King's Business - 1942-04

April, 1942



H E STOOD before me drenched and muddy, his dark Indian eyes dancing with joy of an­ ticipation. His black w i r y hair, soaked and limp, formed an in- congruent frame for the radiant glow which shone through his brown, broad face. “But Carmen,” I protested,, “I didn’t expect you today—it’s raining so hard! You are soaked! You are going to be sick.” “But I wanted to come,” he beamed in response. “We have a lot of work to do.” “ Is Juan coming, too?” I inquired. “Yes,” ejecfed Carmen in broken Spanish, “but he was coming a little slow, so I thought I would come ahead and start to work.” Carmen’s eagerness is encouraging, for he has known Christ as his Saviour for only a few months. His brother Juan, who has been a believer for more than a year, true to the apostolic pattern “first findeth his own brother” Carmen, who now vies with Juan in his ardent desire to know more of Christ, and to help in the translation of the Word for his own people,'the Tzeltal Indians, of whom only twenty per cent speak any Spanish at all. Juan has had an exceptional edu~ cation for a Tzeltal—about four years of rural school, where he learned to read and write Spanish. His brother Carmen speaks brokenly and reads haltingly. The task of translating the New Testament in Tzeltal lies no heavier a burden on their hearts than ours, for we two American young women see 45,000 Christless Indians before us, our parish, sheep without a shepherd. To these we have been sent as witnesses. Two witnesses for one tribe whose estimated size is almost that of the 50,000 Navajos of the United States! A Work Lonj Planned “All right, Carmen,” I agree, “ let’s get to work.” Before beginning our four-hour session of nouns, verbs, and *Member of the Wycliffe' .Translation , Group which is .sponsored by the Pioneer Mission Agency (attended Biota in 1936-1938).

Unlocking Languages for

By ETHEL Chiapas,

WALLIS* Mexico

appears rather to have been whetted by the elements. He joins us in our short invocation of the Lord’s blessing upon our language work, to the end that it might bring glory to His name alone. What joy consumes, our hearts as we realize that the two Tzeltal intercessors, with whom we are one around the Throne of Grace, are the firstfruits of a rich harvest. As we hear and join them }n prayer for their own people, we have the assurance that in this hidden fastness of Chiapas, where it has been said, “Ye are not my people,” yes, even here it shall be said, “Ye are the sons of the living God.” We know that Juan and Carmen, with other Tzeltals who have been added to the body of Christ through “the word of their testimony,” will one day be singing praises to. the Lamb who was slain for us from the foundation of the world, in that land where there is no language barrier. The Calling of the Workers Juan, the first believer among the Tzeltals, was a chosen jewel in the hand of our God years before he heard the gospel message. He told us that from earliest childhood he had a long­ ing in his heart to know the living God, but the form and ceremony of Catholicism, which was the only ap­ proach open to him, was hollow and unsatisfying. He lit candles for the saints in his little hut, and placed flowers and pine twigs around the wooden crosses which he set up around the door, but these meaning­ less rites left him sad and unsatisfied. Then came the happy day when a Mexican believer had given him a simple testimony concerning .the liv­ ing God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Although his knowledge was incomplete, Juan knew that this was the truth for which he had yearned. Faithfully seeking to learn more about this One whom he knew Was his Saviour, and desiring to make Him known to his own Tzeltal people. Juan, in the foreknowing providence of God, ¿oon found one who revealed to him in life and precept the full

glottal stops, we read a portion from Romans 10. As we' come to verse 15, I see a Tzeltal brow knitted in per­ plexity before me, and I ask, “What is it, Carmen?” “I don’t understand w h a t t h i s means: ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach t h e g o s p e l o f peace.’ ” - I suppress a knowing smile at this inquiry, for before me is the literal fulfillment of that Verse. Little does Carmen know that his own bare feet, paddling up the hill through the slush and slime of a Chiapas rain, were seen by the prophetic eyes of Isaiah when he through the Spirit penned that beautiful description of gospel messengers, later employed by the Apostle Paul. It is not hard to explain to Carmen that it is our re­ sponsibility to bear about in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus, and to take with our own feet the message of reconciliation through the blood of the cross to these dying Indians around us. A shadow of obligation clouds his glowing face as he assents, “Yes, yes, of course. That is what we must do. No, no—they can’t know about Christ unless we tell them ourselves, we who know Christ.” A few minutes later, Juan comes splashing, duck-fashion, through the downpour, oblivious of the disagree­ able weather. His appetite for work

Native Informant and Missionary Translator At Work

Photo from Pioneer Mission Agency

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