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This letter contains BIG NEWS. For most of you this will be new NEWS about a decision that's been in process for a long time now. For those of you who got a sneak peak, read the second page to see what happened after we made the decision.
Lots happening. Lots to do. We're so thankful for your encouragement along the way.
Mark & Patti
PS: This is the first time in nine years we've had a front row seat as spring amazingly takes over the winter landscape and pops out all over!
A warm FATTY greeting!
I grinned as the first three men showed up for the workshop and greeted me. First, I was happy to see them again. That was reason enough to smile. Another reason for smiling was thinking how their greeting translates into English. What is really a wonderful compliment in Quechua literally sounds like: “You’re so fat!” What they mean by that is: “Hey, you look good! You look nice and healthy!” It was good to be together again.
All of the goals for the workshop were met, including reviewing questions that had come up regarding key terms, handling the 270 outstanding issues Mark had for them, looking at both the thematic and names indices, checking a few new glossary entries, and going over additions to the introduction to the Bibles. We praise God for keeping the team alert, healthy and actively involved. Thank you for praying for all of us during that time.
* Pray for Mark as he continues with the myriad big and little checks as a necessary part of getting these six Quechua Bibles ready for publication.
* Praise God for the leaders of 31 churches in the Huamalies area that set aside a Saturday each month to work on their own reading and writing skills with one of the co-translators. Then, they turn around and practice the same lessons with their congregations. Pray for more readers for God's word.
A treasure hunt!
Between our annual conference and heading up to the mountains, we spent a Sunday looking for our old friend Severo and his wife Manuela in the sprawling outskirts of Lima. Years ago, they befriended us in Margos and eventually invited us to live next to them.
All we had was a map Severo drew for us a year and a half ago when we ran into him at a Quechua church convention. The map, not to scale, gave few street names and no numbers. It said to look for an empty lot used for playing soccer with stairs going up the mountainside just behind it.
We found something that matched that description. We made it to the top of the stairs and asked a woman sweeping in front of her house for Gloria Vega as indicated on the map. She lived just next door! Gloria is Severo’s daughter. Boy was she surprised to open her door and see us standing there!
We thought her parents must live close by, but it took another car, bus, and moto-taxi to get from her house to her parents’ place. It would have been extremely difficult to try to draw a map of where they lived.
The hunt was worth it! What a treat to be together again with Severo, Manuela, her mother and two more daughters.
What would you think if someone told you you're not a toadstool? Would they be making fun of you? Putting you down? Encouraging you? Challenging you? Check out this month's brief letter to see what that means in Quechua parlance.
We're still in the midst of the (often) tedious details necessary for preparing these translations for publication. There's a welcomed change of pace in the weeks ahead while we're back in Peru.
This isn't a typcial Christmas letter. It's more a progress report for where we're at. We hope you're encouraged along with us. Plus there are a few nuggets of news.
Happy New Year, too,
Mark & Patti Bean
Ta da! The end of September, the world premier of the JESUS film in their very own Quechua was shown in the towns of Margos and Chavinillo. Everything was organized and funded by the Jesus Film Project. Our coworkers Felipe and Shatu worked on the script, and Mark checked it and helped them polish it. It’s so encouraging to see others helping bring God’s good news to the Quechua speaking world.
Over 20 years ago we were involved in getting the movie of the whole book of Luke in a neighboring Quechua language. But this is the first ever for the Margos-Yarowilca-Lauricocha area to have a movie like this.
Down and back again
In September both of us traveled down to Peru on different dates to different parts of the country. Our time in Peru overlapped.
I (Patti) was just outside Lima helping facilitate a leadership conference. Most of the participants were Peruvians representing eight different organizations. Each one is committed to helping people access Scripture in their own language. The emphasis of the week was on personal growth, particularly spiritual growth. I learned together with everyone else. Each member of the small group I mentored left with a growth plan. We’ll be checking in together over Skype in the months ahead.
Is your God my God?
Back in 1988 we helped facilitate a music festival in the village of Margos. We wanted to encourage the use and writing of praise songs in Quechua. There was lots of participation.
Town officials were included on the program. One warmly welcomed visitors. Included in his welcome he commended to us the time to worship God.
In Quechua the most common way to speak about God is to say “our God.” However, instead of mentioning the time to worship “our God,” this official said, “your God.” Immediately a murmur rippled through the crowd.
Because of the way Quechua works, that phrase essentially meant, “your God, but not my God.” So what was meant to be a welcome ended up being, at best, an embarrasment.
That works well for Pharoah
In Quechua when Pharoah says, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness,” it is clear that God is the God of the Israelites, but not Pharoah’s God. It works for any pagan ruler to say your God.
What do a Bible translator and a stone mason have in common? Read our Beans'talk to find out.
A cartoon and foto are included this month. Download the August 2016 Beans'talk here.
Mark & Patti Bean