In her article "Your Sins Shall Be White as Yucca," associate editor Wendy Murray Zoba, who put together this special Bible issue, highlights the formidable task of Wycliffe Bible Translators: "How does one communicate saving atonement to a jungle tribe who had never held a book, let alone read one?"
Wendy traveled to Peru to visit Gene and Marie Scott, the missionaries she profiles in the article, and to learn more about how Scripture is translated into a primitive culture. In her article, she demonstrates that Bible translation is more than a simple game of fill-in-the-blanks. It is a complicated venture that factors in the Christian character of the translators themselves.
Wendy first met the Scotts when her husband presided over the marriage of their son in Honduras. "What stood out for me," she says, "was the amount of laughter they shared with their grown children." And in Peru, where all the Scott "children" gathered for the New Testament dedication, Wendy got a glimpse into the life that many MKs experience, which sets the stage for this kind of joy. Steve Scott told her about a "kamikaze parrot" they named Stinky McNasty who would dive-bomb them during volleyball matches. Dave Scott shared how he and Steve used to lie down at the foot of the runway at the Pucallpa airport for the rush of being nearly brushed by descending planes. Priscilla Scott Rutherford reminisced about her sixteenth birthday when a pilot from the hangar gave her two hours of ground instruction and then let her fly a float plane. Becky Scott Mottola, who was six months pregnant at the time, boldly led Wendy and others on a "jungle hike" through thick vegetation and slippery ravines. For her, this was "coming home."
"Gene and Marie traded twentieth-century American lifestyles for 40 years of living in the Amazon rain forests among a primitive tribe to be their translators," says Wendy. "But they didn't just translate the Word of God, they incarnated it. This gave the words on the paper power and authenticity," she says.
"In my article, I see myself as a 'translator' of sorts, too—interpreting this world to our readers in the U.S. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how good the missionary call is, and how much there is to be gained when we let go of our comfort zones and become available to God, as Gene and Marie did."
The missionary call is one marked with setbacks and hardships, as Wendy's article reflects. But, as the Scotts bear witness, it is also marked with lots of laughter.
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