This is a Hebrew song sang by one of my favorite singers Ms. Sarit Hadad. It's almost like a national song for Israelis but it can be pretty personal too. I have made an entry earlier with the transliteration of the words plus a literal translation. Go down to April or May Archives if you wanna see it.
Saturday, December 9, 2006
This is a Hebrew song sang by one of my favorite singers Ms. Sarit Hadad. It's almost like a national song for Israelis but it can be pretty personal too. I have made an entry earlier with the transliteration of the words plus a literal translation. Go down to April or May Archives if you wanna see it.
Friday, December 8, 2006
Monday, November 6, 2006
This past days has been all wet wet wet wet! What with the unceremonious arrival of our buddies, Milenyo and Paeng! As always when there is a storm, we at CFM get the creeps.
Two years ago, people had been sleeping soundly while the 12okmph winds blow their roofs away and floodwaters steal their lands bit by bit and even took the lives of their neighbors. People woke up and when they put their feet on the floor, the water (or rather the mud) was knee-deep, to their surprise. They were so shocked to see mudfishes wriggling in their floody-muddy bedroom floor that they didn't have the presence of mind to save some of their belongings. Televisions sitting atop chest of drawers toppled down to the flooded floor because the drawers floated. There are other irrecoverable damages. Thankfully, all I Iost were my 10k wedding dress, my journals and my letters... I said, thankfully, well, I mean it paradoxically.... haha... truth is I mourned for my stories lost forever.
THE CULPRIT: Beside my house (well, not really mine) is a river that runs wild especially during typhoon season and when it does, it brings all sorts of trash and debris into the property not to mention murky floodwaters that can go as high as the windows of the houses inside the compound and bring destruction to everything it touches inside. To help the situation, the government built a more or less 12-foot stonewall parallell to the river to keep the waters to its side of the river. Today I just came from that stonewall. It is so nice a place to relax the mind by watching the nature around. The welcome change of weather from heavy rains to a sunny day has encouraged my resolve to go out of doors more often. So anyway, I climb up the stonewall and spread my eyes over the creation yonder. The change of color as the sun slowly hides behind the mountains is a pretty picture. The rolling hills far in the distance turn from green to a deeper shade of the same, then to a darker hue of blue then to ultimate blackness as the sun sets in the far horizon.
I fell in love with the clouds in their silly cotton whites yet as the light wanes, they turn into a tinge of pink to a deep scarlet until finally the reddish heavenly cottons turn to a shade of purple then finally to grey as the last rays of the sun fades and the darkness sets in. I also love listening to the gurgling waters in the river as it tries to outflow and outrun itself. I love thinking with all these transformation of nature's beauty going on around me...
But really, I was not thinking... all I could do atop that stonewall was to give out an endless sigh of wonder and awe at the picture perfect beauty that is laid before my eyes... God's art. AH! LORD GOD, HOW GREAT THOU ART! :)
Thursday, October 26, 2006
That was because, this week, I needed to be somewhere else to conduct a Bible Translation workshop for a group of indigenous languages here in the north. Today is the third day and I believe that we are meeting our goals quite successfully, thanks to my very dynamic and flexible staff as well as the assistance of the people in the Center where we are holding the seminar. I was quite apprehensive to lead this workshop without 'back-up' (meaning, mentors/bosses) but God is Good! As I've said we're on our third successful day! There are five languages represented in this workshop: There are 4 from Ayta Abellen of Tarlac and Pampanga (used to be from Mt. Pinatubo); 9 Agtas of Palanan, Isabela; 5 from the Casiguran Island, two from a language in Kalinga, and two from Kalanguya.
Continue to pray for these dear people as they struggle to translate the Christmas Story in Matthew 2 and learn translation principles at the same time. Pray also for the workshop staff as we try to impart what limited knowledge we have about Bible translation... all to the glory of our Jesus, whose birth a lunatic murderer used as a license to butcher children but whose death bought us a chance at eternal life. For all that I am worth, which is nothing, I give back all the glory to Him who turned me into something that can be of use to further His Kingdom through the translation of His Word into languages that are yet to have it.
Monday, September 11, 2006
I logged on to my friendster this morning and there waiting for me was a new testimonial. It was another one from my sister. She took my pseudonym Ironheart and came up with an acrostic of some kind. It was nice; all the words she said there was very touching and sincere. When I read it, a question came to me: Why can't Sarah say it to me up front? We are very close and she tells me everything (at least that's what I think, but who knows?] :) but why can't she tell me verbally all the things she writes in her testimonials. This question and a few more that I have asked myself over the years seemed to boil down to one thing: the Kalanguya Culture.
Tell a Westerner or a lowlander Filipino that her loved one has died and you will see the appropriate emotional response--she will cry and will need someone (or something) to embrace (typically). But try telling a Kalanguya and she will look down at the ground batting her eyelashes, and trying to keep the tears from falling (men even manage not to cry) even if they love the dead person very dearly. WHY SUCH AN UNRESPONSIVENESS OR IS IT?
