Thursday, November 30, 2017

"Muśhü Limalicuy"

Ezekiel 43.10-11 NIV

“Son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their sins. Let them consider the plan, and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the temple — its arrangement, its exits and entrances — its whole design and all its regulations and laws.

Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations.

Madre y Nino by John Farnsworth
I am holding in my hand a copy of the Muśhü Limalicuy. It’s a miracle. My friends Rick and Melanie Floyd gave it to me.  They lived most of their adult lives, 26 years, in Peru. Much of that time was spent in San Pedro de Pihuas, a village of about a thousand Wanca speaking people in the Andes Mountains of central Peru. An estimated 250,000 people speak Wanca Quechua, one of many dialects within the Quechua language family. The Quechua people, descendants of the Inca Empire, are mostly potato farmers and shepherds. Prior to the arrival of the Floyd’s in 1981, there was no written form of the Wanca dialect. Rick, who holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and fluent in both English, Spanish, and now Wanca, embarked on the task of learning the language and culture of these amazing people.

Rick and Melanie’s home had dirt floors and no running water. In that home they raised three very fine sons. The Floyd’s are missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Rick created a Wanca alphabet and lexicon of words. Together with the help of a small team of nationals, they translated the entire New Testament into Wanca Quechua. It took 2 ½ decades but today the Muśhü Limalicuy is available to all Wanca speakers who want to read the God’s Word for themselves. Rick has been my friend for the past 45 years since we first met as college kids.

I make a small (very small) contribution each month to Wycliffe in the name of the Floyd’s work. Rick and Melanie came to our home a couple years ago and presented my wife and I with our own personal copy of the Wanca New Testament. They claimed we played a part in its creation. By making the decision to support the Floyd’s, my family had a hand in bringing to a precious group of people in another part of the world the Bible in their own language. I held a copy of the Muśhü Limalicuy. It was an emotional experience. 

Rick told me there is no word in Wanca for “disciple” which presented an interesting translation dilemma for him. Instead of introducing a new word into the language, his team selected the Wanca word yaćhapacü, which literally means “apprentice.” An apprentice is a person who learns from the master. The prophet Ezekiel was commanded to write down the inspired words of God:

“Write these down before them so that they may
be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations.”

The Floyd’s were called to do exactly what Ezekiel did. They ‘wrote down’ the words of God. Rick and Melanie and their supporters fulfilled the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to “go therefore and make disciples [yaćhapacücuna apprentices] of all the nations” (Matthew 28.19). Another 250,000 souls now have access to the Word of God. Armed with the Muśhü Limalicuy new Quechua ‘apprentices’ will inspire Wanca speakers everywhere to pick up their very own Bible, “be faithful to its design and follow” its Author into everlasting life. 

The three photographs on this post are entitled "Madre y Niño," "Quechua," and "Hermanas" from the Peruvian Portfolio of artist and photographer John Farnsworth whose incredible work you can view at You may also see some of John’s photography on display while enjoying Peruvian cuisine at Andina Restaurant in Portland, Oregon (13th and NW Glisan in the Pearl District). These beautiful images are available for purchase on John's site. ©John Farnsworth John kindly gave me permission to post his photos here.   

You may contact Rick and Melanie Floyd by mail at Wycliffe Bible Translators, Box 628200, Orlando, FL 32862-8033 or by email Rick continues to work as a translation consultant with Wycliffe worldwide and currently assists a new team charged with the translation of the Old Testament into Wanca Quechua.


Anonymous said...

Just think of how many amazing and unique cultures are being destroyed the world over by people like your friends! congratulations to them! They strive to homoginize our world. It is due to people like them that the diversity of and wonder of our planet, the very qualities that make it the heart-wrenchingly beautiful place it is, are disappearing. How disappointing that the Floyds would find one of the few remaining untouched ancient cultures of the world and procede to ruin it.

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for your comments and point of view.

Jesus Christ calls all true believers to share the good news of His love and forgiveness with the entire world. True Christ-followers must follow Christ rather than the popular concept that you represent.

For the record, the only culture that was "being destroyed" during the Floyd's time in Peru was the 'North American easy life' culture in Rick and Melanie's soul. They, like you, believe in the beauty of diversity around the world and are determined to preserve it. I'm quite sure the Floyds became more Queshua than the other way around. Certainly more than you may imagine.

The Floyds have helped to make it possible for this beautiful people group to become literate in their own language and culture. If anything, this fact will enable Wanca speakers, now through oral and written tradition, to even better preserve their cultural uniqueness for many generations to come.

Anonymous, Jesus loves you. You, like all of us, have sinned against a holy God. Christ paid the price for your sin by dying on the cross. God raised Him from the dead and He is alive today!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life". That life can be yours, Anonymous.

Your Friend,