Displaying Complex Scriptures on Phone Apps

Scripture App Builder LogoWe live in an exciting world of electronic publications. Many of us no longer purchase physical printed books but instead read them on our smart-phones or tablets while we travel, or just around the house.

For years now we have developed a tool called Scripture App Builder (SAB) that then creates and publishes in the Google Play store, or Apples iTunes store, complete Scripture texts in vernacular languages. Even more powerfully, the Scripture App can move a highlight over your language text, and guide you along, while hearing the text spoken at the same time. This becomes a literacy app, when young or new readers are trying to understand how to read and write their own language for the very first time. You can imagine the powerful impact this can have, and many third-world nations have smart-phones (Android) that are affordable in local shops in town.

But whaComplex Script showing placementt about "complex scripts?"  Typically Asian scripts that are part of the fertile crescent regions?  These have non-Latin based characters and often stacked diacritic marks in the Script. (See circle dotted places to the left) For years we have not been able to publish Scriptures (or any other books of high standing) in these vernacular lan- guages, except by the old means of printed paper.  This greatly hampers distribution of materials. 

Enter an Open Source software project called SIL Graphite, and something called Crosswalk, produced by the brilliant volunteer programmers at the Non-Roman Script Initiative (NRSI) who work in one of our Asian countries.  This team has "cracked the nut" on a very difficult modern-day problem with our phones, whether Android based or iOS based.

Complete Asian Script

Let us celebrate this great breakthrough in technology to advance the Kingdom of God! For myself this is part the reason why I work in the "Language Technology" space; there are thorny issues with technology around the world that greatly affect minority languages and it is part of my work in Papua New Guinea. When people ask "what do you do, Brian?", it's often difficult to describe the notion of "Language Technology"; why this technology is even needed to a primarily English-speaking world (as in America), where all the technology problems have been solved.

Scripture App Builder with Graphite support for Android and iOS apps, is available today for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Pssstt..... Did You Hear About Brian and Helen?

We're leaving Papua New Guinea soon.....

After 32 or so years of service in PNG, we are sensing the Lord's leading to return to the homeland.  This "sense" is hard to describe really (unless you've been there yourself), but it seems that He is calling us back to the homeland. Our present plans are to re-settle in the place of our origins: Vermont in the USA. This is the place where Helen and I first met and married.

We plan to sell our PNG house and move our most important possessions and mementos, while settling down again near the township of Jericho, VT.. Our main sending church, Jericho Congregational is ready to receive us!

If you have managed to read this far, then we covet your prayers for a swift transition to American life, and understanding the Lord's leading to new, possibly International, ministries. We will most likely continue with remote assignments with Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Both Helen and I have consultant skills in demand, and we are still "young" enough to travel.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.  (NLT)

— Psalm 37:23

God Speaks Menyan !  (Video 5:10 min)

Every year we celebrate many New Testament dedications in our part of the world. See our PNG 2017 Annual Report.

Menya Airstrip

Photos by Amy Evers, used by permission

Woman with childLate February observed the village dedication in Menya and there was great joy among the people, finally gaining access to the Word of God for the very first time. This is a monu- mental and historic point in their history. ScriptureChild with NT books media included a New Testament in book form and also on small solar-powered audio players. It is also available in SD-Card form to facilitate distribution, in the SAB version (see above) for mobile phones. Once it is on a person's mobile phonMan with Headdresse, the text, Bible illustrations, and spoken audio text, can be transferred wirelessly from phone to phone..... the Menyan Scriptures can literally go "viral" among those who own mobile phones, and without the Internet. 

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all you mind, and all your strength. (NLT)

— Mark 12:30

Photo Insights into Papua New Guinea Life

Yellow FlowerHere is the entrance to our photographic favorites. Come journey to the "land of the unexpected" as seen in our eyes after 30 years of ministry in this fair country.

See More as published from the Years 2005 to 2017»

CC-BY-SA.  Higher Resolution photos are freely available upon request.  Just email and let us know what you would like.