The silver lining of endurance
By Kathy Cummins | Wycliffe Today Winter 2023 |
I’ve cried a lot in my 17 years of literacy work. I’ve become frustrated, yelled at, and even hit people! I’m not proud of my reactions but I have often found this life of language work hard and at times I wanted to give up.
The frustration comes from waiting around for people who say they’ll come but never show up. It’s teaching women literacy skills for two years but discovering that none of them have successfully learned to read and write. Added to this has been the anguish of getting ripped from our home and community due to civil war and not knowing if we could ever go back there.
Then, a glimmer of the rewards of endurance arrives. I realise that I can speak the language and mostly understand what native speakers say! Locals tell us they know that God loves them because he sent us to them! I see children I once cradled in my arms learning to read and write their language. A teenager I taught is now translating the Bible into his language!
We have been developing deep friendships, born of shared waiting, hardships, work, and life. We are helping the community render God’s truths in the God-given intricacies of their language structure. What a privilege! This is the silver lining of endurance. I’m not sure how ‘willingly’ I am enduring, but the glimmer is there.
So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen. – 2 Tim 2:10 (NLT)