Mark and Patti serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators, working among Quechua speakers in the Andes mountains of central Peru.
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A heavy heart?
If you heard that someone had a heavy heart, what would you think would be the problem?
a. Their heart was too big for their chest and dangerously heavy.
b. They were stubborn, not budging.
c. They were studious, full of knowledge.
d. They were sad, not easily cheered.
Those of us who are native English speakers would choose the last one, d. A person might have a heavy heart upon giving or receiving bad news, or upon the death of a loved one or the death of a dream.
Right now I’m reading through Exodus. Many times the Hebrew literally says that someone had a heavy heart.
I am thankful that all of our English translations choose to be faithful to the meaning rather than to the literal word. Pharaoh is the one with the heavy heart. You will find that English translations describe his heart as hard or hardened, stubborn and unyielding. Pharaoh was not sad in the least. He was stubborn, choice b for Hebrew!
It’s a classic example of a common translation problem. Often one could translate literally, because the words exist—like “heavy heart”. However, the meaning would be incorrect.
*PRAISE-that the last two Quechua Bibles (North Conchucos and South Conchucos) have begun circulating in their respective communities since the COVID-19 travel restrictions on back roads were lifted. While large groups were not allowed to congregate, the church in each major town that was visited made a point of inviting pastors from the smaller communities around them. These leaders each received a box of Bibles to take back to sell in their villages with a date in February to render due their sales.
*PRAY that people would take to heart the challenge to read God's Word aloud each day to someone who is illiterate.
*PRAISE-for the continued response to the FaceBook ads we've been running. Thus far over a half million different people have been reached by the ads. Most importantly, 5,750 people have actually entered the website with Scripture and materials in Quechua.
*PRAY that people will read their Bibles!
*PRAISE-Since November 1st, Mark has been teaching in Quechua each Sunday. A small regional television station asked if he'd be willing to prepare messages for them to air. On the Sundays that their Internet is working, Mark can also be seen on livestream as they air his teaching.
The last two Bibles get out!
For months now hundreds of boxes of the last two Bibles have been in storage in Peru, waiting for travel to open up. At last it did! No huge gatherings are allowed, so our partners in Peru rented a truck and took the Bibles to key towns and villages. They went to the South Conchucos area over Thanksgiving and to the North Conchucos area just last week.
The church in each town they visited made a point of inviting pastors and leaders from the smaller communities nearby. In the evening, they had their celebrations. Each pastor received a copy of the Bible for themselves, and also as many boxes of Bibles as they wanted to sell back in their churches. Some of the churches were packed, with people even standing in the back. We weren’t able to attend, but Mark recorded a video of himself with his greetings, an explanation of how the translation was done, and a short Bible teaching. Our Peruvian colleagues kept up a steady stream of photos, video clips and comments on WhatsApp that allowed us to follow along each day. Some of the presentations we were even able to watch live-streamed on Facebook.