BIBLE TRANSLATION WORK NOT ALWAYS EASY
Grande Ronde Valley residents will get a glimpse of missionary life while enjoying the food of the Philippines at a dinner-theater this month.
Marlene O'Rourke, a local coordinator for the Wycliffe Bible Translators' production of "And the Word Came with Power," said tickets are still available for the show and dinner that will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18 and 19 at Valley Fellowship, 507 Palmer Ave.
The suggested donation to cover the cost of the event and to support church missionary efforts is $15. The public is invited.
Valley Fellowship and First Baptist Church are local sponsors for the event.
O'Rourke of La Grande provided details of the plot of "And the Word Came with Power."
Joanne Shetler, a Wycliffe Bible translator in the Philippines, faces cultural challenges and spiritual opposition as she works to translate the New Testament, verse by verse, into the Balangao language.
The drama centers on Shetler's relationship with Canao, a respected man in Botac who, realizing that Shetler is not safe living in his village without a family's protection announces, "You will be my daughter, and I will be your father."
Over the next five years, Canao teaches Joanne as he would instruct his own children: how to eat, how to speak and how to get along with the people.
And even though, as a dutiful father, he assists Joanne in her translation work, he has little interest in believing the Bible for himself.
In fact, Joanne has difficulty getting anyone interested in her translated scriptures. The Philippine culture does not give Joanne, as a young woman, the right to teach anyone older than herself.
Every time someone expresses an interest in believing in Jesus Christ, as revealed in the New Testament, the evil spirits, that dominate the Balangao people, wreak havoc.
These spirits have always frustrated Canao. He has done everything to appease them, but they have dominated six of his 12 children.
Home from the Philippines for a break, Joanne challenges her church to adopt the Balangao as their own and pray for them as though their lives depended on it. Finally, things begin to happen.
For dinner-theater reservations, call O'Rourke at 963-9389 or Brian Kruse at 963-8658.
Wycliffe International's goal is to facilitate the translation of the Bible into every language that needs it. Wycliffe has organizations in nearly 40 countries and has had a part in translating more than 500 New Testaments into minority and indigenous languages.
Fifteen hundred more translation projects, representing more than 70 countries, are in progress.
Because Wycliffe organizations believe Bible translation is part of Christ's great mandate given to followers, Wycliffe actively seeks to engage the worldwide church in the Bible translation ministry.
Wycliffe helps recruit personnel, raise funds and garner prayer for this task.
According to Wycliffe, 380 million people in more than 3,000 language groups still have not had the Bible translated into their languages.