Context: Our source while living in the village was a tarp we rigged at the back of our house to catch rainwater.
Heard a lot about this book, especially as I work in the place where the book’s set, i.e. Papua New Guinea and for the same organisation Anderson does i.e. the Summer Institute of Linguistics. I’d already read the less well-known book by his wife Carol last year when we visited PNG, so I was curious to see what things looked like from his point of view.
His book’s not really about him or his family though so it’s hard to compare the two books. However, it was quite apparent from Carol’s book that Neil was a task-focussed worker and I got the impression that, like my own father, ministry may have come before mum at times. At least that was my impression. So, it’s not surprising that Neil would write a book where his family play minor roles in the background from time to time. They are guests on the Folopa show really.
The book is a series of 22 short chapters, each of them a vignette on what translating a particular verse or section of the Bible meant for the Folopa people in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. It’s amazing to see how relevant a book written thousands of years ago by authors entirely remkoved from the context here fits like a glove into the lives of this remote tribe from PNG. Some of the stories are very moving.
As I read this in a PNG village, I was struck by how the Bible coming here could well unlock doors in people’s hearts here too. I got a glimpse through this book of the rewards that the incredibly challenging task of Bible translation would bring. Not something that I would do as a job; I’m certainly not cut out for it. But I can certainly appreciate the work more through reading this book.