Meeting with Lord Howe chiefs

Report on Edmond Teppuri’s meeting with the chiefs of the Lord Howe atoll in Honiara

On the 9th of April I met with the chiefs of Luangiua and Pelau to discuss more about their Old Testament Translation Project. It was a blessing that they were all here in Honiara. Five chiefs from Luangiua and five from Pelau were present.

We discussed the following points:

1. Who owns the project?
2. The responsibilities of the community
3. The responsibilities of the Translation Committee
4. The responsibilities of Isles of the Sea

We had a good five and a half hours together, and I was very happy with the response I got from the chiefs from both islands concerning the translation of the Old Testament. They all shared their ideas. The New Testament has been finished for a long time now; they had been wondering how on earth they can get help to continue this job. They are desperate to get this project going as soon as possible.
I did my best to explain the four points above and they were so excited about it. Chief Peter, who was one of the main translators of the NT, said he never knew that the project was owned by the locals. They expressed their appreciation that these points were made clear to them before the project actually starts. These are important things that the people need to know beforehand so that when the project starts everyone knows their responsibilities.
I had been expecting that a lot of questions and criticisms would be raised because they as leaders are people who ask a lot of questions. However, there were not many questions or discussions. The only two questions were raised by Tom: “Because you (Edmond) will be based on Tasman Island and will make frequent trips to Lord Howe, and since you are an advisor sent to help us by Isles of the Sea, will Isles of the Sea pay for your fuel? And since every trip will be dangerous, can they get you a new engine or a boat, a GPS or a compass? A very good question and, yes, absolutely, the trips will be dangerous, but that does not mean that Isles of the Sea can provide me with what you ask. No! That’s not possible. I told them about the safety equipments that Jaars has provided.
The other things that I touched on apart from the above are spelling issues. I told them to re-consider the spelling of the nasal N sound, double consonants and double vowels. We also talked about some Biblical terms and also which source text (TEV) to use, etc…
I also mentioned to them but dubbing the Jesus video after we have reviewed the Gospel of Luke. They are happy about it. They are excited about revising the NT too.

We had a good time together and I am delighted with the positive response and results of our meeting.
May God bless the Lord Howe OT and the revision of the NT Project.