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Archive for October, 2009

As we pull up to the the dock on Akwadup, one of many islands in the San Blas Island chain off the coast of Panama, someone in our boat says, “Wow! This is beautiful. It’s like paradise.” And from my perspective they could be right.

Akwadup

Akwadup

This island chain is built from coral reefs with amazing sea life, and boasts beautiful sand beaches and lush tropical island vegetation. It seems to contain everything you could need, with an amazing range of beautiful fish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, conch, lobster, prawns, octopus and just about anything else you can imagine. On the island,  banana and coconut trees are plentiful.

Many would consider this paradise.

But for the San Blas Kuna, these islands represent life – not paradise. It’s the way they live, it’s the way they sustain their families, the source and inspiration for their traditions and lifestyle. But it’s certainly not paradise.

Kuna Dugout

Kuna Dugout

The men of the San Blas Kuna are fishermen primarily, as one would imagine, but it’s the handicraft of the women that is most widely known. Known as Mola, the beautiful tapestries are used as clothing, placemats and other things. The women are also distinguished by their red and yellow-orange scarves, beads adorning their ankles and wrists, and often a gold nose ring. For this culture, it’s the ankles, wrists and nose that show a person’s beauty.

Mola's

Mola

The Kuna may have a seemingly idyllic lifestyle, but many Kuna live without true peace. For all of their traditions and knowledge, only a few have knowledge of Babneggi or heaven.

The Kuna New Testament is a relatively new thing, but the Kuna already want more! They’re working passionately alongside Wycliffe translators to finish the work of translating the Old Testament. They’ve seen the value of God’s Word in their own lives as they move from fear to peace, from fighting to happiness. And as Claudina, a Kuna woman, put it, “Now I understand so clearly what it will be like to stand before God!”

Kuna Church

Kuna Church

The end of the task is near. Let’s finish the task so that more may hear of true paradise – so that more may learn of “Babneggi.”

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For the past few days, we’ve been traveling around Peru with five people from various Moody Radio stations: John Blok, Paul Carter, Derek Cutlip, Brigitte Sylvestre and Angie Walters. Since none of them knew much about Wycliffe before this trip, we decided to check in with them to see what they’ve learned so far. So without further ado…

Top Ten Things Our Moody Radio Friends Never Knew about Wycliffe

1. It takes a really long time to complete a translation, and yet the people are so committed to it!
2. The people doing the work here count their sacrifices as nothing compared to the end result of translated Scripture.
3. The cluster approach is a great way for close dialects to work together on translation.
4. Wycliffe does more than just translate! They work with Scripture use, using things like the Women of the Bible programs, VBS and literacy. Prior to this trip, Wycliffe meant Bible translation, but it is so much more!
5. Wycliffe is partnering with several other ministries for the cause of Christ.
6. The English-speaking translators take pleasure in hearing the Quechua people recount the deeds of the Lord. It never gets old to them.
7. Radio plays such a part in reaching these people in their mother tongues.
8. Within the Americas, Wycliffe is not just working to translate various dialects of Spanish. In fact, they are working with completely unique indigenous languages!
9. Wycliffe’s colleagues have such a deep passion. There have been many teary-eyed and emotional conversations about the translation work here.
10. When a national translator shared about how weary he was, the shocking part was that he had no plans to retire because he wanted to see the translation in his dialect to completion. There is such a high level of dedication to the work.

It’s been exciting to observe our friends as they “get it” for the first time. We’re so thankful for the opportunity to introduce them to this important work!

Rachel Tidwell

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