September 30, 2014 -- Coward
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William Cameron Townsend, while at Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA. (1917)

She Called Him a Coward

A True Story

In the summer of 1917, William Cameron Townsend had completed his junior year at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.  The United States had just entered the First World War.  Townsend, along with many of his classmates, had enlisted with the National Guard.  He thought he was on his way to fight in France.

Before he was to leave for France, however, he visited a retired lady missionary.  She caught him up short when she bluntly called him a coward.  She said, "Here you are going off to war and leaving the mission field to us women!"

Townsend was stunned.  She was right.  God was leading him to go to Guatemala as a Bible salesman.  But he saw no way he could back out of military service once he had enlisted.  He went to his recruiting officer.

The recruiting officer took a long look at the frail, skinny Cameron Townsend.  He said, "Sure, go ahead, Townsend.  You'll probably do more good selling Bibles in Guatemala than shooting in France."  

When he arrived in Guatemala, Townsend asked one man, "Do you know the Lord Jesus?" 

"Sorry," the man answered, "'don't know him.  I'm new around here myself."

Cameron Townsend's biggest burden was the realization that more than two-fifths of Central Americans didn't even speak the national language, but rather fragmented dialects of the Mayans.  His concern grew particularly for the largest Mayan language family, the Cakchiquels.

One old Cakchiquel village chief asked him, "Why haven't you come sooner?  We have heard that you have told this wonderful story in other nearby towns, and we have been wondering what sin we have committed against God that kept Him from sending you to us." 

Townsend later wrote in his journal, "The fault is not theirs.  God has sent, but we have refused to go!"

Townsend went on to translate the New Testament into Cakchiquel.  Through that experience, he developed the scientific translation technology Wycliffe linguists have applied in over a thousand language groups around the world.  

There are still three thousand* languages waiting for God's Word.  As Cameron Townsend said, the fault is not theirs.  God has sent, but we have refused to go.

*1,900 language groups are waiting for a translation project to begin

     - From Two Thousand Tongues to Go by Ethel Wallis
Big shout out to Occidental College! This is where we (Cassidy & Kari) met, worked, and got married, all before we had any idea of who William Cameron Townsend was.

Similar to the linguistic barriers in Central America, Papua New Guinea also has many linguistic challenges. Two of the three national languages (English & Hiri Motu) are spoken by less than 2% of the country's population. Furthermore Tok Pisin, a creole language, is used by many, but it is not the language that is best understood for the 7 million people speaking 838 different languages.

Our goal is to support Bible Translation by taking care of the teens of translators. This allows the translators to do the work that God has uniquely gifted them to do in the villages.  Would you please consider joining our team as a prayer and/or financial partner?  We're looking forward to hearing from you, let us know either personally or through the link below.

Kari & Cassidy    
 Pray for us to be bold and courageous while sharing about our Wycliffe ministry.  
  Pray that we will discover folks who want to join our sending-team in the next two weeks; especially in response to our Info Night on 10/7.
  Pray for the Bibleless Akoye language group of Papua New Guinea. 
  Praise God for a successful PNG Info Night presentation for our Small Group.  
  Praise God for our 5 new financially investing partners!
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Fun Fact: PNG is 17 hours ahead of California (Pacific Standard Time).
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