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Dec 10, 2007

"You are just wasting your time!"

mara.team_of_threeThe ‘team of three': Mzee Tobias (right) and
Mzee Stephen checking through the previous
day's word list, with Jesus in the middle!

Danny is a Wycliffe missionary and was in Bunda town purchasing workshop supplies. He began chatting with the shop owner about the upcoming word-collection workshop for the Jita and Ikoma people, a preparatory step for the task of Bible translation in those two languages. The shop owner said, "You are just wasting your time! The Jita people have no god, and the Ikoma people worship the tusks of an elephant."

When the workshop began we were discouraged because of low attendance. From the Ikoma language group came only two elderly men. But did they ever teach us about faith and the power of Christ! These two men−Mzee Tobias and Mzee Stephenturned out twice the number of words than any other two. All week long they kept telling us that they were a team of three with Jesus among them. They prayed before and after each word collection session because they had the vision that, although we were ‘just collecting words,' this was the work of God and would one day lead to His Word coming powerfully. 

It turned out to be a special day when Danny went to town and had that chat with the shop owner. When Danny returned we had a prayer time with all the staff and workshop participants. Danny hadn't mentioned his conversation with the shop owner when Mzee Tobias stood up and shared the history of his people. He told the story of how the Ikoma began to worship the elephant tusk. And now he believes God will use the work of Bible translation to speak powerfully to his people, that they may be saved.

It's a privilege to work alongside godly men such as these.

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