VALERIE AND NICASIO MARTINEZTRANSLATING GOD'S WORD WITH AND FOR THE PEOPLE WHO SPEAK QUIATONI ZAPOTEC
The Zapotec church sermon is more of an interactive Bible study. It took a little while for people to get used to answering questions when we went to using Zoom for Zapotec church but we are finally more comfortable with it. If you had been there on July 1 when we studied Acts 20:7-12 (about Eutychus falling asleep and falling out of the window), you would have heard this (from my quick translations into English):
Beto was teaching: “Why do you think Eutychus fell asleep?”
Several people answered, “Because Paul talked so long.” (Everyone was smiling; I’m sure they were identifying with poor Eutychus!)
Rebeca: “Maybe Eutychus didn’t understand Paul’s preaching.”
Fernando: “Maybe he was tired from working, too.”
Beto: “And no cell phone to look at!”
Nicasio: “There weren’t any deacons to walking around rapping people on the head to wake them up.” (Yes, churches in our area do have deacons that do this!)
Carmen: “It’s good that Paul was talking so much ‘cause he was leaving tomorrow.”
Meche: “Maybe he should have asked questions while he’s preaching!” (Implying “like Beto and Nicasio do”.)
Beto: “So what makes us want to sleep in church?”
Sofía: “When we don’t understand the language that being used for preaching.”
Beto: “That’s right. Another one is that we are physically tired and sitting still. So how long should a sermon last? How long can we sit still?”
Priscila: “One hour, maybe.”
Fernando: “It depends on what the sermon is about!”
Elizabeth: “If there are questions and it’s more of a Bible study, it can go longer.”
Beto: “Maybe it’s neither’s fault that Eutychus fell asleep. And maybe both sides!”
Nicasio: “Paul didn’t normally preach all night. He didn’t scold anyone for Eutychus falling asleep. But nowadays the person preaching isn’t responsible for people sleeping; it’s always the fault of the congregation for going to sleep. That’s why the deacons wake people up but no one says to the preachers, ‘You’ve been going on too long.’”
Beto: “It’s good to talk about this because we can learn from it about how long we should preach, etc. I think, too, that there are people who take very literally what Jesus said about ‘Come to Me and I’ll give you rest’!”
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Now that we have received more chapters of Acts that were back-translated into Spanish, Beto has been busy keyboarding that into the program we use for translation. (Since the people who usually do back-translations don’t have computers, we print out the chapters with very short lines of text and lots of space between the lines so they can handwrite the Spanish in under the Zapotec and not have to crowd it in.)
Nicasio and Beto have been working with Rogelio, the main author of the book about Zapotec numbers, on revising the book for a reprint of it. I’ve made a book of exercises to encourage students to learn and use the Zapotec numbers. There’s still a lot of work to be done on it; we’ll be meeting with Rogelio and Felipe (the other author and a teacher) on Friday (July 30) to edit and improve that.
Please pray for the people of Quiatoni. They are being hit hard with lots of covid cases.
Family news: We are looking forward to our kids coming to visit in August! Mike, Tara and Royan arrive on Aug. 11 for three weeks. (Mike will be working from here part of the time.) Rusty arrives on August 25 for two weeks, so there will be one week when they are all here with us! We appreciate your prayers for safe travels for them and for a good and safe time while they are here.
Thank you for your interest, prayers, and support of our ministry of translating God’s Word into Quiatoni Zapotec. We are thankful for YOU!
love, Valerie and Nicasio
Last night about 9 pm Nicasio took Beto's older daughter (16 year old
Yari), Beto and Candy to the doctor because Yari was in so much pain.
She's been in pain off and on for a week or more but they hadn't been
able to figure out the cause. Tonight at the doctor's, they realized it
was her appendix. They took her appendix out about midnight. She came
through it well. Nicasio will pick them up (Beto and Candy stayed with
her during the night) and take them home when she's released.
Please pray for Yari's recuperation and thank God with us that it wasn't
If you would like to help them financially with this unexpected and
expensive need, we'd be glad to facilitate that.
Thank you for your prayers!
love, Valerie and Nicasio