Friday, August 23, 2013

Update from Timothy Jones in Costa Rica

Hey there to all of you. We have had many blessings this summer. Here are a few.

During the first week of June I set up a new translation office at our place in Grano de Oro. As I was going through my stuff, I flipped open a book and my eyes fell on a subtitle which said: LACK OF VERNACULAR BIBLE.  It was a discussion of the mass conversion of Armenia in the 300’s under the leadership of Gregory.

One of the major problems in the movement was that the Armenians did not have the Bible in their own tongue. In fact, their language had not yet been reduced to writing. So for the first century of its existence, the Armenian church had to get along with Syriac and Greek versions of the Bible. In church services the preachers had to translate from these versions into the vernacular for the benefit of the people. Not only did people not have a Bible to study on their own, but the preachers themselves were deficient in their understanding of the Syriac or Greek, so their renditions of the text were at best deficient. To make matters worse, when the Persians came into control they forbade any use of the Greek language and burned Greek books. The present Armenian alphabet was devised to stabilize and strengthen the Armenian church in its struggle to maintain its existence against Persian aggression.  Eventually the Scriptures were translated into Armenian thereby strengthening the church of an entire nation. (Taken from Historic Patterns of Church Growth by Harold R. Cook p.26.)

It reminded me one more time why we are translating the Bible. 60 years ago my parents began studying Cabécar and reducing it to writing. Now there is a growing church, but they still clamor for more of the Scriptures in their own language. Until the entire Bible is translated into Cabécar, the church cannot be all that it could be in terms of faith and impact.

In my last update I introduced a certain Román, whom I believed God had led me to hire to help me draft Old Testament text into Cabécar from Hebrew. I needed someone to help me in Leviticus with names of body parts, all kinds of chopping, cutting, slitting, pouring verbs, and spatial concepts like down, out, on, with in Cabécar. Roman started work on June 11 and has proven himself as an excellent worker. He is adept in both Spanish and his own language and has a very strong personal commitment to Christ. He is catching the vision not only of translating the Bible into his language, but of going to homes and individuals trying to persuade them to read or listen to the Scriptures in their own language. He lives in an area where people have a low view of their own language so this is exciting.

June 30 we had a teaching conference to introduce the translation of Daniel 1-7. August 30-31 we will have two days to work over Leviticus 1-7 with friends from churches all over the mountains. I am looking forward to being able to share with them the wonder of the work of Christ and how we come to God from these chapters.

Aug 2nd five of the kids took me to our other translation site in Valle de la Estrella. Saturdaythey got the place looking nice before leaving Sunday.  David Lopez came and we worked the next ten days on Daniel and final printing issues for the Cabécar New Testament. I am privileged to have such gifted help.

On the home front Keiry keeps the house going and the shelter for our needy friends open. Rebekah is recruiting new patients for this semester and trying to close out loose ends from patients from last semester. Joel thoroughly enjoyed his second quarter at the Esepa Bible ollege. He also accompanied me on a scripture distribution trip to Cabecar and Bribri villages in the south. Hannah continues bossing the guys around at her job and making coffee for them. Mark thinks it should be illegal to have physics on Saturdays this semester after having classes Monday through Friday. Ruth is praying for a good average on the college entrance exam on Sept. 20th. John and Abby continue to enjoy school, help with chores, and doing some home school in English in the evenings.

Keiry and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on July 23rd. We are so grateful to our Father for all his grace and goodness to us. We want to thank each of you too for your gifts, prayers, and care for us during some part or throughout all of these years. May you be blessed and encouraged in return.

Your friends,

Timothy and Keiry Jones.