I was born in a village deep in the forests of Nansiakan, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya, in Northern Philippines. During that time, American missionaries were in the village teaching the Kalanguya people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. But not only that because they also kind of introduced western culture. I remember during a school break when I was in third grade, I was taking care of my two younger siblings (in most of the Filipino culture, it's automatic, that if you are older, the burden of taking care of the younger ones when the parents go to the fields will fall on your incompetent young shoulders) and we went to play near the house of the western missionary. After a few hours, the missionary came and gave each one of us a cookie. The older children in the house know the drill. When they give you something, say 'Thank you,' so that's what we did. Unfortunately, my barely three year old youngest sister failed to say her thanks so the missionary snatched her cookie and put it back in the can. My baby sister got upset and started to go wild. She begun howling and scratching my face so in desperation, I gave my half-eaten cookie to her. To the surprise of everybody, the missionary came back and took the cookie too. (I don't know why I still remember this so vividly. I can still feel the pity I felt for my baby sister at that moment.) To make the story short, we left the house and went home with me crying with my sister, out of pity and probably embarrassment too or even anger. Since then, to the best that I can remember, I never failed to say thank you for any favor that is offered or given to me, until such time that I was becoming very analytical about the culture of my people, then everytime a favor is done on my behalf, I feel a twinge of embarrassment and sometimes I can't bring myself to say thank you. Again, I ask myself why?
A year after the cookie incident, my dad took the whole family to live in a new village, and would you believe that during the first few months I suffered from a culture shock of some kind? See, this is a Kalanguya village, pretty much the same as the one we left but in this new village, there were no western missionaries. One time I went to my cousin's house. They gave us a basketful of sweet potatoes, a pound or two of sticky rice and lots of bananas. They had given us too much more than we can carry so I just told my cousin that we'll take what we are able to carry. Before I and my siblings went home, I said, "Halamat, Manang." (Thank you, (+ a polite address to an older sister.) To my big surprise, my cousin's face turned crimson. At first I was afraid that I offended her for returning some of the things that I can't carry. In a way, I did offend her but with a different reason than what I thought. She took offense when she heard me say thank you. She said, "Halamat ali ngod man ni! Hapa matey kan kabwahan!" (Lit. Why are you saying thank you? Are you dying tomorrow?) This rhetorical questions implied the meaning: "Do not say thank you because I might be the one in need next time and you will be the one doing me a favor!" Something like that.) At that early age (I was 9), many cultural questions (well, of course at that time, I still don't know that these things are cultural issues) have sprouted in my head: Why, on one hand, to a westerner, is it that not saying thank you is bad manners? On the other hand, why would a Kalanguya take offense when thanked? Is this just a matter of uneducated or uncivilized versus educated or civilized way of looking at things or behaving?
The Kalanguya people, like most Filipinos are helpful people. When a person needs help planting or harvesting rice, or building his house, his neighbours will come and help him. There is an unwritten code that you will help your neighbour when he needs help so what usually happens is that favors done are favors returned and so there is no need to say a word. For the unwesternized Kalanguya, Thank-You is too easy to say to repay a favor. The Kalanguya does not have the western concept of appreciation that a thank-you usually implies. But the opposite is surprisingly untrue because if you ask a Kalanguya if the reason he opts not to be thanked is because he is expecting a payback, he would be offended. Again, there is an unwritten code that acts of goodness should not be counted or even mentioned. (Usually, you will only hear some kind of appreciation for someone when one is talking about a dead person--eulogies, gagiks!)
What about sorry? The nearest thing that can express the idea of sorry in Kalanguya is the interjection, "Ahah!" One says this when he accidentaly inflicted pain on someone (like indeliberately bumping with someone.) As for thank you,the nearest word would be 'haballi'. Nowadays, more and more Kalanguyas are using this instead of the loan word Halamat but primarily, the meaning of 'Haballi' does not go beyond merely being delighted about whatever is happening or that which someone has done for somebody.
Even to this day, when you did something wrong and you say sorry to a Kalanguya, he would say something like (even if jokingly), "Andi ngoy agah ni sorry!" (There is no medicine for sorry!) This means that merely saying sorry is not enough because sorry cannot accomplish anything. It cannot undo whatever is the wrong that was committed. It seems to me that to them, 'sorry is a dead end,' a helpless nonsense. I am not saying that the Kalanguya does not say sorry even to this day! Believe me, my generation even overuse it! :( All I am saying here is that, like the "Thank You," sorry is considered to be too easy to say when you wrong your fellow. It is given in the culture that when you do something wrong, there must be something you can do to undo it or change it or pay it if it cannot be undone.
Well, what did I write all that for? Simple. So that you will know and you will not be shocked or get mad at me if I am an Ironheart, emotionless at times, if I do not say Thank You or Sorry often enough when I should. So that you will not think what an ice witch I mean ice queen I am. Hehehehe (kidding!) (To all the other readers, I wrote this for my husband who is from the south so pardon me for these asides.)
Seriously, I am just at a point in my life where I would really like to see all Igorots be proud of who they are.... etcetera etcetera.
