Oh my, what have I forgotten to pack? I better throw in more tissues. I am sure to cry when I see our old friends. Oh no! Where is my passport? I’ve looked everywhere. Finally, I prayed. I had not looked in the car, but there it was in the glove compartment. Thank you, Lord! I was leaving to attend the dedications of the Akha New Testament in Thailand, and the Falam Chin Bible in Myanmar. At last, I was ready to go.
I landed in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Aje, the translator of the Akha New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, arrived to take us to the dedication service. He was so excited. The festivities would begin with a parade. Almost everyone had on Akha dress. The Akha in front were ready to start. The long bamboo poles were being thumped on the ground in unison. As the guests walked behind the musicians, people along the parade route also had bamboo poles and were keeping in step with the parade. It was so emotional to be going to the dedication of God's Word in the Akha language!
We arrived at a new building, finished just in time for the dedication. As I stood high on those steps looking down at over 1,500 Akha people, I could feel Ross's presence. My husband, Ross, is with the Lord now. We had prayed together so often for these people and had checked almost every word of the Akha text. The Akha people were from five different Asian countries, and they hungered for the Word in their language so that they could share it with other Akha people who had not yet heard the Gospel.
There were so many dear people to see: people with whom we had worked, people we had lived with, and pastors from other churches. It had been three years since I had been there and it was the first time I had been there without Ross. So many hugs and tears, and so much joy ... They began showing videos of the history of the translation. One man who worked with the Akha came to me and sat on the floor beside my chair. He took my hand and said, "We are all crying with you." There were many pictures of Ross and me doing the consultant work with them. Tears were streaming down all our faces. God had given us a wonderful ministry! So many people who love the Lord and desired His Word!
We ate a meal with friends from China, Myanmar, Viet Nam, Thailand, Laos, and the USA. Everywhere I went, people were reading their Bibles, tenderly touching them. Why do we do this ministry? It is because there is no joy like seeing someone receive the Word of God in their mother tongue so that they can read and understand it for themselves.
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