Thursday, April 7, 2011
That's what stuck with me the most after I finished reading Our Witchdoctors are Too Weak, Davey and Marie Jank's "astonishing" autobiography.
It took 10 years for the missionary team to be able to teach the Bible to the Wilo people in their own language. Ten years to study, understand and translate the Wilo language.
Now that's astonishing.
Jank's book is a quick read--condensing 10 years into chapters with titles like "The Day the Freak Show Came to Town," "The Snake that Wanted to Snuggle," "Lamaze Class-Wilo Style" and "I'd Like to Buy an 'S'." Jank's writing style is conversational and each chapter reads like a captured reminisce--like you've caught him at the end of his day and oh, did he tell you what happened when he went on a fishing trip with a few Wilos?
And yet, woven within his self-deprecating humor, is the reason he's there: the Wilos want to know what "God's Talk" says. And yet, how can they know when their language is unknown to anyone else but them? And before they can hear "God's Talk," their language has to be unraveled--this language that doesn't have an "s" and sounds of letters vary because . . .well . . . it depends. (Read the chapter "To ?B or Not to ?B.")
So often the end of a book can be a bit anticlimactic. The missionaries came. They translated God's Talk (the Bible) into Wilo. And people were saved.
Clap. Clap. Clap.
I loved when Jank allowed us to glimpse how he felt the day the Wilo people heard God's Talk for the first time--and responded. Some embraced the truth. Some did not. And he was okay with letting it be.
"It was God who had been at work all these years--at work both in me, and in the Wilo people. ..." Janks writes. "I was never more happy to be rendered irrelevant. The messengers were set aside now that direct communication had been established."
CONTEST WINNER: Patricia Preston won the iTunes gift card offered during our update on Mazie post.