Skip to content

Once Again, For The Very First Time

January 2, 2011

Becky & John

For almost 15 years my wife and I have supported John & Becky Leverington’s work with Wycliffe Bible Translators. To learn more about John & Becky, click here. Their 2010 Christmas newsletter was especially poignant, as they reported that the Christmas story can now be told to the people of Cape Verde in Kabuverdianu, “the language of their heart.” Here is an excerpt from the newsletter:

The first Sunday in December came, and the pastor began his sermon as he always did, asking the congregation to stand for the reading of God’s Word. This time, however, instead of opening the Bible in the official language, Portuguese, he opened his copy of the verses recently drafted into Kabuverdianu. (note: Cape Verde is off the western coast of northern Africa)

“Our reading will be from Luke 2, verses 1 through 7,” he announced.

As the congregation listened intently, he read the passage. Pausing, he exclaimed, “It tastes so good, it tastes so good!” Then he started reading again and didn’t stop until he’d finished the entire chapter, reading with the confidence and expression of someone who understood and cherished every word.

The translation team began to sob. A row of teenage girls stared at each other in wide-eyed wonder and then dissolved into a group hug. Eyes glistened with tears. As the last word was read, a spontaneous cheer erupted: “Amen! Hallelujah!” The service closed with many hugs for those who had worked on the translation.

After the service, a woman who was educated in the official national language approached a team member and said that at first she tried to follow along in her Portuguese Bible, but then she decided to close her eyes and just listen as the pastor read in her own language. “I let the words fall over me,” she said. “For the first time in my life I felt washed by the Word. I thought I knew the Christmas story by heart, but I must confess that today I feel like I’ve heard it for the very first time.”

Do you feel like you know the Christmas Story by heart? Have you heard it so often that it has become meaningless? You might want to read it, once again, in The Message. It’s a paraphrase of the Bible that puts it into more current American English, the language of your heart. Or you might want to watch the video of the Shoal Creek Community Church Christmas Eve service, which puts Christmas into the framework of “story” itself, and the value of keeping our own stories alive and vibrant.

Wycliffe’s vision is to make the Bible accessible to all the people of the world, in the language of their heart. If you’d like to learn more about what it will take to make that happen, click on the logo below.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: