Report on Church Leaders Conference at Treetops Lodge Cairns

October 24th – Oct 26th – 2012

All Glory be to God!

It was our plan to have this meeting on Masig (Yorke island) in the Torres Strait with about 15 Torres Strait Islanders in attendance. But God clearly had other plans.

Firstly it became obvious that we needed to move the meeting to Cairns.

In the days leading up to the conference it seemed that only two people from the Torres strait were coming. On the day before the conference we received news that the ‘elder’ of the Yumplatok program was not able to come. However the Lord had other surprises.

I was given the name of a man to contact. This man indicated he was very willing to come. He in turn was the catalyst for two other people to come.

The only person who had had any real contact with the translation program was one lady in Cairns who had been involved in some of the consultant checking. So we had some new faces and it turned out significant people.

Those who attended:

  • Gabriel Bani and Timene Bani, – residents of Thursday island but from Mabuiag Island
  • Cygnet Repu – Mabuiag Island
  • Fr Ned Mosby – Masig, (Yorke Island)
  • Maryann Savage – Cairns
  • Moses Mene – unable to attend (Yorke Island)
  • Glen Mast – Wycliffe Bible Translators USA – Leadership Trainer
  • Michael and Charlotte Corden – AuSIL Cairns
Leadership and Nehemiah

Glen spoke about leadership from the perspective of Nehemiah. He pointed out that the focus should not be in his building of the ‘wall’, but on why he was doing it. This had a profound impact on Gabriel in his desire to see changes occurring in the Torres Strait.

This discussion eventually led to the appreciation that the upcoming Yumplatok Bible dedication is just like the wall, merely a stepping stone, a milestone, to what the real purpose of God is, for the people and churches of the Torres Strait and regions beyond, to see afresh the impact of the word of God in their own language.

It was presented that the Yumplatok translation is not to be seen as a replacement of the other two languages, Meriam Mir and Kala Lagaw Ya, but rather as a supplement to help those languages develop further scriptures in those languages.

Outcomes

As a result of this meeting a Torres Strait Reference Group was established from those who attended. They then put forward a number of people from various regions in the Torres Strait to be invited to a meeting on Thursday Island in December – January. It would be at this meeting that a Torres Strait Bible Committee would be established.

It was also suggested by Gabriel Bani that the best date for a dedication would be in early July 2013.

Conclusion

It seems that there in some sense a handing over over of the baton of responsibility for the Torres Strait to be more active in promoting the Yumplatok Scriptures.

Praise be to God!

Michael and Charlotte Corden