Australian Lutheran Hanna Schulz has marked 10 years since she arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to start serving the people there through Bible translation.
While Hanna said in a recent newsletter to supporters and friends that ‘so much has happened in that time’, she said it ‘also feels like I am only just getting started’.
‘Praise God for his faithfulness through this time’, Hanna said.
LCA International Mission partners with Wycliffe Australia to support Hanna as she serves in linguistics and translation in PNG.
In late November 2021, the Bible translation advisor and linguist flew to Australia for a holiday, intending to return to PNG in mid to late January. However, during the visit, her sister Clare Menck was diagnosed with cancer, and Hanna extended her time in Australia to be with her family. Tragically, Clare died on 31 January. Hanna returned to PNG on 21 March.
After assisting various translation projects across PNG from the time of her arrival in the country in 2012, she began working with the Kope people of the Gulf Province in 2015. As well as learning the Kope language, Hanna has been assisting the local community in their translation, literacy and discipleship. In January 2016, the Kope translation team started drafting the Gospel of Luke.
During Hanna’s recent time in Australia, work continued on Bible resources for the Kope people, and Kope audio recordings were made of the Gospel of Luke. This is now in the post-production stage, and it is hoped that both the audio version and the printed version of Luke in Kope will be dedicated later this year.
‘Praise God for this recording being complete’, Hanna said. ‘There is much paperwork I need to complete for the typesetting of Luke in Kope to proceed. Please pray for me to have the focus, and to be able to prioritise things well.’
The Kope translation team has also continued drafting translations of Acts and Genesis, but community issues, as well as the upcoming PNG elections, have slowed their progress, Hanna said.
Based in the Eastern Highlands Province at Ukarumpa when she is not with the Kope people in Ubuo village, Hanna intends to visit the Kope from mid-May to mid-June this year. This will be a trip focused on relationships and typesetting decisions. It will be election season, and while Gulf will be a safe place to be, she expects politics will dominate the lives of most of the team members.
Hanna also asked for prayers for other future or ongoing projects, including multi-language Oral Bible Storying courses and the building of a dormitory for the Oroi’io Madei (Living Word) Training Centre in Ubuo village, which will enable further training in translation, literacy and scripture-use to be offered in the delta area of the Gulf Province of PNG.
The Assistant to the Bishop – LCA International Mission, Pastor Matt Anker, said it was ‘a real joy to be able to support Hanna’s work through Wycliffe and to see the mission of God blessed through all she does in PNG’.
‘She is a gift to the church and the Lord has certainly blessed his people through her as she has helped make the scriptures available to the Kope people in the language of their heart’, Pastor Matt said. ‘LCA International Mission is privileged to support Hanna and other Aussie Lutherans who serve in mission through Wycliffe Bible Translators.’
Donations toward the Ubuo Training Centre & Dorm can be made here.
Hanna says there are also many needs for people to serve in God’s work in PNG, with roles ranging from a chief financial officer to teachers, mechanics, managers, youth workers, children’s home managers, Scripture-use workers, translation advisors and others. Email Hanna if you are interested or would like to know more.