Last weekend we visited Racine, Wisconsin, the town where I (Kara) grew up. We drove up on Saturday and drove back on Monday, so our family has gotten used to lots of time in the car. Praise the Lord that we don’t have any more big road trips coming up – Elizabeth is getting tired of her car seat! Lots of my family lives in Racine, and it was really fun to see everyone again! We played games and ate lots and lots of food. Here is a picture of everyone that was there that weekend (minus my cousin Derek’s wife Kathryn, who had to work). It was a big and rowdy bunch!
One of the main reasons that we went up there for that weekend was for the dedication of the complete Hatam Bible that my grandparents have been translating for the past 43 years. Calvary Memorial Church in Racine has been supporting the translation alongside my grandparents and the national translation team, and last weekend the whole church celebrated the completed work. The morning service told the story of the dedication in Minyambo, Papua, Indonesia, followed by a Hatam-style feast: pork, rice, sweet potatoes, and spinach. I realize how amazing it is to be a part of this family, and what a legacy God has given me with a family that has a history of serving the Lord in so many different ways. Praise God that the Hatamers now have His Word in their own language that they can read, understand, and live!
This is a picture of my grandparents, Dick and Char Griffiths, with Pastor Nathan James and the head of the missions committee at Calvary Memorial Church. The book that is held up is the ENTIRE Bible in Hatam!
Well, we’ve left Dallas for good, and we’re starting to get everything unpacked here in Cincinnati. I had a moment of wierdness when I looked at my keychain and realized it has only one key left on it – no house keys, mailbox keys, or car keys!
We are thankful that we had my parents and my youngest brother there to help as well – without them, I don’t know how we would have gotten everything done! It was the beginning of our goodbyes as we said goodbye to our Bible study friends, our neighbors, and my family.
I wanted to share a song with you all that came out of the Choctaw songwriting workshop I just returned from. Many great songs and ideas came out of the workshop which was aimed at producing new Choctaw songs for children based on Bible verses. I received permission from one of the composers, Di, to share this song with you. I am always amazed to hear God’s word not only in another spoken language, but also in another musical language.
This song is based on Matthew 5:44:
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Here are the lyrics in Choctaw (2nd verse only):
Kanah ósh chi ha sa nálih ok ma,
Chiho wat áchih ishI hollash kih.
an^ no pa il^ bash sha ya- ish im
A- silh hash kih Chiho wat- á chih,
yo ba hi ya ha yo be- hi yah
yo-o ba hi ya yo- be hi yah
yo^ ba hi ya^ ha yo- be- hi yah
yo- o ba hi ya yo- be hi yah
Right now I’m in Philadelphia, MS, helping with an Arts Workshop for the Choctaw. We’re helping them think about ways they can use their traditional music for worship. I’m enjoying the opportunity to meet new people, learn some new music, and observe the other more experienced people here. This is just a taste of what we’ll eventually be doing in Indonesia. It’s a great learning experience for me, and a good chance to apply some of the skills I’ve learned about in class.
For the past two weekends we had commissioning services at our two home churches, West University Baptist and Copperfield Church. We were glad to have the opportunity to travel to Houston for these services, and it was a huge blessing to us to see friends and family. Thanks to all of you who were able to attend: we were glad to see you there and we appreciate your prayers and support!
Here’s a video we recently created to tell a little more about our ministry and what got us into this. It has been slightly edited to make it appropriate for posting online, so there are a few interesting cuts. Enjoy!
Our Ministry from Matt Menger on Vimeo.