Adventures with Allison

If you were one of those who threw away my August 2017 glossy card, mistaking it for an advertisement for basement cleanup services, you missed out on a scary yet humorous story about my emergency renovation last summer. So this June God gave us all another opportunity to experience Basement Disasters 2.0. Thankfully it did not involve anyone almost losing their life!

May 31. I finally had enough money to buy the last batch of flooring to finish the basement from 2017’s mishap! The boxes were heavy, so I didn’t unload them from my vehicle.
June 1. Water in the basement… again. Sewage backup. Yuck! At least insurance would apply this time around.
June 2. Mom in ER. I accidentally slammed the car door on her finger. Thankfully no broken bones, just stitches required.
June 3. Cleanup begins. Plumber cleared the blockage in pipe. No damage except to flooring.
June 4-25. Deal with insurance company. Friends help with restoration. Gift from church for my deductible! Deal with cleaners regarding ruined flooring. Deal with Lifeproof about flooring (worthless!). Deal with Home Depot about flooring (helpful). Help carpenter reinstall flooring like a 1000-piece puzzle. Have a car accident. Deal with insurance AGAIN! Car to shop. Put everything in basement back in its place. Multiple doctors appointments. Get AC repaired.
June 26-July 1. Recover from exhaustion, aches and pains. Try to figure out finances.

I admit it. My house woes, car problems, physical health, and financial needs consumed my attention this past month. Work? Sorry, I was in Survival Mode, focused on existing. Yet whenever I was most disheartened, God would lift me up through a friend’s helping hands, an encouraging letter, a gift card, an inspirational song, a good sermon, a beautiful day, an answer to prayer. His marvelous ways are infinite! The following verses out of 2 Corinthians have been my Rock during this time:

For our present troubles are small and won ‘t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don ‘t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Cor 4: 17-18

We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 2 Cor 6:4

As I write this letter, I’m caring for my mom who is experiencing health problems. So I am going to finish this and get it out, rather than wait another week or two. Read more of the challenges Bible translators face! Below is an excerpt from my colleague’s letter about translating into Tarahumara. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and investing in the kingdom as you invest
in me.

God bless you!


Dale Taylor writes about working with Fernando under the guidance of Terry Reed.

We looked at the 4 pillars of Bible Translation – Faithfulness/Accuracy, Clarity, Readability, Acceptability… and then examined the impact of the implicit and explicit information of the text as this applies to the scriptures. This was made practical by looking at the narrative text of Daniel chapter 1 where it says in the very first verse: “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.”

This verse has a lot of implicit information necessary to the proper understanding of the text, that it would cause a Tarahumara, who has no such knowledge, to entirely misunderstand it. Why? Well , the Tarahumara language has no word for king or to “reign”. The text only mentions 2 people. The assumption is that there were armies involved. There is no understanding of walled cities, such as Jerusalem, and therefore no word for the tactic of warfare to besiege a city. When we initially translated this scripture it sounded clear to me and made sense. From there we went to the comprehension testing and began to ask questions of Fernando regarding his understanding of the text. Remember that Fernando is a Tarahumara pastor and would have more understanding than the average Tarahumara congregant. When asked how many people were involved in this story, he said 2 – it only mentions Jehoiakim and Nebuchadnezzar. When asked if there was a fight, he assumed there was, since after reading more of the text it sounded like Nebuchadnezzar won . When asked how they fought, he assumed hand to hand. We had to explain what a siege was and how the cities in Biblical times were walled in order to protect them from intruders. All this information is hidden from the Tarahumara but plainly understood by ancient readers of the Bible. It was here we realized that without adding the implicit information of the text, misunderstanding would be the result.

Since the accurate transmission of the meaning of the text is more important than “form”, when it comes to the translation of Scripture, we had to include some of the implicit information within the text and make it explicit in the translation . In the end , our translation of the 1st verse of Daniel in Tarahumara – back to English – read like this. Daniel 1: 1 – “After the great governor of Judah named Jehoiakim had governed for about three years , another great governor named Nebuchadnezzar who governed a land called Babylon, came with his armies to fight against the great governor of Jerusalem and his armies. The armies of the great governor named Nebuchadnezzar surrounded the walled city of Jerusalem in order to force them to give up without a fight.” Notice how this verse with 22 words in English became a verse of about 65 words in Tarahumara. We have not changed at all the meaning of the verse, only translated it using the words and concepts the Tarahumara can understand. And this is only looking at one verse of the Bible.