Here is some information from Martin Knauber who translated the New Testament into Dawawa and the consultant for the OT that we are helping to fund.
L3t me tell you a little bit about the Dawawa and where they are today.
After we had finished the New Testament we left the Dawawas in 2006 to go to North America and begin the translation project for another group. By that time the word of God had already had a significant impact on the entire language group. Many people had already left behind their old ways of Spirit worship and turned to Jesus Christ to follow him as their Lord and Savior. The love for the new Bible even grew to such a point that we had a rather unique problem: The Dawawas were hiding the Bibles in their homes because people began stealing them from each other.
The Dawawas were very sad to see us leave because they wanted us to stay and complete the Old Testament as well. However, the Lord had made it very clear to us that we were to move on and start a new project. And besides, we have been training the Dawawas in the art of Bible translation for more than 15 years, so if they wanted to continue, they were quite capable of going on themselves. So when we left, I promised the Dawawas that I would always be there for them as their consultant if they were to continue with the Old Testament. And wow, ...did they ever continue! I have never seen a group so highly motivated and eager to get the word of God as our Dawawas in Papa New Guinea. They have been faithfully translating Old Testament Scriptures over the years, and I have been back a number of times to do the consultant checking of the translated texts. The greatest encouragement, however, was when we recently visited the Dawawas from March to June this year to check some more Scripture and also to begin recording the NT to put onto the MegaVoice devices.
What was so encouraging was to see how serious and dedicated the Dawawa people had become in following the Lord with all their heart and in translating the entire word of God into their own language. When we were there a few weeks ago, we not only saw the program they had developed and built all on their own, but we also witnessed first-hand a revival that could almost be called a tribal conversion. ALL the clans from the entire language group gathered on a certain day to renounce their allegiance to the demonic spirits that still had a hold on their lives. The clan leaders had listed pages full of spirit names which they publicly renounced and sent away from their area because they finally decided to put their trust solely in Jesus Christ. This was huge, and it lasted for an entire day. The Dawawas have a very practical and child-like faith, which means, if they read something in the Bible they take it at face value and apply it to their lives in humble obedience … unlike many believers in the western world, where we often approach a text with a host of exegetical and hermeneutical questions to "figure out its relevance for us today". The Dawawas just go ahead and do what it says – no questions asked – and the Lord has visibly blessed them in many ways.
Anyway, all that to say that the Dawawas are very worthy of outside financial support. Not only because the Lord is clearly at work among this group but they also fit the profile of a valid project for outside support because they are highly motivated and have developed their own strategy for completing the project, they display a strong sense of ownership and there is positive trajectory.
So why exactly do they need support? As we outlined in our brochure: After many years of training, the Dawawa have the skill to use the resources for translation work, but unfortunately, the Dawawa people do not have the technology nor the funds to do so. They look to Beate and I for equipment, materials and also to cover travel costs to the provincial capital in order to send their work to us over the internet. PNG is a third world county that charges prices for technical equipment and consumables that are well above what we pay over here in North America. Things, like computers, generators, projectors, (or spare parts for these items), as well as toner, gas, cell phone minutes … etc. are all very expensive and beyond their reach without outside help. Also, they are subsistence farmers and need to spend most of their time tending to their gardens. Given enough support, some of the leader in our team might be able to work on translation full time.
Below is a current picture of our leader Jino Gideon and our large translation team which has now grown to including people from every major village throughout the language group.
Blessings to you and the team in St. Pete
Martin and Beate