Meet Pastor Paul – Weekly Inspiring Image

pastor paulClosely involved in the translation of the New Testament into his mother tongue Wala, published in 2008, Pastor Paul references the whole Scripture text of the Bible in Pijin, the national language of the Solomon Islands. He keeps his fingers in the commandments of Exodus 20 while reading Jesus’ genealogy in Luke 3. While such detailed family histories may not excite English readers, for Malaitians it is an important connection between their culture and the Biblical culture. Pastor Paul says, “We strongly believe the word from our ancestors, our customs. We depend on that. Our culture is very important and we need to view it in the light of God’s word. The Bible helps us to understand who God is.” Pastor Paul considers that a recent disregard for family history has contributed to modern problems in the family. He shares from the Old and New Testaments with those gathered for an ethno-arts workshop on the island of Malaita and urges, “We must make the family strong. When the family is strong, then the community is strong. When the community is strong, then the church is strong. When the church is strong then the whole nation is strong.”

Photo & Words: Elyse Patten