Friday, March 5, 2010

From Arizona to Minnesota

 Guess the number of Skittles - or Languages

The smallest amount represents the languages of the world that have the entire Bible translated in their language, so English is in this jar along with 450 others.
The second jar represents the language communities which have access to the NT in their heart language: 1,185. 
The fullest jar represents:
  • Approximately 2000 translation programs currently in progress
  • plus 2,200+ languages without any of the Bible, that are in need of a translation to begin
Wycliffe Bible Translators estimates the world population to be about 6,500 million people, with 350 million that don't have Scripture in their language.
We spent five weeks volunteering at a Wycliffe Center just north of Tucson, Arizona. Here I am with a couple of Mexican missionaries.

Bibiana and Luis are leaders of The National Union of Indigenous Translators in Mexico, which currently has about 100 members. My parents have known Bibiana since she was a teenager, were involved in her ministry as she attended Bible School and as she continued on promoting Bible Translation in Mexico. We were happy to have the director Luis, who speaks Zapotec along with Spanish and English, stay overnight with us during their short visit to the Wycliffe Center.

 The view from the doorstep of the mobile home where we stayed, just north of Tucson, AZ. 
From shingling roofs to digging up water leaks, Jim got the dirty jobs. He is supervised by a retired missionary who built several translation facilities in Mexico.
In case you thought "Typing Pools" were out of style, this group of retired volunteers I worked with have been instrumental in keyboarding out-of-print Scriptures for Here's a sample of the start of John 3:16 in one of the 200+ indigenous languages of Mexico called Mixtec (Bibiana is a Mixtec speaker).

16 ’Vatyi Nyoo cuñí xaan ra chi tandɨhɨ ñáyɨvɨ iyó sɨquɨ ñuhu ñayɨvɨ...

You can see why they might need help from a computer consultant once in a while!
Now, for John 3:16 in our heart language:

"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." 
25 hours of driving over two days brought us back to southern Minnesota.
The lake at Albert Lea, MN, where Jim's mom, Jan, lives.

"Buster" is Jan's new Jack Russell Terrier companion who at age one already knows how to roll over, sit, and shake a paw!

Buster from jibe717 on Vimeo.

In a couple of days we plan to drive the 6 hours or so further north to "home sweet home" to finish out the winter and await spring!

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