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PIONEER BIBLE TRANSLATORS


AMinistry in Bible Translation and Literacy Instruction

i-i)

DAVID W. & SHARRAN O'BRIEN PRYOR, MISSIONARIES

Kevin L. & Donna J. O'Brien


Route # 2, Box 26
Oakland City, Indiana 47660

Forwarding Agents
Volume V,

Issue 2

March,

YOU REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE

1980

WHAT ABOUT THE ALPHABET?

God is faithful and has answered prayer.


Your faith and love have encouraged us, too.

that

We

anology of the sound Kire(Pronounced kee-re)

truly

believe that you share in a vital

way in our translation ministry. It seems


very evident that you glean very bit of

It has

we

been a while ago since announced

were

very

system completed

close

to

having

our

enough to establish a ten

We

tative orthography ("written alphabet"). We


know that many of you have been prayerfully
supporting this effort and are waiting for

feel certain that you empathize in every way


through sharing our burdens, our heartaches,

the news of its completion.


We encountered
several obstacles and complications
which

our excitement, and our joy.


Evidence in
the progress of our work, our good health,
our peace, and God's daily blessing in our

love and prayersi


Oh, how we thank God for
our brothers and sisters in Christ!
You are

hindered us in the accomplishment of this


goal.
Our work was interrupted by the
divorce of our language helper, Daranpu.
After much prayer Daranpu is again working
with us, and we also have two new language
helpers. This arrangement should prevent us
from being without a language-helper again,
but through checking some of our previous
work with them, we found some inconsistency.

the backbone of our missionary endeavor. God


be praised for the work of His Spirit in

So, we have had to correct some of our data.


We also had to take time out
to return to

binding us together for this work!

Madang for seven weeks to serve as buyershipper while Ron Augsburger returned to the

news and even

read between the lines in our

newsletters and personal correspondence.

lives

proves

that

the prayer

requests we

send back to you are by no means neglected.


I truly shudder to think what problems
we
would be having without the support of your

States to raise more support. Upon returning


to our village, we took three weeks to com
plete our house so we could concentrate more
completely on the work of translation. These
are all behind
us now,
and in this article
we want to share some praise items.

Our work on the analysis could be com


pared with an obstacle course that has a big
swampy bog

as on of its last few obstacles.

The bog is where you reach a part of the


analysis where you have been working with
the data to the point that "you can't see
the forest for the trees". At that point it

"T

is helpful to have someone offer a different


-H.

viewpoint.

Those

called consultants.

special

"someones"

are

For

the last

two weeks I

have had the

two

others

best and

from

most

another language were the

productive

students

in the

privilege of consultant helpr and I am now


out of the bog running in the home stretch
with just the last small obstacles remaining

group.

these last two weeks have been filled

even closer to our goal of translating God's

with

excitement and unexpected blessings.


I at
tended a workshop on how to prepare transfer

This is a giant step

forward getting us

Word into the Kire language.

primers to teach those who know how to read


Pidgin to learn how to read their own lan
guage.
The workshoD was snonsored by the
Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) which
is the academic arm of Wycliffe Bible Trans
lators.

One of SIL's

best

consultants in

sound system analysis was there an consent


ed to help me during off hours of the work
shop.
Trying to handle the assignments of the
workshop and continue the analysis sure made
those two weeks busy, but getting through
the bogs on the analysis made the workshop
more profitable.
By the
time the workshop
finished,
I only lacked a little more work
to prove my analysis, some psycho-linguistic
testing with the people to see if they feel
the analysis is accurate, and finally, writ
ing up the analysis and submitting the al
phabet I have proposed to represent the Kire
language.
Lord willing, the next newsletter
will contain an article explaining the new
Kire alphabet.

r
SHARRAN'S

The

workshop

lators.

was

not

I t also included

course for our

language helpers instructing them on how to


write stories, news articles,
and articles
on new things they experience outside of
their
village
and culture.
They were
also given instruction on how to print and
make books on a village budget by using a
silk-screen printer.
Their new knowledge

will
be
a big help when we begin our
literacy program.
The most beneficial by-product of their
course was the excitement

and

feeling . of

self-worth they gained there.


