The Bean Family
Mark and Patti Bean are members of Wycliffe Bible Translators working among Quechua speakers in the Andes mountains of central Peru.
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Spelling bees, anyone?
The Quechua Bibles that are waiting to be printed use a slightly different spelling system than the previously published New Testaments. So, our Quechua co-workers have made it a point to get out and help prepare people by organizing reading and writing practice. A number of churches in the Huánuco area have hosted series of classes. Men and women, young and old, on white boards, blackboards and pieces of paper practice away. Everywhere the big question is: When will our Bibles arrive?
What an example!
In another part of the mountains, Quechua co-workers challenged a group of pastors to pray for God to provide the funds needed to publish their Quechua Bible. The next day pastor Mauricio and his wife gave a donation of $300. To put this in context, this is roughly equivalent to a month’s pay for someone who earns a regular salary, which pastor Mauricio does not. Instead, he and his wife had frugally saved up from their sales of extra farm produce. We aren’t the only ones re-telling Mauricio’s story. You may have already heard it. It gives a clue to how much it means to our Quechua friends that they have a complete copy of God's Word!
Five down and one to go!
Today as you read this, the fifth Quechua Bible is almost through the final layout process. Then, there’s just one more Bible to go.
New Quechua websites ask for help
During the past month some of our Quechua partners had the opportunity to attend a workshop on developing websites. Help! came a message. Help us update our materials so they can be downloaded.
Over the years as the orthography (spelling system) has changed, not all books and materials kept up with all the changes back and forth. For example, we started using the letter k to represent the hard c sound. Then, we moved to c and qu to match what kids learn in the Spanish speaking schools. Currently, we’re back to using k in Quechua materials to match the government’s foray into promoting Quechua.
So, Mark found himself re-working the series of fox stories along with other stories we haven’t touched in years. All one has to do is tell the punch line of the story illustrated here and everyone laughs! Hang on, guys!
Hurray for people working to make these materials more accessible to Quechua speakers. These websites will eventually contain links for people to access Scripture in their own language. Another hurrah!
Strike up the band!
Ta-daa! The proofs have been checked and the first of the six Bibles has been turned over for final layout. Four others are waiting in the wings for their turn. Just one group wants a bit more time before they turn theirs over. This is a major milestone! Celebrate with us and all the team! And you know, the team includes all of you who pray, give, and encourage us along the way. Through many people, God has graciously helped us get to this point.
Totaling it up
We always knew that translating the Bible into six related Quechua languages was a big job. Recently, however, we counted up some statistics to get a better idea.
* In the process of translating for six Bibles, we worked intensely and multiple times on 186,174 verses (31,029 verses per Bible). There was the initial translation followed by an edit, reading to people in communities to make sure that everything was understandable, re-editing, reading through on the computer, re-editing, reading aloud, re-editing, etc. And then, finally, reading through the proofs.