Nearly one month ago, the Kagayanen-speaking Filipinos began celebrating the fact that God's Word (New Testament + Genesis) has been translated into their mother tongue -- the language they understand best.
The language they use at home -- with family and beloved friends.
Not only does this mean that God's Word is more intellectually accessible to them, it means that God connects with them like their most intimate family -- at the heart.
The celebrations began on Cagancillo island -- a place where Kagayaen is spoken by all of the 6500 residents. The celebrations have moved, week by week, to cities where many Kagayan-speakers live on the island of Palawan. This weekend will be the final official celebration.
The festivities began with an event tonight, but really began as family, friends, colleagues, prayer and financial partners and the translation team began to gather in this place. People have come from around the world to be here.
Tonight we dined together (the buffet included a deliciou tofu dish, a meatball in cream sauce dish, and a Vietnamese style chili squig dish along with rice and for dessert: FRESH FRUIT) and then enjoyed a program presented by the Kagayanen translation team that told the story of God's working through them to do this work.
Dinner was delayed as we waited for the last plane to arrive with passangers from Manila (including some who had been traveling for more than 36 hours already from as far away as Orlando). Everyone easily agreed that it was more important to have everyone present than to start on time.
Tonight I am tired, but filled with gratitude for the ways that God engages people in the building of his Kingdom.
Tomorrow is a ministry day. I'm going to prison....but that is a story for another day.