Praise the Lord with us that we are able to do our first printing of the book of Daniel and get it into the hands of the Guahibo people soon.
Can you imagine waiting until 2013 before you have the book of Daniel in your own language!!??
We’ve been back in the Andes mountain’s of Colombia now for almost three months after a year of Home Assignment in the States. My dear mother went to be with the Lord on April 3rd of this year at age 95 1/2. She was looking forward to it. Then we were able to be with our three children and all seven grandkids in July before returning to the field. What a joy to all be together as normally two of our kids are missionaries in Paraguay, one lives in the States and we are here in Colombia. So because all of us were on Home Assignment at the same time, God allowed us to enjoy some good family time.
For seven weeks we had three Guahibo men live with us to help with the translation of some Old Testament portions and the revision of their Guahibo New Testament. It was a challange to cook three meals a day, seven days a week for three extra adults but was worth it as the Lord allowed us to make progress. The men were good company and even did the dishes for me every day. What a treat.
On October 20th, the Indians left for the prairie to go home and Mark and I are back to just us until February when they come again to help us. Thank you for your prayers as we continue to plug away to revise their New Testament that the tribe has requested done.
My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and one dr. said she had three monthes to live so Mark and I left Bogota, Colombia, on July 31st, 2011 to be by my mother’s side. God miraculously healed her of cancer and we wondered what God was doing in our lives. But God wanted us to help my ailing parents and showed me (Joyce) that He loves my folks just as much as the Guahibos with whom we work. At this writing, my mother went downhill and we are waiting for her to pass into the presence of the Lord any day. My mother is so looking forward to meeting her Lord and Saviour whom she served most of her life. We will miss her wonderful ministry in prayer but know that God has others of His servents that He has praying for us.
During this time in the States, Mark has been able to continue revising the Guahibo New Testament. When we return to Colombia in a few months, we’ll be able to have a couple Guahibo men come in to live with us for a month and help us with the translation.
In August, our team plans to go out to the lowlands and have our yearly discipleship time with our Guahibo leaders who are doing missionary work among their people. This is a highlight for us and the Indians. We’d appreciate your prayers for God’s provision for transportation and food costs and for wisdom for us in teaching and mingling with the people, hearing their heart needs.
Thank you for your prayers. Mark and Joyce Cain
Guahibo Team Discipleship May – June 2011
God is doing wonderful things among the Guahibo believers! It was a privilege to be able to minister to them in two different villages though travel and living conditions were extremely rustic.
It was a joy to teach folks who sat soaking up the teaching of God’s Word like sponges. They were taught that no matter what place we got our training or non training, we are one in Christ. Also the concepts of not being conformed but transformed were delightful new truths to them.
In each village we had a key disciple Guahibo woman take charge of the teaching on topics having to do with women as well as some animistic beliefs concerning dreams. Nancy Gonzalez and Joyce would add their comments. In the first village there were 30 of us ladies.
Four highlights of this time: 1) the wonderful reunion with the villagers we had lived with and hadn’t seen since 1994. 2) To see the church commission in prayer, Pastor Virgil and his wife Elsa, leaving their village to work with Guahibos in the neighboring country. 3) Sending out 40 more disciples prepared to teach their people and 4) the appreciation of the people for the concordance Joyce just finished!
THANK YOU for partnering with us in what God is doing among the Guahibo!
Joyce Cain for Mark, Alberto and Nancy Gonzalez
The message of Jesus is verily a wonderful message, because in that message God reveals to us what He has done for us by way of Jesus Christ in order to declare us as just. He causes us to know how everyone who believes what Christ has done for them on account of their guilt, God will erase their guilt and in turn declare them as just. He does this by faith plus nothing else.... (Excerpt of Guahibo NT)
“Mark, for the first time in my life I know for a certainty that Christ is my righteousness!” Horace said. “I’ve been baptized. I’ve gone to Bible School. I’ve helped teach the Bible. But it wasn’t until today that I fully understood that my righteousness is from Christ.”
