Saturday, September 01, 2018

July/August 2018 -- As for God, his way is perfect… 2 Samuel 22:31

July/August 2018
As for God, his way is perfect…   2 Samuel 22:31 
It’s no secret that Jacob and Kiki’s son, my grandson, David, has been battling with leukemia for over 5 ½ years. During this prolonged and grueling fight, the little warrior has undergone brutal chemo treatments, repeated relapses, and multiple experimental treatment failures. After each significant disappointment, his mom and dad’s blog always concludes that the sweet thing of cancer and these trials is that we don't understand how it is good, but we don't need to, and they bring us to the end of ourselves, which is right where our good and sovereign God wants us. As for God, his way is perfect…   

These past 2 months have been chock-full of opportunities to “try to figure things out” for ourselves. That’s a dead-end path; God’s way is perfect.
Román is a key member of the team of eight Mother-Tongue-Translators (MTTs) of the Huichol Old Testament. He has been faithful at this task for ten years, nearly from the outset of the project, in spite of a lot of difficult-to-understand circumstances. The laborious job of producing an audio version is a prerequisite to the actual printing of the completed text. Last Friday, Román, Refugio, and Joaquín finished the first two-week recording workshop for Genesis, Job, and 1 Kings. It takes about an hour per chapter, and with 929 chapters in the Old Testament, there are a lot of hours of work ahead!

For the 41 two-week translation workshops in Tepic, and various in-between trips to upload work to the project repository, Román has had to travel by any means possible from his village high in the Sierra Madre of Nayarit to my house in the capital. Sometimes he’s hiked on foot to the rural bus stop nearest his village, then on to Tepic; sometimes he hitches a ride on a local’s truck heading to town; and sometimes (since 2010, and when it’s not rainy season) he’s been able to ford the river, hike to a neighboring village where there is a
rocky, sloped dirt airstrip, and make a UIM plane connection (25 minutes!) to Tepic. He has more stories than I have space, for of the narrating of some rather harrowing experiences. The following are a few examples:
Last year, near the end of the rainy season, Román was bitten by a dengue-carrying mosquito. He felt horrible with the disease, but he was not about to miss out on the scheduled Old Testament translation workshop in Tepic. He and Venancio hiked down to the river, loaded their well-wrapped, precious translation laptops into a large, plastic washtub, which they buoyed up in the water with several dried gourds, and they began to swim across the current, pushing the tub along as they went. In mid-river, Román simply didn’t have the strength to swim on and gave in to the indomitable turbulence that rushed him out of sight. Venancio made it across to the other side of the river, hid the tub with the laptops, and ran downstream in search of his teammate. Neither knows how it happened, but Román was washed up to the shore alongside the river, and Venancio helped him hobble back uphill to the hidden laptops. Before long, they continued on their journey to reach their transport to Tepic.
Román was headed to Tepic in his Uncle Emilio’s rattletrap old truck when they were assaulted. The masked robbers stopped their truck in the middle of nowhere and made them get out. When they discovered that they only had $200 pesos (roughly $10 US) and their 2 cell phones, the outlaws took that, beat them, and left them lying in the dust next to the truck. When Román reached out to retrieve his cap, he was surprised to discover that the bill had been perforated by a bullet.  He felt his head to see if he had been shot, too. Apparently, the thugs missed their mark.  His comment to me later was, “Thank God they didn’t find my laptop with my latest translation work!”

Actually, all of the trucks that make trips back and forth through the mountains from “near” where Roman’s village is to the city are in a horrible state of disrepair. The trucks scale slippery, rocky paths that wend their way alongside breath-taking drop-offs and often require that the passengers get down and push. A few months ago, Roman’s ride snapped its leaf springs under the extreme load, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Not to be discouraged, the resourceful passengers produced various ropes and chords, and “shortly” (That’s a relative term.), the suspension was “in order,” and they were back on the “road” (That’s also relative.) for the final few hours to Tepic. 
Thankfully, David is in remission from his leukemia, in spite of the announcement that his last CAR-T cell experimental treatment had been a failure. David was ecstatic that at last, he would celebrate his 7th birthday out of the hospital! Not so. This year, not David, but his dad, Jacob, would be taking his place in a hospital bed with the new diagnosis of high-grade (aggressive) B cell Burkitt Lymphoma for which he has begun high-dose chemotherapy and steroids. By whatever means, Román is determined to get the Huichol Old Testament job done. He and Jacob have both learned not to try to understand the reasons for trials, nor why they are for their “ultimate good.” That brings no peace. But instead, they have chosen to place their trust in what Román has translated from 2 Samuel, that God’s way is perfect.

Enjoy more July/August Tepic activity pictures and videos here.
Watch a video of Jake's sermon at his church regarding his most recent "gift" from God.


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