Each of our
three helpers authored, printed, and made a
book telling about different tools, weapons,
and types of clothing used by their people.
All of this is exciting enough, but the most
exciting part for them was that they wrote
them in their own language using the tenta

tive alphabet

we

have

developed

and

are

proposing.
They wrote and made the first
books in the Kire language!
And what's more
when they brought them back to Garati, some
of those who can read Pidgin were able to
read (with a little help) those books.
I
was so

proud of them, and you can well ima

gine that I was just as


The

teachers

nationals

said

who

excited

instructed

that

SHAKINGS

just for trans

as
all

they.
of

the

our three helpers and

So much has happened since the new year


began that I can scarcely breathe it all in.
We have never felt discouraged or downheart
ed and could always trust that whatever was
happening here was God working out his per
fect plan to call these Giri people to him
self.
God is working
in the lives of some
of our people,
and maybe if I share some of
my experiences with you,
you can see for
-yourself.-- - In the mornings I have had the opportun
ity to clean and dress the sores of Bigiswai
Bigiswai is a young Giri girl, about sixteen
who has been put in the house to stay for a
year.
Bigiswai's parents are
following
their
forefathers'
laws by keeping her in
the house all day long for a whole year. She
has clods of red ground clay and coconut oil
clumped on her hair,
and on
top of that
"adorning" whe wears a billum (string bag).
She also wears two larger billums
to cover
her body.
Part of the reason she must stay
in is to keep her from working off any
calories she might consume so that at the
end of the year she will be very fat.
She
has a long way
to go to be fat!
She has
been promised to marry our language helper,
Namput,
but she is not a Christian,
and he

is.

She is very concerned

in taking her as his


she

wife.

that he not sin


That

tells us

is at least concerned that she not cause

someone else to sin.


having an excuse to

I've really enjoyed


go inside the house
Bigiswai is staying in, to get to know her,

God.

Immediately, Marakus

became

serious.

He said,
long time

"Pone has been telling me for a


that I ought to come back to the

Lord

then

and

lead ' her and others in our

village life.
I
now know how to weave the
billums the ladies in the village make. I ' l l

village back to God.


Until today I just
heard her talk, but I did not let it convict
me.
Now, as you told me of your concern for
a man
from our village to become a strong
Christian,
I feel God calling me to be that

and let

her teach

me Giri and things about

feel more like a Garati woman knowing how to

man."

work the billums. Our people seem to really


appreciate any effort we make to be like

about God,

them.

because

Each afternoon I have had another oppor


tunity to see God at work in the lives of
some of our people.
I have been teaching a
young mother.
Pone, how to be a follower of
Jesus.
Let me tell you about Pone.
I have
grown to love her, and I know you would, too.
While we were
in Madang doing
Ron
Augsburger's work, we began praying that God
would raise up at least one leader from our
village for
the village church.
Pone" also
had a
big concern that the church here had
no leaders.
She is a Catholic, but realized
she had not really learned anything about

the joys of being a Christian.


She wanted
to become a Christian and was constantly
trying to encourage her husband, Marakus,

If Pone had not had a

Marakus

would

desire

to learn

not have let our

talk convict him of what he should do.

But

this sweet l i t t l e wife had been ten

derly pleading for him to return to God and


show her and others how to find his God, too
he was ready to begin his walk with God
again.
Marakus said "I'm going to my house
now to tell Pone what I am now ready to do.
We will be back tonight and you can tell me
what I need to do to come back to God, and
you can teach Pone what she needs to

do

to

become a child of God."


They did come that
night, and Marakus had a "feast" after being
without spiritual food for so long.
Learning the Giri culture as well as the
language is very important, and this night
we were

glad

we knew about their custom of

"finishing a cross" between two men who were


once friends^
but because of a disagreement
had become enemies.
The disagreement be
tween the men can only be finished by one
man having his wife prepare a large bowl of
sago and then inviting the other man to come
and eat sago and pig with him.
If the man
accepts the invitation and comes and eats
pig and sago with his old friend, the bitter
ness and anger is finished and
now
that
they have eaten together, they can no longer
remember their disagreement.
Isn't it beautiful that God, too, has
that custom.
If we partake of the Body and
Blood of His Son with Him, after we are once
His children, we renew our relationship and
receive spiritual strength in taking
the
Lord's Supper with our Friend and Lord Jesus
Christ.
Our
family and Marakus shared in
the Lord's Supper together with Jesus.
It
was a beautiful thing in Marakus's life to

among our people.


