commitment.

Thank you for reading this post. Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving of yourself to get the Word out to a precious people whom God loves very deeply.



2 Responses to “Day 3: Alphabets and Alphabet Makers

  • I will contibute my quater through prayers, let me have reqular prayer point. I chose this because for now I cannot donate money because of being in missions with poor communities

    • Hello,! The two best ways to stay updated on our current prayer points are to download the 31-Day prayer guide from our Resources page and to click the box at the bottom of the page that says “notify me by email of new posts”, which will send you an email when we post prayer needs to the website. Thank you for praying!

      How may pray for you?

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