I'm Happy! I'm Very Happy!!
I am happy, I am very happy!
She is well over 60 years old but she was excited like a 16 year old. “I am happy! I am very happy! Her name is Colleen Rupa. I saw this graceful silver-haired lady a couple of times these past few months. Today, (15 August 2008), she stayed a little longer than usual in Simon's room which is adjacent to mine.
Naturally I was curious; I wanted to know what she was excited about. So I walked into the middle of their conversation uninvited and asked a few more questions. I wanted to know what she was excited about. “I have been searching for the last 5 years”, she began. “I did the wrong things, the wrong method and God answered my prayers”, she said. So she began her story.
In 1995, her United Church minister’s wife invited her to a three (3) week women’s literacy course. It was at this time that she realised that literacy was the answer to most of village women’s needs. Not knowing much about literacy, she responded in her desire to see her woman folks get help to develop their literacy skills. She sees literacy important to women in her village to improve their own and their family life in every way.
I asked how she found the BTA office and its location here in the city. Did anyone refer you to BTA? She said, her husband had been working on translation work for the last 5 years. There was no cooperation and help forthcoming from the villagers. In 2007 she happened to walk past the BTA centre and saw the big sign. She wondered if her husband could get help so they stopped by this year to enquire. Not only did she get help for her husband but for herself, too, with literacy. "God answered my prayers after wondering the last 5 years", she says.
Simon has been meeting with village leaders to look at their alphabet and create more awareness and discussion about translation in their language. He is working with beginner's materials and teacher training for adult literacy. Rupa and Colleen are doing adult literacy teacher training and material production workshops. More than 90 villagers have taken part in these workshops already.
In Ecclesiastes 1, King Solomon says life is vanity if there is no purpose. People like Rupa and Colleen see value in Bible translation; they see purpose and much progress have been made..
By Steven Thomas