What I think is that it is good that the Kalanguya people has learned to say thank you and sorry. The best thing about us Kalanguya is that we are very teachable and we learn and adapt very easily (sometimes too easily). We have learned to be sweet, to show our emotions so that people will be able to relate and open up to us, so that people will feel welcome. We have learned to embrace people we respect and love. We have learned to hug and kiss our friends. We have learned and adapt so many good and even 'not so good' things....
...... but now I am thinking that maybe the young generation could use some reminding of the no-sorry, no-thank you culture of the older generation because that culture inculcates responsible and accountable living--an excellent way of life that saddeningly, is falling through the crags of modernism.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Saturday, August 19th was the big day. We prayed for a sunny day but it seemed that the sun forgot to wake up early and so the day dawned with overcast sky and rain showers. At around 6AM, three more guests came in the persons of Ninang Anita, and my sisters Daphne and Jean. But before the flurry of wedding morning activities started, everybody was up to enjoy a big breakfast, so we crowded around my very small dining table and enjoyed some pancakes with a choice between strawberry jam, guava jelly, or maple syrup, sausages, cheese, bread and of course the ever aromatic arabica coffee. :)
Over all, the wedding was a success except for a few blunders. Well, I have yet to see a perfect wedding! Since I was the coordinator, I was tasked to arrange everybody for the procession. And one of the blunders was that, while I was 'commanding' the principal sponsors to fall in line and get ready to march, I turned my head and there was the bride standing at the back of everyone else! "What in the world is she doing here!?" I asked an usher. I ordered her back inside the house. :) Another major blunder was when the minister Rev. Movel Velasco asked to see the marriage license and everyone was turning their heads as if saying, Whose got it? But of course they have a marriage license; it's just that it's one of the important little details that gets left out when everybody is trying not to be late. :) Anyway, somebody ran to get it from somewhere and showed it to the minister. So far those are the only things that kinda made me squirm in my seat.
Here comes my favorite part. When it was time for the bridal march, the groom took the mic and sang I WILL BE HERE by Steven Curtis Chapman. It was really beautiful. The bride stopped halfway down the aisle and listened as her groom sang his heart out. I was trying to catch my husband's eye but he was too busy taking pictures! Anyway, that episode was really really lovely and witnessing it was a tearjerking experience.
Another crowd favorite was during the exchanging of I DOs. The minister did away with the traditional repeat-after-me stuff, rather he told the groom and the bride to come up with their own vows. Right at that moment the electric company in town decided to turn the power off, and so we cannot hear what the bride and groom were saying to each other but since I was at the sides taking pictures, I heard them very clearly. Norman said, "Hehmeken taka inggatod ngapoh, inggatod dipoh!" It simply meant 'I will love you until the end' but the poetry of it is beautiful. 'Ngapoh' is a verb denoting the process of fire burning a firewood while 'dipoh' describes the very last moment that you see something or someone (idiomatically means 'dying.') Now you pretty much get the idea of the statement. :) Anyway, I think it's really a unique way to promise one's faithfulness.
Lastly, NORMAN and HILDA, WELCOME TO THE 'DOUBLES' CLUB!
Check out their pictures at www.ironheart.multiply.com and www.ironheart2.multiply.com
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Yesterday, we asked our mayor to send a truck to transport the CFM residents to Mapayao Village where we will start reaching out to the young people through sports. Above are our boys Romeo, Onil, Jefferson and Johnson having the day of their lives atop the dump truck.
At the village plaza, the CFMites lead by Pastor Bong and Kuya Ariel organized teams with a mixture of CFMites and the villagers to play basketball. The girls, lead by Lani Luyaman went to the nearby elementary school to play volleyball. At the end of the day, except for the few scrapes and bruises, I can see in the eyes of everybody that though exhausted, everyone has enjoyed himself. I even enjoyed myself not only watching the games but also snapping pictures at any interesting pose.
In the evening, we invited the youths to a film viewing of a few scenes from the movie Passion of the Christ. After the movie, Bob Bagley explained the message of the movie. He said that it is very easy to shed a tear upon seeing the movie but the most important thing is to see the significance of the suffering and death of Christ in relation to our condition as sinners before a Just and Holy God. Pray with us that the seed planted during that evening will grow and create a parchness in the souls of the youth who came to the meeting so that they will continue to have the thirst to listen to the Word and eventually believe and be saved.
Please pray also that may the enthusiasm and burden of the CFMites be sustained and that they will continue to be compassionate towards these dear young people who are yet to understand that they are lost in their sins and that God has already remedied that lostness.
Next stop shall be the Village of Acacia on September 23rd. Pray with us. Thank you :)
For more pictures check out my photo albums at www.ironheart.multiply.com. You might be wondering why I don't just lump it all here: Well, it is easier to upload pictures in Multiply. Many thanks to Multiply! :)
Friday, July 21, 2006
I praise God for my uncle Bagly Arsenio who committed his life to help the Kalanguya churches grow spiritually and be an active member in equipping and sending ambassadors to fulfill the Great Commission. He is now on a study leave taking up a master's degree in Community Development at Alliance Graduate School (AGS), Quezon City Manila. He joined the team in April 2003.