We have just returned from our latest teaching time with our small group of disciples out in the tribe. The Lord really stretched our faith as we were planning to go because we were really short on funds to pay for the team’s way to get to the discipleship location, as well as feed 40 people for13 days. It was considered to just have the men attend, but a man needs a spiritual wife behind him if he hopes to be effective for God. In the end, we gathered up all our resources and went, because we were convinced this was what God wanted. Our purpose was twofold, to teach much of the book of Romans as well as test the new style of revision to see if it would be accepted.
So Resurrection Sunday found us rising from the earth, soaring through the clouds in a 1940’s Douglas aircraft, winging our way to our destination, as the smells of rotting onions and other vegetables wafted through the plane. Upon arriving, we found lodging in a small hotel run by Christian Quichua Indians from Ecuador. They gave us the room at half price, but we soon discovered the bedding was comparable to denim covered rocks. What we do to save money.
Monday began our heavy schedule of teaching. This first day we spent studying some Bible translation principles and compared two different translation styles for the revision. As we got into the more complete revision style, you could see the excitement in John Selso’s eyes as many of the truths not clearly understood in the past were making sense. The further we got into Romans the greater his excitement grew.
Tuesday we began our in depth study of Romans. They saw the three driving forces of Paul’s desire to preach the gospel, 1. He felt obligated because God had commissioned him to preach to the people of all nations 1:15, 2. He had total confidence in the Gospel as by faith in it God powerfully saves all who believe, 1:16-17, 3. Because God will justly punish all who do not believe that message 1:18-32 Because Paul was driven by the forces he was able to say in Rom 15:23 that there was no longer any place for him to preach but Rome and Spain. So in his lifetime he had fulfilled God’s commission. This was a real challenge to the disciples.
“Mark, my now deceased father was a witchdoctor. Before he died, I witnessed to him twice and both times he rebelled against God’s grace saying, ‘I have trusted in chants all my life and I am not going to change now.’ I feel I discharged my responsibility, like Paul being concerned for the waiting punishment but his rejection hurts my heart,” said John.
It was explained that Rom. 1:16-17 was the central theme of the Gospel and no matter what it looked like and the following chapters, these two verses were the anchoring declaration, even when Paul was talking about works. We explained that these two verses were like a pole placed at the edge of the river with lots of canoes tied to it. Even though each canoe was different, they were all tied to the same pole. Though Paul addresses the differences in the condemnation and privileges of the Jew and Non-Jew, it is by faith and faith alone in the saving work of Christ that God justifies the sinner.
As this truth struck home, Alex said with trembling lip, “I’ve just come to understand God’s grace to me is so much more than I ever thought!”
They loved Paul’s interaction between his two fictitious antagonists, Jew and non-Jew, in Rom. 1:18-4:25 as dramatized by Mark. It made so many of the hard to understand portions come alive, and they were able to see how they face many of the same conflicts in their own presentation of the gospel.
After a drama on Rom. 6:1-14, we got into a deep discussion on the role of cultural protection ceremonies for pubescent girls and pregnant women. In the discussion, we talked together how a church elder often replaced the witchdoctor and how his prayers often mimicked the witchdoctor. Examples were given of how to pray in faith and the liberation from the power of sin, death and Satan. One of the fellows said, “I guess God must have seen me as a witchdoctor as I have prayed in that manner for over a 100 young girls who were coming of age.”
As we got into the joys and purpose of trials and tribulation, we heard testimony after testimony of God’s help to them through these trials. How thankful they were to hear how the Holy Spirit prays for us when we don’t know how to pray. He always asks according to God’s will so we know we will get the answer. What a precious promise.
Both we and the disciples came away from this study of Romans encouraged in the Lord and challenged to apply these truths to our lives.
Pray for the following:
- Pray for the teachers as they evaluate the faith and understanding of their hearers concerning what they have taught.
- Pray that the truths of Romans will become a part of their lives, replacing the falsehood of their past beliefs. This is a very difficult stand with all the family pressures they face.
