Arapesh is located in Wewak, East Sepik province in the Northern Region of Papua New Guinea with a population of 12,000 people. The word Arapesh means people.
New Testament translation began in 1986. The work started with four mother tongue translators who were chosen by the churches, and the people. They were Aluis Simatab, Alex Gabuor, Noel Inowor and Willie Hiatup in April 1986. Bob and JoAnn Conrad (SIL) were our Advisors. The three men left the work in 1987 due to other commitments leaving only Aluis to continue the work with Bob & JoAnn Conrad (SIL) and the Arapesh Bible Translation Committee until Saturday, April 24th, 2004 when the Arapesh New Testament was dedicated. Praise God.
Because the Arapesh New Testament Bible has changed the lives of many people, our area is now a trouble-free area to live in. The prominent Arapesh leaders have seen what the Lord has been doing with His Word in our own heart language; how it can change men, women and young Arapesh people. They wanted the (OT) Old Testament to be translated in Arapesh and be dedicated as well in the near future.
The Holy Spirit is doing wonderful things in the Arapesh area by bringing the Arapesh New Testament. The people, young and old are changing their lives all throughout the Arapesh Language area. And many people are attending church to hear the Arapesh New Testament Bible being read in the churches, and the prayer meetings.
God’s Word is sharp and powerful (Heb. 4:13) it heals and touches people’s hearts. Isa. 55: 10-11 says that when God sends His Word it will not return to Him empty. We were mandated by God to provide translated Scripture to our Arapesh people in their heart language. We can see now that His Word has touched many Arapesh people’s hearts because the Word has been made available in their heart language, a language that the people can fully understand. The prospect for salvation for our families and our people is great. It has motivated us to serve God faithfully. Let us join hands in partnership and look to God, and let us face the Bible translation ministry work, and what the Lord is doing to His people together. For together we can.