I praise God for my sister Sarah (who finally came home to Bible Translation after six years of wandering in college (4 courses in six years) :). She joined the team in June 2003 and went straight to AGS to take the Diploma in Bible Translation. She is now the major drafter in our team. Pray for her as she grapples with the book of Jeremiah this year. She will go back to AGS next year to take her Master's degree in Applied Linguistics/Bible Translation.
The new addition is Norman Malcat, a very good friend of mine since first grade. I praise God for finally saying yes to our request. Bagly, Sarah and I have been praying for Norman to join the team in spite of the fact that he landed a promising government job at the local town hall. But God has other plans and so last April, he resigned from his job and joined us. He is now undergoing basic training in translation by translating a language learning handbook into the Ilocano language. I am also very excited to announce that he and his fiance Hilda will be saying their "I-DO's" comes August 19th. :) Who knows (God does), Hilda might join the team also. Pray for Norman as he organize and lead the "CFM Praise and Worship Team" and "The Seekers' Band."
The half that I was talking about a while back is my cousin Lani Luyaman. She is still in college but has committed to join the team afterwards. She helps the team in ministering to the students who lives here in CFM (see previous entry) by leading weekly Bible studies, and leading the CFM choir. She is also a member of the Seeker's Band. Pray for her for strength, wisdom, and empowerment.
There you have it! The Kalanguya Bible Translation Team :) I get the chance to work with people with different gifts and personalities everyday. With the natural flair in fun and humor of Norman, and the unbelievably crazy funny personality of Sarah, the ala-fast-and-furious way of talking of Lani, the dependability of Uncle Bagly, (plus the trying-hard clarinet-playing of my husband Bong [but you're improving Best]), :) my life can't get any better! :) Thank you Lord for my crazy teammates. (Uncle Bob Ambrosius said: "Yeah, cuz I am the only sane one." :) So where does that leave me? The neurotic? hehehe
Sunday, July 16, 2006
My girls are Kassie Mariano, Lydia Dinggas, Marites Tamtaman, Marites Arsenio, Josephine Calpasi, Arlene Hilario, Marvy Puclalay, Fe Galwan, and Marilou Kindot.
Pray for wisdom and open hearts as we study the Word together every Tuesday for the next six months. Pray also for the other two groups which are being lead by Sarah Pido (my sister) and Lani Luyaman (my cousin), and Medy Bianzon (a school teacher at the nearby High School) who committed some of her time to help us in the ministries in CFM.
Check this out! :)
FUN in CFM July 16, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
Check out my pictures during a one day r&r in baguio city with Bong, and Mae2 (my sis in law). Under LINKS (upper right), click "mae2 in baguio ct."
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
This second time, there was a bit of a controversy because some of the people in the audience did not understand what the presentation was all about. They sort of accused (probably too strong a word to use here but I can't think of any) the Kalanguya performers to have called on evil spirits in their midst (which of course was a very big insult to the Kalanguya believers). But even then, this accusation made the performers ask themselves what they did wrong or uncultural or unclear. They found out that there was not much introduction as to what is going to be presented because they assumed that the audience who are all ministers of God among minorities (like the Kalanguya) would know better than to believe that the Kalanguya believers would dare to "call evil spirits" in the midst of believers. Some comments made by two or three people made the Kalanguyas think that they are accused of being syncretistic.
My heart went out to them. Tribal people (at least my tribe) look up to missionaries. Somehow, there is a blind belief that a missionary can say or do no wrong at least when it comes to judging other people. Apparently, these tribal performers were branded as unbelievers when in fact they went there to testify to the grace of God in their lives by showing an audience who and what they were before and who and what they are now that God has brought changes in their lives.
Personally, I think that it was just a matter of interpretation or misinterpretation. The performers assumed that the audience knows what is going on--that they are seeing a life of "Then and Now" but as it turned out, this assumption was not present in the mind of some of the audience and so it resulted to some unnecessary comments. Kalanguyas are culturally bound to assume very much. They assume that other people are smarter than them; that all their brothers or sisters in the faith will give them the benefit of a doubt--that a person won't think this Kalanguya would say or do something that will offend someone else and so if it happens that someone is offended by what a Kalanguya does then that someone is assumed to think that it is not intended in any way. Due to all this, it hurts the Kalanguya too much when he is deemed to have acted in an offensive way when in fact he did not. I guessed what I am saying is, we should not overreact about things that we don't understand. Because in that overreaction, we might undermine someone else's cultural orientation. Having said that, I am proud to quote what the hurt Kalanguya said after mulling over the situation. He said, "It's good that this happens. Now, we know that before any performance, we need to know who our audience are. What are their dearly-held values? How would they react to this? And now, we know better than just go up the stage and dance and recite our rituals without specifically stating that we are testifying to God's love to us by showing them aspects of our past animistic culture/religion and how God changed it."
Kalanguya, keep on! You are doing a great job! After all, it is to God whom we shall account our deeds... Let him who doesn't understand be enlightened and let him who is enlightened share the light to others...
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Southern Subanen MTTs IN ACTION!
