David and Naomi Coward, Wycliffe Bible Translators missionaries since the ’80s, work with mother tongue translators in Southeast Asia to help put the Word of God into a language that until now has never been written down. Please pray for these translators and the work that God is doing in their lives.
Bob, 53, is the leader of the mother tongue translation team. He has a wife named Welminci and six children. He grew up as the youngest of four children and was the one chosen not to go on to high school so he could care for his family. His father died shortly thereafter and his life spiraled downward. As a result, he has struggled much of his life. He has an exceptional gift for critical thinking, a keen understanding of his people, and proficiency in the nuances of their language. According to Bob, the translation experience allowed “Jesus to pierce [his] heart.”
Pray for Bob as he leads the team. Often times he will not sleep at the translation center while they are working, due to feelings of spiritual oppression. Pray for freedom from these fears.
Bapa Cau is the oldest on the team at 57. “Bapa” means father in his language. He and his wife Amelia have three older kids and some grandchildren. He is a tender-hearted man. He said that when he was young he was a poor student and very worldly. But since he has been doing this translation work, God has changed him and even his neighbors have taken notice. He is thankful to be part of this team.
One of Bapa Cau’s siblings recently died. Pray for him as he moves through the grieving process.
Wem is a quiet man and is the youngest man of the group at the age of 46. He and his wife have four children, from 8 to 24 years old. Wem has a logical mind and picks up new technology easily. Wem has also been on the team since about 2005. He says the hardest part of the translation process for him is the development of the first draft in the beginning because they don’t understand it at all. However, through the translation process he has started to see that there is a different way that he needs to be living.
One of his prayer requests is that all of the villages would be open to the translation. He also asks for spiritual protection for his family. He thinks the bad things that happen to them while they are doing this work are results of demonic attacks.
Pray for Wem as he coordinates the communication with David and Naomi via the internet when they are away from the team.
Sem, 50, has a quick and captivating smile. He and his wife Ruth have six children, ages from 5 to 25. He went to a vocational school for building and is the one who helps out in that area on the team. Sem is known for having a sensitive heart and a servant’s attitude. Sem finds translation difficult but important because it is the Word of God. Sem was greatly impacted by translating James 1:2-5. He said, “As long as I am with God, then he will take care of me. I need to be like Bob and not look back but keep focused on this and not all the other things in life.”
God is drawing Sem to reach out to his age group in the village and share what he has learned through this translation work. And even though they are presently unresponsive, pray for him and his wife to be persistent and not give up.
An, 52, is the only female on the mother tongue translation team. An told the story of her own life in which she was a rule follower who wondered why God blessed those who don’t follow him and her life didn’t get blessed. That changed for her when she adopted a son, Firman, who had club feet. God showed His love for her as He miraculously provided for the surgery for her son. An’s favorite part of the translation work is the original draft. She enjoys having to wrestle with the formal Indonesian. When they get stuck she gets the dictionary and works from there. She has a deep commitment to find the exact right words.
Pray that when An is working with the other translators, her family’s everyday needs would be met. Pray that An’s faith will be seen as she trusts God to provide for further healing of her son’s feet.