The big CIMA youth rally (organized by MOVIDA) started January 18 and went for 4 days. There were over 2,500 young Christian people there from 25 different countries (most of them were from Argentina). Many great, internationally known Christian speakers had been invited and the young people were over and over challenged to make a serious commitment to serve God wherever and to whatever he called them to.
A delegation of volunteers from LETRA Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina joined Wycliffe Americas to set up a beautiful promotional stand with materials of interest about the work of Bible translation and related ministries.
Rodolfo Senn of LETRA Argentina tells us: “For one of the 10 simultaneous presentations I had been asked to talk about ‘Positive Culture Change Through Bible Translation’.
“I mostly talked about the currents that influence our opinion regarding mission work and cultural values in general (Cultural Relativism vs the message of the Bible as the revelation from God), and the importance of being clear on what standard we use to measure what ‘positive change’ is (humanistic opinions or the Bible).
“Then, for the second part I had Eduardo and Socorro tell how they experienced positive change. We often hear all sorts of opinions, but we seldom hear the voices of the people themselves who have experienced it first hand in their culture. Both Eduardo and Socorro spoke very clearly and Eduardo even sung one of their Christian songs with the traditional melodies (that was his own idea). During CIMA there were also 40 simultaneous workshops being offered. One of them, which we did over the period of three days, was one on Bible Translation as a means for positive change. There were about 40 participants
“Then on the second to last day Eduardo, Socorro, Beatrice and Rodolfo had a 12 minute interview at the morning plenary session with everyone present. Beatrice and Rodolfo said a few things, but gave most of the time to Eduardo and Socorro of the Nadëb. They asked Eduardo what impact the translated Word of God had in their village. Eduardo gave a very impressive testimony and then he said that he and his sister were going to sing and dance like they do in their church back in the village. They did great and earned roaring applause.
“Then they asked Socorro to give a challenge to the young people. We were all sitting, but Socorro somehow could not speak sitting down, so she got up and started talking and challenging the young people telling them that there still are many people groups in this world that are just like they used to be before they knew about Christ, and that someone has to go take them the message. She had so much to say that we had to give her a sign that we had run out of time!
“Some asked us later how come the two spoke with such freedom, and I told them that it is only something God through his Word can do, especially considering that the Nadëb used to always think themselves inferior to the outsiders. Thomas Vögelin (the director and founder of MOVIDA) said, ‘You guys made me cry.’ My wife said, ‘If I wasn’t already a missionary, I would have right there decided that I wanted to serve God in missions’.”