In my past entries, I have asked all of you to pray for the Southern Subanen Mother Tongue Translators' Workshop that Bong and I were planning to conduct in Zamboanga Sibugay. Praise and Glory be to God for His faithfulness in answering your prayers, and our gratitude to you also who prayed for this ministry.
Pastor Lumawan (Bong's dad) invited 20 pastors and laymen/women to attend the workshop (and I went like WHAT??? 20 TRANSLATORS FOR ONE LANGUAGE???) so I prayed for lesser... (hehehe) Only 11 participants came during the first day but on the second day, there were only 5. The participants represent 3 provinces of Mindanao (Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay), all Southern Subanen native speakers. Their motivation is very high so we are considering doing another workshop this year. It will take a lot of my time away from Kalanguya (not to mention Agta/Ayta workshop) but it is very inspiring to teach this people. :) Bong and I will try to get NPMTTA (and other organizations) involved in this. And we're prayerfully hoping to have one of these Southern Subanen translators to qualify for AGS next year. Following is an excerpt from a letter that I wrote to a mentor of mine during the worskhop.
"I was apprehensive when I first came but now I'm glad I said yes. This was supposed to be a vacation, but I'm pleased with the way the Lord has been working. The receptiveness of these people is just so inspiring. They are very eager and really motivated. It reminds me of my fervor during the early phase of the Kalanguya translation. It not only reminded me, it refreshed me and renewed my fervor too. I was kind of on a 'mild depression' after we finished consultant checking our Kalanguya translation, but now, I'm back (I always get depressed after a big project (heheh). Praise our great God for His imagination... :) even behind my tired mind and spirit, He is there giving me the much needed nudge, and now He did not give me just a nudge, He really took away the clouds that has been clouding this plan for the past two years. A Subanen tribal queen committed to financially support the translation and Dad is also working on getting the provincial government to support it by including dictionary making in the translation project. There's still a lot to be done here but I know that God will touch people who will do this work with Bong and I or even without Bong and I. ":)
There is also the possibility of inviting some of the Southern Subanen MTTs to go up north to attend NPMTTA or LMTTT and I think that would be good. If the LMTTT continues and they will be having Book workshops like we had in NPMTTA, the Subanens (not Subanon, they are very particular about that. A Subanon, according to them is anyone who settles along side a river :) can benefit from that too.
Our immediate need for these new translation team is computers and translation programs/tools... Pastor Lumawan (Bong's father) is working on getting the government involved but from experience, I know that government assistance takes forever sometimes, so if we can have other sources, it would be better. The translators (Subanen Team) will be drafting 10 chapters each of Genesis by hand these coming months. I promised to send them the Translators Handbooks (paperback/hardbound) that Seed company sent me a few years ago. Other than that, their resources are very limited. Some of the Pastors who are teaching at Biblical institutes have access to Bible dictionaries and other commentaries but not all of them have that luxury.
Following is the Team's Plan for the Future. Please pray for them.
The Subanen team have assigned 10 chapters each of Genesis to be done by the five translators with at least 3-5 chapters exegeted, drafted, comprehension checked, committee checked, and BTed by the end of 2006 and ready for consultant checking on the third Southern Subanen workshop in the Summer of 2007.
The translators, being church pastors also agreed to prepare their Sunday Sermons or Bible study topics from the book or chapters that are assigned to them to translate to aid them in exegeting/studying the passages they shall translate.
Monitoring shall be coordinated by the Rev. Fortunato Lumawan and shall be relayed to Bong and Margie Lumawan.
In the immediate future, the SS Translation team hopes to send one of their members to take the Linguistics and Bible Translation Training in AGS. They also hope to send one or two to attend the Dictionary making workshop of the NPMTTA in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya later this year.
Future plans as Indicated by the Participants
- Frequency of workshop – Twice a year (May and December)
- Workshop Topics
- Translation Principles and Poetry Workshop to finish Chapter 2 of Jonah, Checking of Drafted book (Jonah for December 2006)
- Peer checking workshop/Team building workshop
- Dictionary Making Workshop
- Book Workshops (Genesis – Summer 2007)
- Grammar Workshop
- Discourse Workshop
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Today, I begged Bong to take me to Pagadian city where I can check and send emails so here I am. It is a choice between Pagadian CT or Zamboanga CT but Pagadian city is nearer.
Anyway, we will be having our Workshop on Monday through Friday. We will be doing Translation principles and Oral Drafting of Jonah with the Southern Subanen prospective translators.
Please pray for wisdom and strength as Bong and I facilitate this workshop.
Thank you all...
Friday, May 5, 2006
After that mindboggling Scripture checking, NPMTTA has a timely retreat; so today, I'm here in Bagabag having the 'sleep' of my life (hehehe).
I was disturbed (in a positive way) with the learning session we had yesterday taken from Matt. 21:1-11. This is about the fig tree that was cursed by the Lord Jesus for being fruitless. The speaker wanted us to check ourselves to make sure that our lives are bearing good fruits and not just beautiful leaves; to check our hearts because we might be so busy trying to look nice and good on the outside yet fruitless and joyless within...
