There is a lot to tell you. With this update,we will bring you up-to-date on our work with Bible translation,helping translators in the Americas Area get their jobs done.
Chaz - Recently he has consulted with Judy Harms on 1 Samuel in the Epena-Saija language. (Judy and her husband Phill are now retiring after 35 years of Bible translation work in Colombia.) Chaz is starting his last M.Div. equivalency course,Independent Reading in the Hebrew Bible. Related to this is a lot of reading and writing for his D.Min. program. His group (“cohort”) will meet together for the last time in May. He enjoys local consultations as well,talking with people we meet about Bible translation and answering questions and concerns they may have about different issues. A recent one was about the use of the word “Allah”in Bible translations in Arabic countries. See our blog for a more complete discussion of this. http://chmort.com/blog/?p=570
He has also been consulting with Doug,long-distance,on the script for the Jesus film in Embera (see below for more info).
Helga - The Spanish Translator’s Notes team has a new member! In December they welcomed Karen,a new formatter,and this month they are welcoming Marion Miller as an adaptor. As an adaptor she is responsible for the first stage of the book,adapting the English notes and commentary to reflect the Spanish Bibles and language. This is the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process and the team had just two people working on it. Now there are 3. Marion has many years of field experience in translation and consulting. Many of you may remember her from our days in Panama,when she was our consultant for the Embera translation. She has agreed to join the Translator’s Notes team on a trial basis. This has been a great encouragement to our team,as we have been praying specifically for a new adaptor. The volumes on 2 Thessalonians and 1 Timothy are very close to finishing and soon the book of Ruth will be ready for translating. We are eager to see more TN volumes in the hands of indigenous translators in the Americas.
Please pray for the Spanish TN team as the two new members settle into their new work and as Helga works on scheduling and budgeting for the next fiscal year. Those plans are due very soon and require a lot of extra time to complete.
Panama - There has been social and political unrest recently near Piriati,the Embera village where Chaz and Doug did the bulk of the translation revision in 2009-2010. Our friends there report that some recent meetings with members of the government have been promising,so please pray for wisdom for all and a peaceful resolution.
This month the recording of the Jesus film (by Cru,formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) will start! Here is a report from the Cru member,Edgar Rodriguez,who will be heading up the project:
“We have seen God’s hand every step of the way on this project taking only 6 months total from start to finish. February brings the follow-up trip of the voice recordings for the dubbing of the film JESUS in Embera. The recording,mixing and dubbing will all be done in the beautiful Gamboa area by the Panama Canal.
“Gamboa Union Church [a church we attended in Panama] will host all the actors and the recording team…The plans are that the film will be ready for its premier at an Embera church by mid-March! This movie will be a valuable tool for the Embera church leaders to bring people to Christ and for use in church planting and discipleship.”
We knew Edgar and Melanie as they lived in Panama for several years. We attended a small group together and two of their children attended Crossroads Christian Academy. While in Panama they followed the Lord’s leading from real estate into missions,working first with Youth with a Mission and now joining Cru. They are assigned to the Jesus film project and Edgar will be back in Panama to help with this. Melanie will stay in Florida with their two school-aged children and newborn daughter.
Here they are with some Embera friends.
Doug will also be in Panama for this recording time. He has been working a lot on the script and was in Panama a few months ago to work on it with Embera church leaders. Chaz has been helping from a distance with translating and consulting on the script and has also had some sessions with Doug in person to work on it. It will bring great satisfaction to all to see the final product. Please be in prayer for all those involved that it will go smoothly. You can see a portion of the script here on our blog: http://chmort.com/blog/?p=578
Finances - Our monthly financial support is still below the level Wycliffe requires us to have. Because of this,there is a chance we will be asked to stop our work and do full-time partnership development. We do not want to stop and create further delays for those needing consulting and translation helps,so please pray with us for increased support. We work one day a week with ServiceMaster (janitorial service) and Helga tutors for extra income to fill in the gaps. We thank the Lord for his provision and for the privilege of continuing to work in Bible translation. We have had the encouragement of some new supporters–you know who you are,and we thank you! So many of you are still our faithful partners all these years and you keep us going. Through your giving,we are able to help translators in several countries around the Americas and help get the Jesus film into Embera. If you’d be interested in joining our support team,see http://chmort.com/blog/?page_id=102 or just ask us.