We finished the Gospel of Mark! Our part at least, before it is typeset, printed and shared with the team’s community. There have been so many changes over the last year and a half as this team learned how to translate and the community worked out how to express their written language.
We finished Friday just in time. I wasn’t going to have another day with them before the family travels for baby delivery. We checked off the last step in the translation process. We clapped and prayed. Then I had to run out in the lashing rain to make it to my train.
But the rain was warm and the sun shone through. The wet didn’t dampen the moment. It was a little heavenly party.
I bless thee that the issue of the battle between thyself and Satan
has never been uncertain,
and will end in victory.
Calvary broke the dragon’s head,
and I contend with a vanquished foe,
who with all his subtlety and strength
has already been overcome.
When I feel the serpent at my heel
may I remember him whose heel was bruised,
but who, when bruised, broke the devil’s head.
My soul with inward joy extols the mighty conqueror.
Heal me of any wounds received in the great conflict;
if I have gathered defilement,
if my faith has suffered damage,
if my hope is less than bright,
if my love is not fervent,
if some creature-comfort occupies my heart,
O thou whose every promise is balm,
every touch life,
draw near to thy weary warrior,
refresh me, that I may rise again to wage the strife,
and never tire until my enemy is trodden down.
Give me such fellowship with thee
that I may defy Satan,
unbelief, the flesh, the world,
with delight that comes not from a creature,
and which a creature cannot mar.
Give me a draught of the eternal fountain
that lieth in thy immutable, everlasting love and decree.
Then shall my hand never weaken,
my feet never stumble,
my sword never rest,
my shield never rust,
my helmet never shatter,
my breastplate never fall,
as my strength rests in the power of thy might.
The North is a place both majestic and haunted. The road there is difficult. The believers feel alone and afraid. Over the weekend we encouraged them in love, prayer, and the Word.
One family was afraid to meet us in public. Another family wept while we met. Two people were sick and with little help. A young lady shared her new faith with her family. Another brother had a fire in his eyes for more. Some heard the Word in their mother-tongue for the first time.
No church has ever taken root here. But there are seeds.
I left the hills to visit work in the plains. What a joy to be with brothers and sisters from other people groups! They were translating stories from the Scriptures into their own languages. The town, though—Nepalgunj (which rhymes with “grunge”)—might take getting used to. At least those who live here say they like it.