Today, the speaker reminded us of the following principles from Joshua 1:1-9.
1. Remember God's presence and power in the past.
2. Remember God's promises for the future.
3. Follow God's prescription for the present.
Pray with us...
1. Margie's flight to Zamboanga on May 15th.
2. Bible Translation Workshop among the Southern Subanen on May 22-27.
- Pray for wisdom for Bong and Margie as they facilitate this workshop.
- Pray also for the participants...
3. Pray for Bob and Judy Ambrosius - protection and safety as they travel from Cambodia to Manila on the 15th and then to the US.
4. Pray for NPMTTA as we try to fullfill our goals and visions for Bible Translation in Northern Luzon and beyond.
5. Pray also for the Agta/Ayta Workshop in October: preparation of the hearts of the participants (Palanan/Casiguran Agtas & Abellen/Mag-indi Aytas), preparation of teaching modules, teaching staff, translation consultant and anything you can think of. :)
6. Pray also for Margie and Bong for wisdom and discernment as they decide on the next step to take regarding Margie's further academic training.
The choices are:
1. Ph D in Linguistics somewhere abroad.
2. MDiv somewhere in the Philippines then MTh in Singapore
3. MDiv to MTh in Singapore
4. Masters in Linguistics and Exegesis in CANIL
5. ____________, _____________ , ___________...
Thank you very much and May God's peace be with you all.
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Saturday, April 29, 2006
My brothers and sisters, please help me dream for our people and for our language!!!
by: Ajig Gem
The ongoing mission of CFM is specified in the article ‘What is CFM?’ I therefore want to expand that into a vision that reaches new heights and extends to wider horizons. We at CFM believe that the Kalanguya people as well as the Kalanguya language can and should be an active voice in the Philippine society. Let us do away with waiting for our government to do things for us, rather than taking up our armors and marching to the sound of battle. We, among ourselves should envision ourselves to achieve for our country let alone our community. God has blessed us with wisdom and knowledge to be able to creatively think for ourselves and turn our dreams to glaring realities. We will never arrive if we do not take the initiative to act right where we are.
So what are our dreams? Let me ask you something. When you are in the lowlands, do you pretend to be someone else other than the full-blooded Kalanguya or Igorot that you truly are? Do you get irritated when you see your fellow Kalanguyas walking in single file along the streets and not in a horizontal line like the lowlanders do? When your child begins to learn to talk, do you talk to him in Ilocano and ask everybody around your child to do the same? There is nothing wrong with that but as a Kalanguya parent, it is your duty to inculcate love for own language in your child as early as possible. It is better for the development of the child to be speaking the language that flows through his or her veins than to be fluent in something else that he can never be identified with. On the other hand, it would even be better for a child to be bilingual, trilingual or even quadrilingual but make sure that one of those languages is the language of his or her heart.
You would ask me, “How about the children who are products of intermarriages?” It saddens me when such children utter vehement denial when they are called an Igorot or Kalanguya. It just shows that their parents have not cared to introduce them to the cultural identity that half of their personality is made up of. Going back to our dreams, don’t we ever want to hear news and read books in our own language, or do we think our language is not good enough to be put on paper or heard in the airwaves? What if we have a radio station and a news paper of our own? Would you read it? Would you listen to it? Would you promote it?
There is no limit to what we can do as a people who believes that the God we worship has blessed us with every blessing that we need to fulfill our dreams for His Glory. Let us be dreamers and doers.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
You would remember that Chapter 18 is about the death of Absalom. Before going into battle, King David commanded his soldiers to spare Absalom's life even if he rebelled against his father and even wanted to oust his father, the king. We all know the sad story... how the king, the father, wept bitterly for his son who was murdered by his own general. While reading this, I was listening to the Hebrew Song "SHEMA ISRAEL" sung by Sarit Hadad, a multi-awarded Israeli singer. Suddenly I begun to cry like I was there. I cannot help myself but feel for David and the pain of losing a child whom he hasn't spoken to for the last few years. I know it is terrible to lose a child but probably much more terrible knowing that it was your undoing... that you as a parent has failed in one way or another resulting to the lost.
Anyway, here's the song, a very beautiful song, that I cannot get out of my head until now. For those of you who are interested, you can check Sarit Hadad at www.sarit-hadad.com. You will notice that the English translation is pretty wooden... :)
(HEAR, MY GOD)
Ksheh halev bocheh rak elohim shome'a
When the heart cries only God hears
Hake'ev ole mitokh haneshama
The pain rises out of the soul
Adam nofel lifnei shehu shoke'a
A man falls down before he sinks down
Bitfilak’tana chotekh et hadmama.
With a little prayer (he) cuts the silence
Shma Israel elohai ata hakol yakhol
Hear Israel my God you're the omnipotent
Natata li et chayay natata li hakol
You gave me my life, you gave me everything
Be'enai dim'a halev bokhe besheket
In my eyes a tear,the heart cries quietly
Ukhshe halev shotek haneshama zo'eket.
