The Team spent the morning together getting up to speed on what is happening with the JAARS center. We were able to do an interactive dubbing of our voices into the Jesus film project in order to simulate and understand ongoing work in native language translation. We will be involved this week with helping to prepare a field training site simulating life in a jungle champa hut village. We shared an evening meal in fellowship with another church group gathered around Wycliffe bible translators, Gene and Marie Scott, who spent nearly 50 years translating the New Testament, and part of the Old Testament, into the Peruvian Sharanahua Indian language. We were blessed with their story, could clearly see their ongoing heart for lost people, and learned how they overcame discouragement in the field. Many of us were touched by their sharing. We are praying that the many young high school and college age people in the room will consider their challenge to follow the high calling and dedicated service of translation work.
As we gathered to close out the first evening we shared what we gleaned from our experiences today. Several recalled hearing planes flying overhead from the JAARS airstrip while staff explained “Its great to hear that because every time one of those planes flies over I am reminded of the bigger picture of all the work being accomplished in the field as a result of the work going on here”. Several enjoyed experiencing how technology was being applied in the spreading of the Gospel. The process of creating a written copy of the New Testament, in an unreached people’s heart language, used to take 25 years and often did not necessarily result in the immediate gratification of the visible tangible return on the fruits of one’s labor. It now takes 7-8 years combining technology with a native speaker. Perhaps we have spent more time attacking the “negative” side of technology (what the world is misusing and abusing it for) and we have lost sight of the “positives” such as this increased rate of Bible translation. Others recognized that while, at times, serving God can be discouraging God will always provide encouragement when we most need it.
– Tim Riley