On Monday Marakus came
to welcome us home.
We sat on the steps of

know
that
now he had "feasted" with God,
asked forgiveness,
and God would no longer
remember his sins.
Pone is daily hearing
about God, and she hangs on God's every word.
It thrills my soul to hear her pray as she
bubbles out praise and thanks to our God.
Marakus and Pone are now planning to go to
Bible School next year so Marakus can become
a pastor to his own people.
Meanwhile, God

our house for a long time talking,

has work

who had once been an active Christian

in the

church, to come back to God and show her how


to
become a Christian,
We returned to the

village on a Friday,

more excited than ever

about what God could do

with one man who we

knew He would call to Himself to do His work

and

we

for

him to do.

shared our concern that there were no men in

the Garati village that wanted to be a lead

er in the Church to bring back his people to

Pone and Marakus are just a beginning of


how God

is

working

in

the

lives

of our

people.

Before Pone finished her classes I

began having classes with

Hutty,

Irai's

brother. Before I finished the classes with


Hutty, Irai and Hutty's mother sent word for
me to come see her as she too, wanted to
become a Christian. She and I had 2 classes

together

with

Marakus

and Pone helping me

teach her in Giri when she didn't understand

Pidgin, and then things really began to hap


pen 1

The end of January we had to go to


Madang to attend the PET annual meeting, and
when we returned to the village, and I let
those few know that we could resume our
classes,
I discovered there were 19 adults
and

lots

of children.

I ' l l have to start

another class when I'm finished, as it looks

like

this

may

only be a beginning.

I'll

also need to have a separate class with all


the children as many are very young and know
very little about Jesus.

This all sounds very exciting, and it is,


but please pray that these expressing desire
to become Christians are coming out of a
true desire to know Jesus. Many times in
Papua New Guinea people come for the ritual
of baptism thinking it in itself is the
doorway

to enter heaven.

Jesus said He is

the door and the way.


Pray for me that I
can be used of God to help these people come

working properly for quite a while, but


Monday was worse than ever.
It hummed, and
our blue flame fridge had a yellow flame. I
had been watching it all day, and around
5:30 pm asked John to come and do one of his

routine
was

jobs

while

his

daddy

at a workshop in Madang.)

is the fridge
work

better.

is

gone,

I hoped that

was full of kerosene it might


Irai, John's friend,

was on

porch waiting for him, so he put the pump in


the kero tank and let the kero pump itself
and left for a moment, but stayed away a
moment to long.
I was standing by the
stove cooking supper when suddenly kero was
under and on all sides of the fridgeI
I
quickly cleaned up all the kero I could with
old rags then pulled the tank out so I could
clean under the fridge.
I turned the refrigerator back

on and then answered the door finding Sup,


an old man from the village, I explained to

him that the fridge wasn't working properly


so he said he'd^come help me watch it.
He

no sooner

got ^own to watch than he yelled

for me: the whole casing for the wick was in

flames!

j finally

persuaded

Sup

to help

me

flaming tank outside to


knowing that was the only

carry the

then

the back porch,


way I could save

the house.

to Jesus.

It took a week for the kids

settle

down

and

to

completely and two week for my

burns to heal.
We miss the cold drinks and
fresh meat, but we are thankful that God

WE ARE IN GOD'S HANDS

saved our house and us and has even provided

A little while ago we got a letter from


a dear friend who expressed desire to see us
and concern for our safety.
Then he added,
"but we know you are in good hands'." How

ful for "our" God who answers "Our" prayers


and keeps His eyes on us. His ears open to

true!

our

prayers,

us.

God is good.

January 28 was a flaming day for us I


had

house fire caused from a

kerosene refrigerator^

It

had

We

fault in our

not

been

money for a new refrigerator.

We are thank

and His hands outstretched to

My times are Psalms 31:15

Love to all of you because of Jesus, Sharran

PIONEER BIBLE TRANSLATORS

David W. & Sharran 0. Pryor, Missionaries

U.S. Postage Paid


Non-Profit Org.

R.R. 2, Box 26

Oakland City, In.

Kevin L. & Donna J. O'Brien, Forwarding Agents

Oakland City, Indiana

Permit # 7

47660

mission services ASSOC.


RESEARCH DEII>T.
BOX 177

KEMPTON, IN

46049

AUG 2 7 1880

PIONEER BIBLE TRANSLATORS


AMinistry in Bible Translation and Literacy instruction
DAVID W. & SHARRAN O'BRIEN PRYOR, MISSIONARIES

Kevin L. & Donna J. O'Brien

Route # 2, Box 19
Oakland City, Indiana 47660
Forwarding Agents

Voltime IV..