And when the heart is quiet, the soul screams
Shma Israel elohai akhshav ani levad
Hear Israel, my God, now I am alone
Chazek oti elohai aseh shelo efchad
Make me strong my God, make it that I won't be afraid
Hake'ev gadol ve'ein le'an livro'ach
The pain is big, and there's nowhere to run away
Ase sheyigamer ki lo notar bi ko'ach
End it because I can't take it anymore
(make the end of it because I have no more energy left within me)
Kshe halev bokhe, hazman omed milekhet
When the heart cries,time stands still
Ha'adam ro'eh et kol chayav pitom
All of a sudden, the man sees his entire life
El halo noda hu lo rotze lalekhet
He doesn't want to go to the unknown
Le'elohav kore al saf tehom.
He cries to his God right before a big fall
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
“Let there be light!”
H ands, never a need, for by HIS words
The earth came forth.
E ndless heavens, wonderful sights
All in six days, by my awesome GOD.
P ointless futility, this life would be
Without the eye of HIM who sees
E ve heeded the illusory lie, and Eden ceased
Yet in HIS heart, love remained.
"N ay, never shall you win!" was the word to the serpent
But to the man, a promise…
T enderly, HE fashioned history
As a seamless blueprint… of liberty.
A braham, oh how he held on!
Never a question, but submission
T hough blunders were up, plethora of gaffes
Yet HIS plans, no faux pas can thwart.
E volution, where is thy sting?
Chimp won’t thank you, though you say we’re brothers.
U ndoubtedly, SOMEONE’S been busy
This breath mirrors it … so obviously.
“C all unto ME and I will answer thee!” Said the CREATOR--
“Turn from your ways, yours is MY pardon.”
H ear, MY adam! I have set you free!
“Yours is the choice, MINE is the Glory.”
Monday, April 17, 2006
There is nothing to do but glorify God for all the great things that he has been doing in the Kalanguya Bible Translation ministry. Today, we celebrate the first day of the new addition in our team-- Norman Malcat-- a dear brother who resigned from his government job because of his commitment to the Lord. Please pray that our team will grow spiritually together as we endeavor towards finishing the work that the Lord has priveleged us with. It is indeed a great honor to be working with the KING.
Please pray with us (Bong & Margie) also for our trip to Mindanao on May 16, 2006. We hope to kickstart a translation team among Bong's people... the Southern Subanen of Zamboanga Sibugay Province.
Please pray also for the upcoming 37th Kalanguya Believers' Annual Conference which will happen in Mapayao Christian Church, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya. Pray for a time of spiritual growth and revival among the Kalanguya believers. Pray that God will be continually glorified in the lives of the Kalanguya people.
Thank you all for partnering with us.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
The cotton-soft whites of a cloudy day?
What in heaven is bright,
The sun that shines so brilliantly?
What in heaven is a wonder,
The scraps of metal that fly away?
God in Heaven is lovely
He makes all beauty that’s there to see
God in Heaven is bright
He lights the darkest soul, to free
God in Heaven is a wonder
His love is free for you and me.
What on earth is fatal and deadly,
African rainforests’ viruses?
What on earth will make you happy,
The world and all its riches?
What on earth will last eternally,
The human soul that reincarnates?
Sin on earth is fatal and deadly,
No science can remedy
Nothing on earth will make you happy
Oh! Not even the world’s money
Even the earth won’t last eternally
Everything will fade away.
God’s wrath is fatal and deadly
But His love so pure and free
Jesus’ life has made us see
There is hope for you and me
Jesus’ death has set us free
To live with Him everlastingly.
I apologize to those of you whom I have mentioned here without permission. In my ignorance I did not realized that I might have put your lives and works at risk. If it is any consolation, this is a private blog and is available only to those whom I have given the web address, unless hacked or whatever they do. But of course we cannot take any chances. For all we know, anything can happen.
I prayefully hope that I have not put anyone else's life and work in jeopardy by this mistake. Again, I am very sorry.
(Please know that in my culture, naming names is honoring that person named and that has been my intention. :) I'm very sorry, it won't happen again.
Please forgive Ironheart4ever
Saturday, April 15, 2006
May 01, 2005 - Bong and I reached our First year wedding anniversary with minimal damage to each other's sanity... hehehe ... seriously, the Lord blessed me with a very loving, understanding and selfless husband... iloveyoubest
June, 2005 - The Kalanguya Translation Team saw the first fruit of their labor when OT books Proverbs, Ruth and Jonah were published after a month of Consultant Checking.
October 2005 - I was invited to write a a paper and present it in England on January 2006. I accepted and wrote the paper. (I didn't go though due to visa problems but my paper was presented.)
February 2006 - There were talks and invitations of me going on to doctorate education.
March 2006 - I let myself be bullied into saying yes to coordinate a translation workshop.
March 17 - I am on my last lap of being a twenty---ager.
March 27-April 7 - I did my best (but I guessed my best wasn't good enough) :) in doing my job as a workshop coordinator at the 2nd Agta/Ayta MTT Training.
April 9, 2006 - I went to Manila to be graduated with an MA in Applied Linguistics and came home with a very unexpected but nice surprise... The biggest chunk of the bacon... Academic Excellence Award.
