Tacana New Testament, Bolivia
God Supplies Co-Translators
by John Ottaviano, Bolivia, with Harry Waterhouse
From In Other Words, October/November 1982
To finish the Tacana translation I had to have really good co-translators, and the Lord sent me the best: Julio Marupa and Lucio Beyuma.
Julio was one of the little boys who became a believer during a Sunday school class my wife, Ida, started soon after we learned the language.
We later moved to another village and lost track of Julio for about ten years. Then one day I saw him on the street and asked him how he was and if he was walking with the Lord. As we talked, he pulled out his Spanish New Testament and told me he was reading it.
I asked him if he would like to help me with the Tacana translation, and he agreed. Thats how Julio joined the team.
And how about Lucio? Well, that was a different story. When we lived in our first village, he had a reputation as a really wild fellow. He was drunk a lot and had a violent temper. Sometimes he beat his wife. Once, in his anger, he even left his infant son on a riverbank to die, and Lucios sisters had to rescue him.
But some time later when I sent for someone from the village to attend a leadership training course, Lucio came. I nearly fell over!
Here was this former wildcat who had become a believer and was the nicest fellow youd ever want to meet. With him were his wife and their son and daughter--a complete Christian family.
During the course I began to see that though he had no formal training, Lucio had an innate intelligence and ability to grasp things. We could work well together.
He accepted the challenge to help with translation, though it meant leaving his home and his fields and facing the persecution of other villagers. He stuck it out, and we completed the translation.
We know both Lucio and Julio have been continuing to live and work for the Lord, and we thank Him for men like this who are willing to work and sacrifice for the sake of bringing the Word of God to their own people.