July.

Issue 2

NEWS ABOUT THE ALPHABET

WhewS

What a grind!

But it is almost over.

PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING:

What frustration!
I have for all prac

tical purposes completed the analysis of the


Kire (prounounced KEE-ray) sound system and
have decided on the alphabet to be used.
What remains is finishing the write-ups
of my analysis to be submitted to fellow
linguists
who are
on the
Orthography
Committee

of

the Summer

1980

Institute

of

Linguistics. They will examine the analysis


and question my conclusions.
Hopefully,
through this process our tentative ortho

... that we will be able to continue making


our language goals in learning to speak Kire
fluently.

... for Daranpu, Namput, and Palau, our


three language helpers.
Daranpu and Palau;
completed their National Translators * course'

but were held back in x^at they were able to

leam because of their lack of fluency in


English.
They have been granted permission
to repeat the

cere desire

course because

have arranged for

in English.

of their sin

to do the work.

Meanwhile, we

them to take some courses

Daranpu will be

repeating the

graphy (trial alphabet) will be an accurate


and acceptable representation of the sound

course accompanying Namput, who will be tak

system that
people.

August.

will

Representatives
have

been

be

easily

of our

consulted

in

read

language
the

by the

group

choice

of

alphabet symbols. Most of their symbols will


correspond with those of the Pidgin and
English alphabet, but there will be some
symbols that are distinctly their own.
The Kire
language has 45 different

sounds \^ich will be represented by 22 dif


ferent symbols. You can compare the follow
ing with the English alphabet.
The con
sonants are: b, d, f, g, h, k, m, n, n p,
r, s, t, V, w, and z. The vowels are: a, e,

i, o, u, and f.
The "n" represents the
sound of "ng" as in the word "sing". However
rather than occuring at the end of words as
is usually the case in English, it also
occurs frequently in the middle and at the
beginning of words in the Kire language.
The language is further complicated by
the fact that . nearly all of the consonants

ing it

for the

first time

Please pray

during July and

for them during this

time as the course Is really difficult..

... for Palau as he stays behind and helps


us daily to learn Kire.,
Though he IS not a
Christian, the Lord continues to work with
him.
His interest was really strong while
in the Christian environment at Ukarumpa,
but he has had some real problems since
returning to the village.
...

that

money it

P.B.T.

will be able

needs to

Ukarumpa (SIL's main center)


able

P.B.T.

to raise the

build the two

members

houses at

which will en

to attend the

needed

linguistic, literacy, and translation work


shops .
... for us spirittially that others may be
able to see Christ in us, even through our
cultural differences. Pray that we can know
how to present Christ as being the vitally
essential dynamic that is lacking in their
culture.

SHARRAN'S SHARINGS

can be

We just returned home after being gone


three weeks. We left home by our car;
traveled the northcoast road as far as the
washed-out bridge; took ourselves and our
cargo across the river in a little boat; and

met Ron Augsburger on the other side of the


river. He took us to Madang where we board ed a small coastal freighter called the

"pre-nasalized '

"pari"

instead of "Mpari",

stead

of

"di".

The

"scratch" and the

periencel

diaeresis

what the

kids and

I needed.

We

hadn't been out of the bush since January,


and it always takes us a while to get used
to the glitter and prosperity of the city
and its towns people. Seeing women in shorts

and slacks is as hard" for us^t^get used to


now as when we first saw that all my bush
lady friends wear are skirts 1
After

our

week

at

we

flew

to

Ukarumpa for a 2 week language learning


workshop.
We had Daranpu flown up to meet

us at Ukarumpa

to help us at

the workshop.

We made some breakthrough discoveries in the


grammar of our language and gained fluency
in some of the difficult areas.

goals for language

We set new

learning until September

and are very much enjoying our progress.


There are no short cuts in learning a new

language.

It's all just hard work^

As always the fellowship we shared at


Ukarumpa was great.
We have been given
permission by SIL to build 2 PBT houses at
Ukarumpa for PBT translators.
The language
learning workshop we attended is the only
one we can

attend all

year because

we can

only attend when' SIL has housing for us, and

they are always short for their own peoples'


housing.
Vfe ask you to pray with us that
$25,000 would be raised so we can build two
houses

at Ukarumpa,

biggest need,

We all see

it as our

because without SIL's help at

this point we can make little progress.

watch their

relationship

first

with our

Lord Jesus Christ grow.

verb

second means

can

be

feature

nasalized,
over

nasalized.

of

our

language

so we

the

will be

vowels

if

time after

April of 1981.

using a
they

are

difference in the meaning of words.