April 9, 2006 Evening - I saw, tasted, ate and took home a slice of the biggest Pizza of my life courtesy of my mentors and friends: Thank you to all of you (you know who you are:)
TO BE CONTINUED....
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I really enjoyed the graduation. I went there with the purpose of getting a feel of a closure for the MA thing that I finished last year and not to stumble on the stage when my co-graduate sitting next to me nudged me to go up to get my Academic Excellence Award plaque. I was very surprised. I mean I didn't know that they would count me to belong to that batch. Well, to GOD BE ALL THE GLORY. I'm just overwhelmed when I look back at how God has worked in my life and in the life of NPMTTA. Nothing to do but be thankful and be faithful to the call that the BOSS called us to do.
The thing is, nothing of this would have been possible if you people (you all know who you are, if you don't, God and I know) did not allow yourself to be used by the Lord as an instrument to encourage and push us to the direction that we have taken. Thank you for being a positive spiritual, intellectual and academic influence in my life. When I ponder all these, I always make an attempt to coin a word to say to you, a word which is much more meaningful, deeper and heavier than THANK YOU, but nothing comes to mind. So please allow me to say it again....
thank you forever..
In God's unfailing faithfulness,
Margie (and Bong)
The first two days started not so smoothly but rather of unpreparedness on my part. A week before, I emailed all the topics that are to be covered during the workshop to all the staff as well as the SIL mentors who will play a very significant role in the workshop. So after that, I sat back and forced my mind back to the consultant checking at hand in my own language project.
During the first day of the preparation week (which was only two days--my mistake again), we had to look over the topics again and make sure that everybody is happy with the modules they will be doing and that it really suited the needs of the Agta/Ayta learners. During the workshop proper, I thank the Lord because, yes, there were gaffes but no major blunders. All because the Lord's hand has been moving in our midst.
There are things that I would be happy to see again on the succeeding workshops and some things also which I would like to change or at least improve.
1. The learners' enthusiam in learning is very contagious and encouraging. Although, there were sleepy hours, still I saw that the participants are really serious when they made the decision to take part in translation training.
2. The mentor's support for both the facilitators and the learners. Thank you for being there and helping us.
3. The facilitators' dedication to training. We believe that we learn by teaching and so even if saying yes to facilitating in a workshop meant that we lost :) some precious time from our own translation projects, we still think that it is worth it because we are not only giving back what has already been given to us freely (utang na loob..hehehe) but actually serves not only to have an opportunity to serve our Lord (which is of course the ultimate purpose) but it is also definitely an opportunity for us to grow professionally.
4. Foodtrip. I messed up with the budget but still we were able to have a feast everyday. PTL for His abundant provision.
1. Medium of Communication. We are Filipinos, alright. But boy, was it hard to speak in Filipino. The language groups that attended the workshops have different language preferences than that of the facilitators. The materials were in English, but the facilitators had to speak and make teaching lessons in Tagalog. We really had a hard time translating especially the key terms in translation and linguistics. A longer preparation time would have been more helpful even if it would not totally solve this communication problem.
2. Culture. Again, we are all Filipinos (except for Roger) there and you would expect that we could have found a common ground in our culture as Filipinos to be able to be just be Filipinos. But of course we all know that we are not only Filipinos. Among the Teaching staff, we were Kalanguya Filipinos, Balangao Filipinos, Subanen Filipinos, Ifugao Filipinos, Bontoc Filipinos, Palanan Agta Filipinos. Among the learners, there were Ayta Mag-indi Filipinos, Ayta Abellen Filipinos, Palanan Agta Filipinos and Casiguran Agta Filipinos... we have no other common denominator than our love for God and the desire to His Word translated. But that was enough to sustain and unite us throughout the duration of the workshop.
1. I am definitely not a people person. I get a terrible headache if I interact with a crowd of more than 5 people for more than an hour. But as a workshop coordinator, I had to push myself to the limit and talk and deal with people (not pc, pen, paper) even of it means psychological stress on my part. The result was not really impressive but it made a significant difference, I would like to think. :)
2. It was my first time to coordinate a workshop and I really don't have the experience to think of all the things that I should take care of as a coordinator.
A teacher of mine said, "... it is not really the report that is important (referring to the write up that I should file after the workshop, which I have yet to do), but whether you are happy with what you have done." Honestly, I am not very happy with myself and the way I handled things and dealt with people in the workshop. I could have done better, but that's alright, because I realized that I wouldn't have found out that I could do better with God's guidance if that workshop didn't turn out as it did. So even if there were so many things that I wish I have done differently, I am happy that I was given the opportunity to play a part in the Agta/Ayta Workshop.
To my colleagues and mentors, thank you for your patience and I apologize for any shortcomings on my part. We'll do it better next time... so let us stick with it... Workshop in October??? Let's pray about that..
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who shared in anyway towards the success of the workshop. Thank you and looking forward to working with you again.
To all of you who have been a part of the workshop, please feel free to post your comments/evaluations/suggestions here. It will help me/us.