Post 70 / The Next Language
December 20, 2021
In my barn in Alaska is a gallery of over 100 language helpers in 8X10 portraits high above the normal barn activities. I call them my cloud of witnesses. Every one has a name and every one has a story and many are still personal friends. Since coming to Mexico my list of witnesses continues to grow. Let me share a few.
Meet Eusibio- Language helper and Pastor at the village of Yosoyua. When Eusibio learned what we had done in the language of San Pedro Alto he took the initiative to invite us to his language. He hosted five of us including two new trainees for the entire project. At dawn he was in the corn field harvesting the corn essential for food for the entire year. This gave him time to put most of the day and night into translating for us.
Meet pastor Pedro. He was the very first Mixteco to invite us to record his language. Our first contact was in his home where poverty was starkly evident. Despite that the wife went out and bought cokes from a neighbor to give us a drink. Pedro proved to be very skilled at oral translation on the go.
Meet Pastor Eucario and Juliana in Nuxinio. They were the very first believers in their area and suffered horribly for standing up for Christ. Their personal testimony became the first sound of the Gospel recorded in that language. After the Sunday morning service they gave us the entire offering so others could hear the Gospel.
Meet this mountain man from Mixteco de San Juan Pinas who had the courage to give us 32 words that confirmed this language as needing their own recordings. This is a new class of language recording helper.
Meet Marcelino. He is the Mixteco with a vision that opened the door for recording in over 10 unrecorded Mixteco languages. We never got to meet Marcelino because he died in August of covid complications. At his memorial service we met several Mix-tecos with whom we eventually recorded.
Meet Hipolito- Zapoteco de San Lucas Quiavini. Hipolito said he just had a vivid dream where he saw their church filled with new believers. He thought the recordings would be part of fulfilling that vision.
Meet Justiniano of the Zapoteco de Elotepec. They promised to take the recordings over the mountain to a couple of other Elotepec speaking villages.
Meet Lulu of the Zapoteco Alto. She was the first to self identify as a secret believer and made the first effort to translate the Good News. In the process she had to bury her aged mother.
Meet Marina of the Zapoteco de San Miguel Albarradas. Her daughter was so keen for the recordings that she pretranslated the Good News before the team of Gustavo and Ezequias even got there.
Meet Lazaro of the Tacaua. While shepherding his animals he gave us a word list and then found he was the father of Pepe the pastor of the church in Tacaua. He asked us to pray for him before he went off to find his sheep.
Meet Filipe. He invited us to the Mixteco de Tijaltepec and orally translated the Lost Sheep while also hosting an SIL exploratory team considering translating a New Testament in Tijaltepec. One night he took us to a lengthy meeting in the home of a sympathizer so we could share the Gospel.
These are some that I expect to be in heaven’s hall of fame along with the witnesses in Hebrews 11:38. (Those “of whom the world was not worthy”…)
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
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