Thursday, March 01, 2007

Each day brings opportunities for service that I could never have devised by my own endeavors and that emphasize the fact that, "This life is not about 'this life.'" I find myself flabbergasted at the constant interconnection of people, circumstances, and timing that could only happen by supernatural appointment. A prime example of that divine dovetailing is that of the Kansas City Baptist Temple > The Seed Company (TSC) > Wycliffe > Mellberg > Huichol connection. Who would have dreamed over thirty years ago, when Kirt and Debbie, two very inexperienced but determined young missionaries to Mexico, met Jeff Adams, missionary to El Salvador (now the pastor of the Kansas City Baptist Temple), at one of Kirt and Debbie's first support-raising missions conferences, that the relationship one day would build to be a part of the impetus behind the project for making the Old Testament available to some very deserving Huichol brothers and sisters? Thirty years ago, those two young people didn't even know what a Huichol was, nor even how to pronounce the word "Huichol"! They had no idea that twenty years prior some very humble and committed linguists were diligently reducing the Huichol language to written form and collaborating to produce the New Testament in that tongue. Nor were they aware that their arrival in Tepic would be the answer to the prayers of an old Huichol who, since his decision to follow Christ, had been expecting God’s provision of a partner to reach his people scattered throughout the Sierra Madre Mountains with the Truth.

The question has been raised, “Why is it necessary that the Huichols have a complete Bible in their language? Not long ago, in one of our frequent “front porch pow-wows” a couple of Huichol pastors and laymen were discussing this very issue. They recognize that they are among the privileged, and they are grateful to God that He has provided them with the New Testament. As they have read, studied and applied God's Word, they see that Jesus often referred to the “Scriptures,” and they realize that His references are to the Old Testament, which they still don't have. They have concluded that if it was important for Jesus, then it’s important that they also have the complete Word of God. They are committed to whatever work and sacrifice is necessary on their part, and they are eternally grateful for the outside help they are receiving in getting the Old Testament translated into their language.

With the encroachment of “civilization” on the Huichol communities, there are Christian Huichols who have received schooling in Spanish. Some have gone through high school and a few, like Primitivo, have some university studies. Primitivo is currently employed by the government to teach in a remote village school. Though his Spanish is excellent, he told me that he prefers to speak in Huichol. He shared that it is impossible for him to pray in Spanish; for him, “God speaks Huichol.”



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