About Us/News

The Nystroms: Eric, Brianna, John and Bonnie

If you would rather watch a video than read, see this excellent video from Wycliffe about our journey and the work we do. If you just want recent news, that’s here.

Getting started. We joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1983 and arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 1987 to work with Wycliffe’s sister organization, SIL. We began work in Arop village, learning the Arop language and beginning to train some Arop men as Bible translators. By 1993 we had published the book of Mark and Arop people were beginning to read it. From 1994 to 1998, the Arop translators continued working on the translation while we served as the Regional Directors overseeing the work of 25 other translation teams in the Sepik region of PNG.

Tragedy strikes. When we returned to PNG in early 1998 from a furlough, we were getting back into the Arop translation project full time. But then tragedy struck. In July 1998, Arop village was completely erased by three giant tidal waves. A third of the people who speak the Arop language were killed, including one of the Arop translators and many of our Arop friends.

Starting over. When the Arops rebuilt their village inland from their old beach location, we rebuilt our house and also a new translation center there. We and the Arop translators started asking the Lord to show us how we could include three coastal languages that are related to Arop in the translation project. Soon some unrelated inland or ‘bush’ languages began asking to join in. By the time the project was re-started in 2001, 11 different languages and dialects were participating.

Vision for multiplication. In this new experimental multi-language Bible translation project, we are continuing to train Papua New Guineans who are translating the Bible into their own languages.

But it doesn’t end there. Our vision is to see those Papua New Guinean translators train still more of their fellow Papua New Guineans from other language groups to be Bible translators for their own people. We have published a book about how the Lord used the tsunami to transform the translation process. Visit www.sleepingcoconuts.com for details.

A good synopsis of the first decade of this new project is in The Fall 2010 edition of the JAARS magazine. For details on how the translation project started out, see our December 2001 and May 2002 newsletters, and this page for information about how we’re working now.

For more about us, click on Ministry or any of our recent newsletters. For information about how you can be part of our ministry, click on Partnership.

For more information about Wycliffe, go to www.wycliffe.org or call 1-800-Wycliffe.