Archive for January 29th, 2014

January 29, 2014

Joy and renewed vision amidst deepest pain

by bzephyr

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I had to run and get my camera today to capture this moment. This was the first time in many years that we had as many as 18 men from all 10 languages at our Bible translation workshop. The two Ramo language translators are finally here again after more than a two-year absence.

Painfully true, however, is the fact that we no longer have 11 languages represented in this project after our friend from the Serra language died over the Christmas holiday. We deeply grieve the death of Ignas Salley, not only because he was our brother, but he was also the only translator from his language group. Now there is no one who is ready to continue that work.

Another two men in this picture are back at the translation desk again after going through nearly a year-long process of reconciliation with their churches, communities and the translation team. Three other men are working together as friends again after miscommunication and conflict prompted them to part ways a few months ago.

Two of these men are carrying on the work for their language on their own while their partners carry heavy burdens during a difficult season of life. Two others are pursuing God’s calling on them to continue translating his Word even though their church has a strict policy about not compromising their beliefs through fellowship with other denominations. Two of these men are here at the translation desks even though they were elected last year to the huge responsibility of local level government leader for their large communities.

Seventeen of these men are married (six of them in the last few years), and they leave their families for 3 or 4 weeks at a time, five times a year, in order to bring God’s light to their people. Two of these men came to this workshop directly after burying members of their family. Three of these men are here despite the fact that their brothers have pressing need of them in interactions involving land disputes, police investigation, and all that goes into sending a younger brother off to a distant town to finish high school.

Two of these men are here at this workshop to continue producing the seed that bears fruit for God’s kingdom, even while other team members enjoy the import and excitement of showing the life of Jesus on DVD, produced with their own Malol translation. So they don’t even get to see the fruit of their own labors.  One sows and another reaps. But there is no harvest without the seed, which is the Word of God.

Does the Word of God exist in your language? What a joy it must be for you. There are many who still endure much hardship and pain to grab hold of God’s promises. The Word of the Lord is light and life and joy eternal for those who hear it and hold on to it until the Lord of the harvest reaps his abundant crop. 

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