Letters from Missionaries

From Nancy Morse with Wycliffe Bible Translators


Sent: Thu, 09 Apr 2020 07:08:11 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: April newsletter

April 2020

Dear Family, Friends and Ministry Partners,

Greetings from Dallas, Texas, where I’ve been since November 29, obviously, with no plans to go anywhere. How thankful I am for the internet, which gives me Skype contact with my family overseas and allows me to keep working during the pandemic.

Although God showed his love for us by creating such a magnificent universe for us to be in, his ultimate expression of his love for us was when Jesus (fully human) Christ (fully God) shed his blood and died on the cross as payment for our sins, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,* since “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22 *Romans 3:23) 

I’ve heard a suggestion that we should dedicate Easter Sunday to prayer about COVID-19. I pray daily for many people, including you, and issues related to that. I intend to dedicate Easter to worship.

Venezuela Acts project

Thank you if you prayed for the fourth Acts translation workshop, for Acts 14:1-19:7. It was held January 27-February 15 in various places in Venezuela. The Warao team arrived on time, thanks to their boat and motors provided by my supporters and God’s provision of the necessary fuel and their good health. They translated (into Warao) and back-translated (into Spanish) Acts 11:1-19:7, catching up after missing Workshop 2 in July. They stayed in Puerto Ordaz another week to revise their work based on Pastor Idelfonzo’s and my questions and suggestions for Acts 2-16. (I previously approved Acts 1.) He’s the CIT* assigned to the Warao project. By February 21 I had approved Acts 2-9.

The translators and their facilitator, Diana, went to the Warao community February 22 and planned to return to Puerto Ordaz for the fifth Acts workshop scheduled for April 13-May 2. While in the community their goals were to test Acts 1-9 and to revise their work based on the Pastor’s and my consultant check for Acts 10-16. During that time Pastor Idelfonzo was to check Acts 17:1-19:7 and send it to me for the final check, but I haven’t received it yet. Acts 19:8-23:22 is to be translated and back-translated in Workshop 5, which is still scheduled. *Consultant-in-Training 


Cacua Old Testament checking and revision

The May-June work session for the Cacua Old Testament revision was cancelled because of the pandemic. I only have contact with the Cacuas when I’m in Colombia. At the last contact the project administrator had with them, Emilio was healthy again and he and Rodrigo would have been the ones to come work with me. We won’t cancel our September-October work session this soon, but the administrator has little hope we’ll be able to hold it. There are no flights in or out of the Vaupés, the Department where the Cacuas live, and there is no road. 

Cubeo New Testament revision

There is not yet a project set up for the revision of the Cubeo New Testament. I haven’t heard anything about it for months, and now it’s on hold because of the pandemic.

Nahua Luke project

The Nahua people live in the eastern jungle of Peru. I checked some of their Bible stories the years I lived in Peru, and in July 2011 taught some of them translation principles. The final revision of Nahua Luke was ready for me to start checking January 13-29 and I’ve continued since February 24. I’ve checked through Luke 11. Finishing this check is my priority.

Tuyuca Exodus project

When I finish checking Luke, my next priority will be to finish checking Exodus in Tuyuca. The Tuyucas live in Colombia in the Vaupes and across the border in Brazil, as do the Cubeos. I started this check a year ago this month and work on it when I get caught up on all the others. I approved chapters 1-8 last month. I’ve finished checking chapters 9-19 and the translators are responding to my questions and suggestions. They didn’t translate the sections about the Tabernacle, so there are only nine chapters left to check.

Health update

Even though I was fully recovered from what hospitalized me in November by the week before Christmas, I kept the appointment with the pulmonologist on January 23. After seeing the results of the breathing tests and chest x-ray I had January 21, he said my lungs were healthy and my breathing level was very good.

My teeth-cleaning and check of teeth and gums in January also had good results. My blood pressure continues to be controlled at safe levels.

The corneal edema the doctor discovered in my blind left eye in December only teared and hurt for a month or so. Since there was nothing to do for it other than a transplant, which I chose not to have, not to waste a donated cornea on a blind eye, I attribute its big improvement to the prayers of the few of you who knew it was tearing and hurting. My routine eye exam and pressure check on April 28 was postponed to June 19.

My mastectomy hasn’t been re-scheduled yet, and I don’t expect it will be before next month. Since March 30 I’m taking a 1 mg. pill, Anastrozole, intended to keep the cancer from spreading. Each day when I take it I pray it will do that, and not cause bad side effects. So far it hasn’t. I’m at peace, have lots of energy, feel great, and work full-time. 

Kids’ corner

Everybody in the world now lives under the same restrictions, one being: “Keep your distance.” You can only get close to the people you live with. Do you know this restriction existed in Bible times for people with certain skin diseases? Leviticus 13:45-46 says in part: “Those who suffer from a serious skin disease… must cover their mouth and call out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as the serious disease lasts, they will be ceremonially unclean. They must live in isolation in their place outside the camp.” Luke 17:11ff. tells how Jesus healed ten men who had a serious skin disease called leprosy. Even though you have to keep a distance away from your friends, your very best friend, Jesus, said: “Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:15 NLT

Teens’ time

It’s hard for me to start a conversation with a stranger. Can you identify with me, or are you a gregarious person who doesn’t know a stranger? In airports, on airplanes, in stores, I want to tell people around me that Jesus is my Savior and wants to be theirs, too. But I only did that a few times. It’s one of my failures. Now, however, the pandemic and my cancer are giving me many witnessing opportunities. Strangers are starting conversations with me! They confess fear about their cancer and/or the pandemic. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. “1 Peter 3:15b NIV Let’s all take advantage of this positive aspect of a difficult situation: People are concerned about dying and we can tell them how they can have eternal life!

Let’s give thanks

1. for a very generous anonymous gift in December for my support;

2. that in November God led me to cancel my February-March trip to Colombia from now on so that I wasn’t there when the borders closed;

3. that God has kept me safe from accidents, able to see well enough to continue my work, and so far my cancer has not affected how I feel and what I can do;

4. for Emilio’s improved health;

5. for a successful 4th Acts workshop in Venezuela and that the Warao team is caught up from having missed the July workshop;

6. for electricity and internet when needed for that workshop;

7. that during the pandemic, which has resulted in workshops and checking sessions being cancelled and projects being suspended, I only need to work 40 hours a week to keep up;

8. and for those who pray for me, support me financially, and/or provide my transportation.

Please pray                                                        

1. for many to repent and be saved while the pandemic has them focusing on death;

2. during the pandemic for special protection for the people in the Vaupés and so many other places in the world where health care is minimal;

3. for the protection of the vision in my right eye and my pressures to be stable at safe levels while they’re not being monitored during the time of isolation;

4. for wisdom and carefulness in all my work;

5.  for the protection and good functioning of the computer equipment in all projects, and electricity and internet connections when needed;

6. that funding will be approved for the revision of the Cubeo New Testament; 

7. for the salvation of Rodrigo’s ex-wife, Marcela;

8. that the translation of Luke in Barí will be finished, printed and audio-recorded;

9. and for the Cubeos and Sálibas in Colombia and the Bengas and Kombes in Equatorial Guinea.

For the sake of the translation of God’s Word in Spanish-speaking regions,

Nancy L. Morse