A SMALL TASTE OF HOME
“How can I get more? Can my friend have one, too? We all want one of these books in our language!” The excitement of a Dallas refugee leader was palpable when she received a book of proverbs and wise sayings in her own language. Thanks to a gift from Dr. Pete Unseth, DIU’s proverbial proverb scholar, refugees across the globe are beginning to receive a small “taste of home” in the form of proverb books. These proverbs become a welcome thread of connection to a faraway homeland and a rapidly unraveling way of life.
It all started with the work of one of Pete’s colleagues collecting proverbs while working in the homeland of a community that greatly valued its proverbs. A local friend suggested to him, “You should make a book of proverbs.” So with this confirmation that the community prized their proverbs, he published a book. This book became the foundation for a presentation made by Dr. Unseth and his colleagues at the International Proverb Conference.
At this conference, Dr. Unseth and his colleagues spoke on the role of proverbs in facilitating refugee integration. They discussed the process of producing books of community proverbs, the usage of proverbs for language and cultural learning for refugees in Europe, the impact of painting proverbs on the wall in a hospital wing specifically prepared to treat community members, and to produce proverb products for distribution in refugee contexts.
Dr. Unseth shared how he led an effort to produce posters with a local proverb encouraging harmony and perseverance. An appropriate painting by a community artist (commissioned back in the home country) was chosen to support the proverb, and the poster was made available online. The poster has the proverb written in the traditional script, then transliterated into Roman script for legibility across linguistic barriers.
Dr. Unseth has since sent the URL to many refugee resettlement agencies in the USA. By telephone, he contacted a woman who emigrated to the United States 20 years ago, and she was very excited about the materials. “These people — they need it for sure…I’m encouraging everybody to order it. They really need it.” This was additional strong evidence that refugee community members valued these proverb materials.
At the end of Dr. Unseth’s team’s conference presentation, they introduced the following motion to the conference of proverb scholars:
“Proverb scholars should make extraordinary and creative efforts to promote the use of refugees’ own national proverbs and their host nation equivalents, to advance cross-cultural connection, human understanding, integration, and language education for all refugee populations and their host nations.”
For years, Dr. Unseth has advocated using a community’s proverbs in new ways to bless the community. Now he is enjoying doing just that!
Announcing the Dr. Andy Gallman Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Because of Dr. Andy Gallman’s heart of service and influence upon his students and colleagues, many have said yes to the call to participate in the story God is writing through work in Bible translation around the world.
Now, thanks to generous hearts like yours, the Dr. Andy Gallman Scholarship, established in his memory, has become fully endowed! This means that the investment income generated from this fund will provide scholarships to DIU students for many years to come.
Alumni Spotlights: Updates from Across the Globe
Update on the Story from Tim and Altruicia in the Solomon Islands
Celebrate with us that the Book of Genesis has been completed as of this fall! What a joy to know that people in the Pacific will be able to learn in their heart language about God’s care in creating them in His image. Pray with us for Tim, Altruicia, and the local translation team as they continue the work of bringing God’s word to their community in the language and form they understand best.
Update from Jamie* and David*, Working Remotely with a People Group in Asia
This year, the team compiled a small book of Christmas songs in the local language and presented them to churches for use in Christmas programming. In addition, a handful of people of various faiths has begun meeting each week to discuss the newly translated Bible stories! Some community members are also starting to use the literacy learning materials developed by Jamie and David to help teach their families to read. Jamie has also been able to remotely facilitate a trauma healing session to plant seeds of hope in this community. Would you please pray that Jamie and David can continue encouraging their friends to share with more people so that the hope of the Gospel will spread?
Stories like these don’t just “happen” in isolation, and we are so thankful we don’t have to do this alone.
Thank you for your faithful support of Dallas International University.
We wish you all the best in this new year and ask that the Lord will bless you greatly for the ways you pour out your hearts in His service!
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