- Pray as we decide with SIL on the future style of revision. The tribal people liked the longer version for understanding,
but some still want it to be brief like Spanish.
Chicken innerds, complete with feet and toe nails, are yum yum to Luis, Selmira and family in these days! I will admit, I do believe she removes the toe nails though. These innerds are cheap and they are enjoying them instead of basically just fish soup that they eat out in the tribe. While both go on Saturday mornings to get their groceries, I help keep an eye on the baby. I walked into their room to get the baby dressed and had culture shock but that’s ok, they can keep that one room in this whole house as “indian” as they want. Little Susie helped me find what I needed in that extremely cluttered room. ;-0
Mark was a blessing last week as he taught Bible School students in the low lands from ten different tribal groups. They and their teachers heard in Spanish the basic principals of translation. Some of these indians have had experience helping out translators.
Luis and Mark are finding it quite difficult delving into the hard to translate book of Romans to make it more understandable. Mark is encouraged, though, with how it is unfolding but the pace is very slow. Thanks for praying for them for real wisdom.
Plugging away with Indians in our House,
Joyce Cain, for Mark too
The firetruck was stuck in the mud at the edge of the runway, steam rising off the tarmac of runway and one’s own body as we waited in the airless jet for the firetruck to be moved, so we could take off from the small jungle surrounded runway of a town in southern Colombia. Just 70 minutes later, we are shivering in our sweaty shirt sleeves at the Bogota airport waiting for our luggage. What a world of contrasts.
So ended a week spent helping the newest Bible translator of the Colombian field. We spent time giving the translator, and his tribal co-translators, a brief introduction into Bible translation principals. We also answered questions like, What are sheaves? What is balsam or myrrh? But the biggest thrill of all for these Cubeo co-translators was that Bible translation is not merely the proposition of a foreign translator and his tribal co-translators, but that it is a team effort, in which all help. When they understood that the clarity and naturalness of the translation wasn’t going to fall soley upon them, but that many others would be consulted in the course of the translation project, they were greatly relieved. They also rejoiced that there were others also checking to make sure the translation was faithfully expressing God’s message to the world.
This was my first solo experience as a translation consultant. It was re-afirmed again in my heart, that God has always spoken plainly, in the most understood language of the people He was addressing. As I listened to the statements of a couple men who had read the rough draft of few chapters that had been worked on, it thrilled my heart. Levi said, “ I’ve just discovered that the Old Testament is the base of the whole Bible. I am so exited I can’t wait, so am reading the Old Testament in Spanish and have gotten to the eleventh chapter of Genesis. We Cubeo people really need this in our language!” What a shame he is forced to read God’s Word in a language he barely understands.
I encourage you to pray for Ricardo as he seeks to put the Old Testament portions into the Cubeo language. It is a difficult battle for him as the translation helps are extremely limited in Spanish.
Please pray for:
1. Pray as we tackle the big job of revising portions of the New Testament.
2. Pray for our Indian missionary leaders who are evangelizing and teaching their own people
3. Pray for our level of support to increase. It costs us a lot to bring Indians to town to help us translate and for us to go out near them to disciple. We lack 25% of support.
4. Pray for continued safety to work in Colombia. So far so good.
In June 2008, the Guahibo nation finally received 1/6 of the Old Testament. For centuries Satan had suceeded in keeping the truths contained in the Old Testament hidden from the Guahibo, thus keeping them bound by his lies. Yet now, those who read these portions and apply the truths to their lives, have been set free. Many Guahibo still live bound by Satan’s lies.
The printing and distribution of these portions have been a big highlight of our 36 years of being used of God among the Guahibo. After years of playing "dodge’m rebels", two moves back and forth between two countries and teaching God’s Word without the benefit of these Old Testament portions, God has enabled us to print these Old Testament portions. Now we see the Guahibo believers using these truths contained in them to free others as they teach the Gospel beginning with Genesis.