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To Finally Understand  

Some things in life cannot be explained.  They can only be experienced.

I was reminded of this traveling through Peru, South America.  We were about 200 miles east of Lima.  Think mountains, snow caps and deep breaths (elevation about 12,000 feet).  Forget any notions of jungle climates or decent roads.  

Arriving at a mountain village (so remote the switchback roads dictated we abandon our small bus and walk a path to the village), we attended church in a mud brick structure dimly lit by five fluorescent fixtures.  Blue tarps formed the inelegant ceiling and hardened dirt was the floor.

We sat on flimsy plastic chairs as villagers streamed inside through twin corrugated doors.  A preacher wearing sunglasses (his left eye deformed) spoke with great passion in the local language: Wanca, Quechua.  The capacity crowd was riveted.  Even the moths I saw seemed to pay attention.  

Personally, I was lost (happens a lot when you travel).   I couldn't follow along except for a word here and there (it's tough to miss the name of Jesus in most any language).

Sitting there trying to pay attention as dogs trotted in and out of the church, it finally clicked.  This experience—not being able to fully understand—was their experience before these Quechua villagers had a Bible in their own language.   They wanted to follow along, to grow in Christ, but a language barrier stood in their way.

Thanks to the vision of Wycliffe Bible translators, they now understand.  They have the New Testament in their own language.  The difference it makes is remarkable.  But until you are lost in a language you do not fully understand, you will not fully appreciate your own Bible.

By our standards, these villagers are quite poor.  It's been awhile since I have laid eyes on so much “nothing.”  Yet they are rich in their praise of the Living God and their lives bring to mind 2 Corinthians 6:10, “having nothing, yet possessing all things.”

For loving these people enough to give them the Word of God in their own language, I offer my hearty salute to the men and women who call themselves Wycliffe Bible Translators. 


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016