Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I received an email from Joe Grimes (the Huichol New Testament translator who in the 50s and 60s with his wife, Barbara, lived among the Huichols for 16 years).
His letter, directed to Huichol pastors, José and Manuel, exposed the kind of organizing that will be necessary for his organization (SIL) and The Seed Company (TSC) to get involved with the existing Huichol churches in facilitating the translation of the Old Testament into their “heart” language. The indigenous Huichol translators will need outside help with training, guidance, and consultation on the translation, funding for special needs like computers, books, and workshop and consultant travel expenses; and for that assistance they are required to submit a formal “letter of request.” This “gringo” red tape is foreign to the Huichol mindset, but they are willing to do whatever it takes to get God’s complete Word in their hands. José and Manuel have whole-heartedly agreed, along with other church leaders, first, to form a committee to write the letter requesting help, and second, to work and sacrifice whatever is necessary to achieve this goal beginning with taking a bus, boat, and hiking long distances on foot over some really rugged terrain to present the project to and get words of commitment from available and willing qualified bilingual (Spanish/Huichol) helpers.

Joe Grimes in Hawaii and I in Tepic arranged a time this morning for pastors José and Manuel to talk via a Skype computer connection to Joe, who is obviously fluent in Huichol. Joe says that when he talks to some of the Huichol pastors, “it sounds more like he’s talking to Peter and Paul because they're so soaked in Scripture. That's why they take seriously the instructions in the New Testament about using the Old. They've become accustomed to obeying the New Testament after 39 years, and that's behind their quest for Moses and the Prophets. Their attitude isn't colored by being around churches that are accustomed to giving short shrift to three quarters of the Word of God. They really want the whole thing.”


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