Excerpts from the Martins' Memos - October, 2020

Martins' Memos


Texas, USA

October 2020

Adapt It Development Work Continues

All members of the Adapt It software development team continue working remotely from their respective homes in the USA and Australia. The team continues to develop and improve the desktop and mobile versions of the Adapt It program. The major update to the desktop version of the Adapt It software – mentioned in our last newsletter – was released back in May. The team also provides help-desk support via the Internet for translation teams using Adapt It in various locations around the globe.
Team members Bruce Waters and Leon Pearl continue working on the implementation of the knowledge base sharing feature of the desktop version of Adapt It (AID). Erik Brommers has released several feature and bug updates to Adapt It Mobile (AIM). Graeme Costin continues to develop a mobile keyboard entry application for Scripture text called Key It or KIT for short. The team has been discussing how we might best design and implement good communication and data sharing protocols between the Adapt It mobile and desktop applications as well as the newer KIT application.

Thriving in the pandemic

We have continued with our usual activities during the pandemic. While we observe the recommended precautions related to masks and physical distancing, I (Bill) continue working from home in support of Bible translation, and contribute to the development work as a member of the Adapt It team.
We feel blessed to be able to see our kids and grandkids often. No one in our immediate nor extended family (that we are aware of) has become ill with Covid-19. We are daily grateful for the Lord’s protection and watch-care over our family and circle of friends and neighbors. The main restriction we’ve experienced this year is that we haven’t been able to travel to see our more remote relatives, nor to visit in person with you, our partners in other parts of the country who enable our ministry with Wycliffe through your prayers and financial gifts. Hopefully, we will all be able to travel more freely in the new year.

How the pandemic is affecting Bible translation in Papua New Guinea

As of October 22nd Papua New Guinea (PNG) has recorded a total of 583 cases of Covid-19 with 7 deaths, mostly within its capital city of Port Moresby. Those are remarkably low numbers for a country of almost 9 million people. With 87% of the PNG population living outside its urban areas, and very little road infrastructure within the country, having air access to those remote/rural areas has long been a very important factor for health and other government services, as well as church and mission work. During much of the pandemic, however, PNG was heavily locked down – restricting even internal travel – in efforts to help protect the health of its rural population. In early October the PNG Government lifted some domestic air travel restrictions, but PNG continues to severely restrict/ban travel into and out of the country. These travel restrictions, as you can imagine, have significantly affected the work of Bible translation and other mission endeavors within the country.

Thankfully, national translator Charles Kowak reports that his own province (Manus) has been relatively unaffected by Covid-19 even though they have been locked down for months. Even with lock-down restrictions, Charles and a number of other Nyindrou people are in the process of building a translation office in Lessau village where we lived and worked from 1980 through 2002. They want the facility to become a work and training location where Charles and other Nyindrou national translators can work on the translation of the Nyindrou Old Testament, in addition to working on a revision of the New Testament – which was dedicated and distributed 18 years ago. They also envision the facility eventually becoming a sub-regional center where Manus translators-in-training from neighboring language groups can get further training, and get technical help as they work on their own Bible translation projects.

A big challenge is figuring out how to get reliable computer equipment to Charles and others interested in translation work - with much international shipping on hold or being delayed by the pandemic. Charles needs a new computer, and additional computer and solar charging equipment would be needed for equipping a regional translation facility on the west coast of Manus Island. In fact, our last Air Mail letter to Charles (sent last April) was even “refused” and eventually got back to us (in July) marked “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender”. Charles’ computer has been out of service for a few weeks, and he has only been able to communicate with us via brief emails from his phone. Pray that we can find a good way to get reliable computer equipment (set up for translation work here) and sent to Charles and others on Manus Island.

Grandchildren Pics

Sam (7) and Lily (5) singing Happy Birthday to Mari on her 9th birthday – Oct.7th.
“Happy birthday Mari...tra-la-lah!”

Jason, Anne and the 4 older kids: Torin (9), Kaya (7), Jachin (5) and Caellum (4). Torin turned 9 October 21st. Kaya will be 8 on May 5th. Jachin turns 6 on Nov. 22nd. Caellum turned 4 Sept. 22nd. See Saoirse at left. Child number 6 (a girl) is expected the first week of December 2020. It’s an increasing challenge to remember all the birthdays!

Jason and Anne’s youngest, Saoirse, at 18 months

Joel, Rebecca and children: Mari (9) In front of Joel, Sam (7) and Lily 6. Sam will turn 8 Nov. 20th.

Joel and Rebecca’s youngest, Lily turned 6 August 20th.

Health report

In early Summer I (Bill) had ultrasound exams of the arteries and veins in my legs which revealed that there is some “venous insufficiency” in my legs. So, in August and September I underwent endovenous laser ablation treatments in both legs. The treatments were done on an out-patient basis, and the doctor feels the treatments were successful, and should help improve blood flow in my legs.

Lenore is daily grateful for good health and being over 9 years cancer free. She keeps busy managing our household, and of course, dreaming of when she can remedy the current deficit of grandchildren hugs.

May the Lord grant you health and peace, as you trust in Him and His promises. We thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

Your servants in His grace,

 “And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause. (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)

Praise Items:

Prayer Items:

ž We praise the Lord for being our shield and defender, even in the midst of the current pandemic.

o Pray for the Lord’s mighty hand of deliverance, that He might heal those who are suffering, and draw many to an intimate relationship with Him.

ž We praise the Lord that He is never distant from us in our time of need, and daily guides us to be wise and loving in all we do.

o Pray that we would be sensitive to the spiritual needs of others, especially those who are realizing – some for the first time – their need for the Savior.

ž We praise the Lord for providing the skills and wisdom needed to develop useful Bible translation software.

o Pray for the translation teams working around the world, that they would bear much fruit and make good progress in translating the Bible.

ž We praise the Lord for the vision and initiative Charles and other Nyindrou people have for furthering Bible translation in their part of Manus Island – through the establishment of a sub-regional translation office/center.

o Pray for the logistics of getting the equipment Charles and the others would need for their work at the envisioned sub-regional center. Pray for better Internet connections that would make it possible for us to help provide the needed training and consultation remotely from the USA.

ž We praise the Lord for the wonderful children and grandchildren He has given us, and for His protection over them.

o Pray for wisdom to be good and Godly grandparents to our eight grandchildren. Pray for the safe arrival of grandchild number nine to Jason and Anne in early December.

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