With a happy grin and sweat pouring down his face, Pey* was the first to arrive at the Scripture-checking meeting each morning. He left home before four a.m. and returned after nightfall, a grueling four-hour hike (with an elevation gain of more than 1,300 metres).
For what? The delight of sitting on a hard wooden bench for eight hours, listening to the newly translated Gospel of Luke being read in the Cloudlands* language. When asked for suggestions to improve the translation, Pey replied, “I’m not smart; I don’t speak Spanish and never went to school. I just came to listen.”
He sat and drank in the truths of God’s Word and in time began to share his suggestions as he realized he was not stupid; he understood God’s Word very clearly in his own tongue! For Pey, Psalm 119:105 was becoming personally true: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
In this rugged mountainous terrain of Mexico, where roads are scarce and paths plentiful, the psalmist’s words are very relevant. Returning home after nightfall may mean hours of hiking through dark forests that obliterate the light of the moon. Flashlights or pitch pine torches light the steep, treacherous paths to prevent stumbling over roots, falling down precipices, or getting lost. The light of God’s Word is changing lives in the Cloudlands region, as evidenced by testimonials from members of the translation team:
“We are excited when lay pastors use the Scripture portions and encourage the believers to read and listen to the books and CDs we have distributed. Even non-believers are interested. . . . When the materials reach the remotest of villages, the people receive them with wonder and excitement; they’ve never heard about our team working on Bible translation.” – Pedro
“We use the Cloudlands Scriptures for our family devotions and my wife uses them to encourage a new family seeking to walk the Christian path. God has blessed my friend Pablo with the opportunity to share on the radio five hours a week. Many people write to him, asking for advice and inviting him to come visit them.”- Eduardo
“We are especially impacted by what God is doing through his Word when we go out to visit the Cloudlands communities. One lay pastor is using the translated portions to help him better understand the Bible as he prepares to preach. He taught his little children to read the Cloudlands language; this encourages us to continue translating the Bible.”- Armando
Testimonials like these inspire the Wycliffe Canada staff members assigned to this language group.
“What a privilege to be a part of what God is doing among the Cloudlands people!”
*Pseudonyms used due to project sensitivity