Ministry celebrates project completion, re-focuses

By August 18, 2008

Guatemala (MNN) — Cheers went up from the 800 lay people
and pastors at a celebration held for the completion of the New Testament in the Ixil language by Wycliffe Bible
in Guatemala recently. 

Present at the dedication were Ray and Helen Elliott who spent 54 years of their lives working on the project. "83 years of age, now very frail, but as he went up to the stage on a cane. he very ceremoniously unpacked the first box of New Testaments," said Bruce Everhart with Moody Radio reporting for Wycliffe. 

According to a TIME Magazine article, the Elliott's moved their three children to a dirt floor cabin in 1953. Because Helen unexpectedly became the village nurse, Ray learned the Ixil word for giving without receiving anything in return: "shum." It was the word he'd been struggling to find to translate "love."

Until now, the Ixil people used the Gospel of Mark that Wycliffe released upon its completion.  Everhart said the people now seem to be ready for more. "There are people being saved all over the Guatemala region. As a matter of fact, one of the translators we talked to believes there's not a single person in the Ixil area who has not heard the Gospel today, but they haven't responded yet. The work is now in the
hands of the church in Guatemala."

With 40 translation projects in the entire country and many years of work, there are just three more projects in progress.  "They're anticipating completion of all the translation work, I would say, over the next 5 years. The Central American region for Wycliffe is really winding down."  From there, they will be focusing more on Asia and Indonesia where there is a lot of work yet to be completed.

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