You
might intend to say that you were eating

("gu pi"),

but

instead

call

yourself

an

_animai_ia_ tall_C'gu_piJu
The meaning of words can also be changed

by a feature called "aspiration".


as a

puff

of air

It can be

following the

pronounciation of consonants, yet preceding


the pronunciation of the vowels.
For
example, put your hand about an inch in
front of your mouth and say "puff".
Do you
feel the puff of air?
Now just say the "P"
without the "niff".
So you feel the puff?
Now try to

That's

say it without

the difference

the puff of air.

between

a "P" being

aspirated and unaspirated.


In Kire the p, t, and k sounds can be
unaspirated or aspirated to give words dif,ferent meanings. Rather than creat different
symbols for the aspirated consonants, we
merely combined the consonant symbols with

"h" to make "ph," "th", and "kh".


ference between

"khi" and "ki"

The dif
is the dif

ference between "cough" and "smile".

I had

to master that difference to be able to get


good photographs of our-peoplfr, or you would

think they were always sick with a coldI


There are some other interesting features
about the Kire language that really make it
different from English, but instead of try
ing to explain them all in the newsletter,
we will bring back a copy of our analysis
I know from the

letters we receive that many of you are


genuinely interested in this sort of thing
and will enjoy sitting down and trying to
pronounce these words and imagine what the
rest of the words in the language are like.

Well,
seeing you all some

is

Nasalized vowels can also make a

let your imagination run wild knowing

that all these different features

We look forv&rd to

means

"stir (the

All of the vowels in Kire

when we return on furlough.

We hope you enjoy the family picture.


It is long overdue. John and Amy sure have
grown in size, but the biggest thrill has
been to

Another

described

Lae

you would have

food)".
nasalized vowels.

just

in a

said you were spitting. Food could also get


burned if you "Ndi" in your instructions in

Unboi, which rocked us all the way to Lae


where v?e spent a week's holiday. We were on
the Umboi 27 hours.
That was quite an ex-

The relaxation and change at Lae

which results

change of the meaning of the words.


For
example, if you were wanting to tell someone
that you were trying something but said

can and

do combine

in many

(and more)

different com

We continue

to

binations

thank God daily for your faithfulness


Him, us, and our Girl people. Love,

to

language.
Then remember to pray for us as
we continue to leam how to speak and under
stand all that is spoken to us in this new

Sharran

language.

to

form

the

words in the

Kire

>
K

>

&r

,1

'<

f
m.

'&.

im

$
^v

ti \.

....'
MM
mm.

i,

FURLOUGH IN '8l!

The Pryor family will be back in the


states in April of 1981 for a year of rest
from their linguistic work and travel to
visit with family, friends,

and supporters.

If your congregation would like for them to


visit and share their work with you,
contact Kevin O'Brien immediately.

arranging

their

itinerary,

you send your request,

please
He is

and the sooner

the better.

Please

send your requests to:


Kevin L. O'Brien
R.R. 2 Box 26

Oakland City, Indiana 47660


Or call 812-749-3351 or 812-749-3132

Tentatively

the Pryor's will travel the

United States in the following fashion:

April 1981 - Ellwood City, Pennsylvania


May 1981
- Stillwater, Oklahoma
June 1981

- Oklahonfl
- Texas

- New Mexico
- Arizona

happy BIRTHDAY Amy!


Our 'little' girl is
growing upl July 24 marks Amy's 10th birth
day, and we say congratulations Amy!

July-August 1981 - Kentucky


- North Carolina
- Tennessee

- Virginia
- West Virginia

September-October-November 1981

December 1981

Illinois

Indiana

- Pennsylvania
- Ohio

Non-Profit Organization
U.S. Postage PAID
Oakland City, Indiana

PIONEER BIBLE TRANSLATORS

David W. & Sharran 0, Fryer, Missionaries


Kevin L, & Donna J, O'Brien, Forwarding Agents
R. R. 2, Box 26
i
Oakland City, Indiana
47660

';i

ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED

;I[

4. #ji 7^
Permit

'-li' J

47660