“Our work is a little bit like we’re working in the kitchen, making something really special,” Mark tells me. “I usually say they’re cinnamon rolls; you can call them chocolate chip cookies, or brownies, or whatever. We put it in the oven, and you can just smell it and think, ‘Wow, what a wonderful thing.’”
Mark, believe it or not, is talking about Bible translation. For more than 30 years he and his wife, Patti, have been translating Scripture in Peru. Presently they’re facilitating a cluster project with a team representing five unique Quechua languages. They finished their Old Testaments, and now they’re revising the five New Testaments. Soon the books will be printed as complete Bibles!
You’d think the team might take a rest and enjoy the accomplishment. But for them, it just can’t get done quickly enough. Like a sweet treat or savory sustenance — they love the translated Word.
“We get to take it — and it’s not cinnamon rolls or brownies or something — but it’s God’s Word, and we take it out to people,” Mark says excitedly. “And maybe we have the only copy of a particular Bible book in existence in the entire world, and it’s in our hands. We read it to people or talk about it … and that’s the first time they’ve ever heard it in their language.”
“It’s like, ‘Try it! Taste it! Taste and see! See what it’s like.’ And we see the expressions of delight and joy on their faces as they understand for the first time what God is saying in their own language, and it goes right into their heart.”