Selmira was just a young teen when she married. Most Napo girls marry even younger, but she asked to wait until after she finished primary school. In the course of Selmira’s marriage, she and her husband have buried 11 children and suffered four miscarriages. Once, when her 9-year-old boy died from a snakebite, she was so traumatized that she ran away.
GOD SPOKE TO SELMIRA
Selmira believes that before she ever gave her life to Christ, God spoke to her in dreams. She dreamed there was a large tree laid across a river as a bridge, and she was trying to cross it. She was wobbling dangerously when a man appeared wearing a bright white robe. He handed her a Bible, and when she nearly fell, he took her right hand and led her across the river to safety.
Shortly after that she had another dream in which she was climbing a tall ladder to heaven. When she reached heaven, it was completely silent and there were many houses, but they were all empty. A man appeared and asked her, “Why did you come here? You have to go take care of your children and serve God's Son."
After those dreams, Selmira started searching for a Bible she could understand.
She heard about a workshop on sharing Bible stories in oral cultures like hers. There she met a Wycliffe translator named Christa. Selmira invited Christa and her ministry partner, Maritsa, to her village to help her learn more Bible stories. The more she learned about Scripture, the less she drank and the more she felt love and compassion for the people around her.
Since Selmira joined the Napo Quechua translation project with Christa, Maritsa and the other translators, she’s connected with Christians who’ve become part of her new life.
As a translator, Selmira has excelled quickly, even though it’s hard work. “It’s wearing out my brain,” she said with a smile. Her peers look to her for guidance when studying Bible stories because they trust her judgment and understanding. She’s one of the only translators who have never missed a workshop in the past four years.
NEW LIFE IN GOD'S WORD
When Selmira’s not translating, she loves to cook and read to her grandkids. And she loves to sing about Jesus. Her favorite song is called “Jesus is Powerful.” It’s about how Jesus heals the sick and gives new life. “Only Jesus can do this,” she said.
When she learned the story of Abraham and how he desired children, she remembered God’s promise to provide descendants as numerous as the stars. She often thinks of the 11 children she buried. But today she has 11 grandchildren to teach about God’s promises.Editor’s Note: This is a condensed version of a longer story, “Meet Selmira.”