Chris and Amy Rice are Wycliffe Bible Translators serving in Papua New Guinea with their children, Alex and Ellie.
The following is from their latest newsletter, The Rice Release (January, 2018):
It’s a new year and we are excited about what God may have in store for us and our Wycliffe ministry among the West Erap languages during 2018. Here is a brief glimpse of some of the things that we are planning this year.
On January 17 we will begin a six-week stay in Bakame village with a planned return to Ukarumpa on March 5. This will be our first village trip as a family (minus Alex who will remain in Ukarumpa for school) since early 2015. Lord willing, this will be our last trip via helicopter.
By the end of the year we want to see the Gospel of Luke in the hands of the Finongan people. Before that can happen, we will need to finish the advisor check, conduct a village check and then have a consultant check the translation. We plan to do the advisor and village checks during this trip to Bakame. Luke will be the first New Testament book available in the Finongan language.
It is our desire for each West Erap language to have a functioning language committee. Local ownership of language development and translation work is something that we and our organization highly value. To that end, we will conduct a Committee Workshop January 24-26. Ultimately we hope each language will have a committee representing most of the villages and each church denomination within in those languages. These committees will help determine the goals and direction of language development and translation work.
2018 will see Amy with her first chance to work with the newest Finongan literacy workers. As she was getting ready to leave the village in 2016, a new literacy worker named Japheth showed up at our door. And when Chris went to Kokosan village just before our 2016-17 furlough, he was told about Yaloma, another literacy worker from the most remote Finongan village. If funding is available, we would like to send two literacy workers to a Vernacular Creative Phonics workshop in Ukarumpa in July.
In addition to language development and translation work, we have a variety of academic papers that we need to do. We would like to complete a paper discussing the Finongan worldview this year.
Amy is continuing to revise the Finongan dictionary. The Finongan people desire to have it done soon so they can buy more copies.
We have many other plans for 2018. If there is one thing that we have learned in our 17+ years since coming to PNG, it is that we should hold our plans lightly. We enter the year knowing that even the smallest thing can have a dramatic impact on what we actually end up accomplishing.