Monday, November 18, 2013

Introduction: From Bible Translation to Hospital

History was a subject that I enjoyed and excelled at in school. Even today I enjoy reading history books and watching documentaries. Perhaps because of my interest in history, I have been thinking for some years now about the history of mission work in Cubulco, particularly the history of the translation of the Bible and the hospital. However, the question was who knows the history well enough to be able to write it. The work in Cubulco was started back in the 1950's by two women (Helen Neuenswander and Mary Shaw) who came down with Wycliffe to translate the New Testament into Cubulco Achi. Helen had passed away in 1990 and the last time Mary Shaw had come to Cubulco in 2002, she was already in her eighties. 10 years later I assumed that she had passed away as well. I did some searching on the internet to see if there was any contact information of Mary Shaw, but I came up empty. Months passed, but the desire to have a written history of the beginnings of mission work in Cubulco stayed with me.
Now we know that "the Lord moves in mysterious and wonderful ways", and this is what happened. (While trying to find where this is found in the Bible, I learned that it is NOT a text in the Bible, but the words of a hymn by William Cowper. Romans 11:33 comes close when it says,  "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!" God's ways are truly fathomless.) In a post in January of this year I wrote of the passing of one of our translators Victoriano. Well, around 6 weeks after his passing, to my surprise I received an email from Mary Shaw with whom Victoriano had worked for several years translating the NT. She was very much alive and as sharp as could be. She had gotten my email address through the McRae's who had been the ones who started AMG in Guatemala after the devastating 1976 earthquake.  In order to honour Victoriano for his years of service, Mary wanted to help the family out and needed me to facilitate this process. After carrying out Mary's wishes with helping the family, I took the opportunity to ask her to give a brief history of the work in Cubulco. She agreed, but said she needed some time so I told her that there was no hurry, although I was thinking to myself...... she is 92!
Five months later, after returning from our furlough in Canada I received the first of 3 parts of the history of the hospital. The history came in handy as we had the consultant from Mexico visiting Cubulco and she was interested in how the work started. Then we had an engineering team (EMI) come down to look at the hospital and do some design work. They were also interested in the history. Again God moved and provided at the right time. He deserves all the praise and glory.
I will be posting the 3 parts of the history individually as well as some personal information on two wonderful women Helen Neuenswander (after whom the hospital was named) and Mary Shaw who served the community of Cubulco with dedications and determination for many years. 

1 comment:

EvertE said...

Thank you for sharing this interesting history.