Many things have happened in the last two weeks that make us feel like we're finally beginning our ministry here in Salasaca. It makes it hard to think that we are leaving Salasaca in only 10 days. We've had more cultural experiences, deepened relationships, learned more of the language, and have grown even more, and it feels like we've only just begun.
Linguists Hard at Work
The back translation for the book of James has been sent in to the consultant. A back translation is the Quichua translated back word for word (pretty much) into Spanish. This is then checked for accuracy by the consultant before going to a committee which will then further check it for accuracy. Maggie got to sit in on the comprehension check of James: The book was read in the Quichua and a young man answered comprehension questions based on what was read.
Maggie is currently hard at work on a tri-linear story using IPA, Quichua, and English. This short story about a bird and an ant serves as her official academic project.
She also continues to work on transcribing a story from co-translator Juana concerning ropemaking. This book will be added to the Quichua library encouraging new Quichua readers to practice their Quichua.
I am working on a how-to book on how to make a Baita (the woman's shall). I solicited the basic instructions from Nancy, a co-translator, in spanish, then translated the steps into English. Larry will translate the steps into Quichua and this tri-lingual book will hopefully interest Salasacan new readers as well as supporters in the States. We've only just begun!
What if you only had six hours to convey as much of your Bible knowledge and spiritual growth to twenty teenagers? What would be at the top of your list?
Every Sunday we've taught a Bible study to the youth of the church. They are very bright and are quick to search the text for answers to questions. There really has never been a youth focused study or youth group in the history of the church, and there is a need for one. The Gospel was the topic of the first three lessons. If anything else, when we leave I want these students to know the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes Rom 1:16b. I pray that if nothing else, these students will know the gospel well enough to take to heart and share with others.
Last week we had invited everyone from the Bible study to our house for a snack and some games last Friday night at 7. At 7:45 when no one had arrived yet we were doubtful that anybody was going to come at all. But by 8 we had some 20 students, and more trickled in afterwards. We had a great time playing group games, singing worship songs and I taught a devotional on worshiping God no matter how you feel at the time. It was only afterwards that Edison, one of the guys I've gotten to know told me that there were a considerable amount of unbelievers there and asked me to share the Gospel message with them next time. We laughed and had fun until eleven when I finally kicked everyone out, exhausted from a full day (kids club had been all during the afternoon). Nobody had ever had an experience like that before and everyone wanted to do it the next to Fridays we are here: Today and in a week. Please pray for this excellent witnessing and discipling opportunity. We've only just begun!
We have had some exciting new experiences in the last couple weeks. First, Juana taught Maggie and I how to hand spin! The women of the area are always walking and spinning wherever they go. Juana made Maggie an authentic Huango (pronounced Wuango), a drop spindle. Maggie is now beginning her career in spinning wool to make ponchos and baitas (shalls the women wear). We also got a chance to begin plowing a field using two bulls yoked by the horns. a long wooden shaft then comes down between them and a piece of metal serving as a plow is attached to the shaft. Someone leads the bulls and some one plows. Maggie is a significantly better plower than I, and will be offering classes upon returning to the states. We've only just begun!
On Top of the World
Just this last Monday Maggie and I set out to meet up with Rick Borman, a good friend of ours, to join him on a mountain climb up Sincholagua. Rick was leading a group of some 15 people, and two more didn't add to the load. On Monday we hiked a good two hours through some mud and up steep paramo countryside and camped on top of a ridge. We slept until 3:45 AM, took a bite of cold oatmeal, changed into warmer clothes and at 4:20 started up the massive 16,000 ft pile of rock. We pushed ourselves hard and arrived at the summit of Sincholagua at 9:17 AM. The climb was beautiful, and it was Maggie's first time climbing with me. There's nothing like feeling as if you're standing on top of the world!
Please pray for us in the following ways.
- Health. We've been on and off with stomach bugs and strange coughs. Please pray that God would keep us healthy the rest of our time here.
- Travel. Traveling in Ecuador is always risky buisness. Weather we're visiting my folks up in Latacunga or just going into Ambato, the nearby city. Larry (the missionary we're working with) wants to make a video game out of it, it's that bad.
- The Youth. With only a week and a couple days left, pray that we would be able to leave them with even one thing that they can hang onto in the years to come. Pray for their growth, and that they would find courage to witness to their unbelieving friends.
- Jobs. We head back to the US at the end of the month and though we have a place to live, we don't yet have a place to pay for it. But we're not worried! God has and will provide. Pray that he does so in exciting ways.
Thank you for all your prayers. Please contact us in any way-- we love to hear from you! God Bless!