Post 73 / The Next Language

The Hippie Era Lives On

When I began my career with GR back in the 1960s I got used to travelling with my backpack in out of the way places along with many longhaired hippies that were living the same lifestyle but for very different motives.

I thought those days were just memories until our recording team pulled into Huautla, Oaxaca, to base for a few weeks in order to contact a number of unrecorded languages in this area.  Just a week or two before, we had purchased an old VW kombi van to get us around.  This particular vehicle was iconic in the town of Huautla because it was a favorite vehicle of the hippies drawn to Huautla for the famous hallucinogenic mushrooms grown in this tropical alpine environment.

You can see our kombi parked under tree-sized ferns alongside the road.  We have had numerous friendly comments about our vehicle and at least one offer to show us mushrooms.  Efren, our Mazateco guide (standing by the driver’s door), was taking us to a language helper who happened to be living on top of the mountain of Huautla in the neighborhood of a famous shaman, Maria Sabena.  Reportedly she was a friend of the Beatles, who are also loved in this town of 35,000 persons.  Anyway, while we were waiting for Efren to find a language helper, this old lady came up boldly and asked if we were looking for mushrooms!

Glad to say we haven’t seen a single mushroom but have enjoyed living in a bustling community that is still immersed in the language.  I was in an Internet café when I heard my first whistling conversation.  Mazateco is a very tonal language and people can communicate completely by whistling.  SIL translator George Cowan was one of the first to document this in the 1940s.  I was listening to Mazatecos converse about bank papers and official documents when a guy came in the door whistling.  The owner of the store whistled back.  They were exchanging mundane pleasantries in a very entertaining way.

So, in four days this week we have lined up recordings in five languages.  Looks like it is going to be a busy month.  We are so thankful for Efren, who we found after our first night here.  Life went from feeling like strangers in a place whose spiritual heat and tourist/drug reputation were tangible to being welcomed to camp in a church. There we are being hosted by Efren, whose voice is on the old GRN recordings and who knows exactly what we are aiming to do.  He has accompanied us to several villages this week to introduce us to Mazateco-variant speakers.  Only one village has failed to yield a willing, believing language helper.

Pray for the remainder of this month that we will record productive and fruitful materials in these languages.  Pray also for our visa applications that are now before the Australian government for entry into Australia on the 27th of January.

God Bless,

Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director

Global Recordings Network USA

If you are interested in learning how to share links on social media that will promote use of our recordings and the Gospel in general, please contact Roland Heck@GlobalRecordings.Net

Previous “The Next Language” posts
Genesis of a Recording Set – Post 72
Back Tracking – Post 71
Witnesses- Post 70
Who Is Your Owner? – Post 69
An Unsolicited Endorsement – Post 68
Oral Tradition – Post 67
Works of  Man – Post 66
Deliverance – Post 65
New Discoveries – Post 64
The Wall of Pain – Post 63
Is There a Place for the Gospel in Your Story – Post 62
The Love Pyramid – Post 61
Obsession – Post 60
Verb Tenses in Hebrews – Post 59
The Unseen Weapon – Post 58
The Gospel Arrives in Zapoteco:Elotepec – Post 57
Fishing – GRN Style – Post 56
A New Day in Mexico – Post 55
Seeking – Post 54
Pick Your Battles – Post 53
How Big Is Your God? – Post 52
A Muted Gospel? – Post 51
Dedication Service for Marcos – Post 50
Two Weeks, Two Months, Two Years – Post 49
What Will You Give to Jesus – Post 48
Special Assignment – Post 47
The Good and the Best – Post 46
How Many Languages Are There? – Post 45
Verifying Speech Varieties – Post 44
Those God Things – Post 43
Meet Notch, the Desert Cottontail – Post 42
The Lost Languages – Post 41
The Rest of the Yoke – Post 40
What About Those Last Languages – Post 39
A Yoke That Fits – Post 38
The Other Side – Post 37
It Is Finished – Post 36
On the Ground in Culiacan – Post 35
I Will Go With Thee – Post 34
Unseen Warfare – Post 33
God of the Gaps – Post 32
The Father of Faith Missions – Post 31
WAIT – Post 30
Our Ultimate Weapon – Post 29
What Are You Doing Here – Post 28
Recordist Training Course Update – Post 27
Still Shameful – Post 26
Numbers Update – Post 25
The Gospel and Idolatry – Post 24
Could Ye Not Pray – Post 23
John the Baptist and the New Normal – Post 22
Genesis of a Script – Post 21
Embena Experiences – Post 20
An Easter Like No Other – Post 19
Go Or Stay Home – Post 18
The Next Language – Post 17
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