January 10, 1998 in Washington Voices

Church Speaker Will Share New Guinea Experience

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Marilyn Laszlo, a farm girl from Indiana, left the United States in 1965 to spend more than 20 years in a small village in Papua, New Guinea, creating an entirely new written language. Laszlo will be in Spokane on Sunday speaking about her experiences working with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Laszlo was in the Hauna Village, one of seven scattered over 100 square miles that was home to the Sepik Iwam people, which now number about 3,500.

When she arrived, the Sepik Iwam people had no written language. Over 23 years she and others created an alphabet, taught the people how to read and write, and trained teachers, pastors, mechanics, carpenters and nurses. “You are everything,” says Laszlo. “Our training is very, very thorough.”

Laszlo left the village to come back to the United States in 1991, leaving behind a written language, a school of 200 students, a new hospital, 50 teachers, two nurses, 18 pastors and a newly translated Bible.

“We don’t leave a village until they are well trained and can carry on the program,” says Laszlo.

It did not all happen smoothly. When she arrived, the villagers had never before seen a white woman. They were afraid of her white skin and debated whether she was a man or a woman, finally deciding she was an “it.” They thought she was the ghost of their ancestors, until they discovered that she bled from thorn cuts and got sick just like they did.

Laszlo will speak at the 8:30 and 11 a.m. worship services on Sunday at Valley Fourth Memorial Church, 2303 S. Bowdish. She will also speak at the 6 p.m. worship service at Trinity Baptist Church, 6528 N. Monroe.

Fund drive complete

St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 503 N. Walnut Road, has announced the completion of its fund drive that began in mid-October.

The church has received pledges for more $729,000, says drive co-chair Winnie Doohan. Some pledges are still coming in. After all pledges are received, the church mortgage will be paid and any excess will be used for parish programs, says Doohan.

The goal of the drive was to raise $700,000 to pay off the mortgage so more effort and money could be devoted to parish programs and services.

Video series starts

Christ Lutheran church, 13009 E. Broadway, will begin showing a video series titled “Keys to a Loving Relationship” on Sunday. The series, narrated by Gary Smalley, includes ways to communicate and relate with our loved ones. The class will run from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. each Sunday through Feb. 22 and will be facilitated by counselor Bob Newcomb.

The class is free and no advance registration is required. Child care will be provided, and older children have the option of attending Sunday School classes.

For more information, call the church office at 928-7733.

Missionary family will speak

Pasadena Park Church of the Nazarene, 8822 E. Upriver Drive, will host a family that recently did missionary work in Madagascar. The Derting family will speak about that experience during the 10:50 a.m. worship service on Sunday.

The service will be followed by a “Summer in January” barbeque. Donations collected will be used to help fund a missionary team heading to Dominica, an island in the Caribbean.

All are invited to attend. For more information, call the church office at 926-5858.

‘Gospel Opry’

Spokane singers Lou and Jan McCoy will present “The Gospel Opry” from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Crossroads Baptist Church, 509 N. Sullivan Rd.

The Opry, which is also held every Thursday night at the Valley Assembly of God, is a combination of country and western singing with 16 to 32 musicians, said Wally Macklin, with The Gospel Opry.

The event is free. For more information, call 924-7635 or 926-2514.

, DataTimes

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