A book about grammar, syntax, and an unwritten language. A book about missionaries in a far away jungle.
Now, before you shake your head and say, "That's not for me," let me tell you why this book is now one of my favourites.
From the first page, the author is all the things I admire most - not just in an author, but in a human being. Honest. Transparent. Real.
On one hand, I'm willing to excuse mediocre writing if I really care about the characters. On the other, I'm willing to read a book in practically any genre if the writing carries me away. And then there are the rare and delightful finds, books with characters that draw me in and stories that transport me to another place. This is one of those books.
I'm a visual learner, and the Janks paint a vivid picture. It's as if I'm sitting in my living room with them, watching a home movie of their adventures and hearing them tell me all about their lives among the Wilo people. Relationships are what life is all about, and I feel as if I've made two new friends.
With candor and humour, Davey and Marie Jank demystify what it means to reach out with love and truth.
Deep in the Amazon jungle, the Wilo people waited for a missionary to come teach them "God's Talk." They'd heard bits of it in Spanish and other tribal languages (which none of them spoke fluently) and they'd been asking for twenty-five years for someone to come explain it to them. Davey Jank was the answer to their request, and over time he was joined by several other people, including his wife, Marie, intent on learning the Wilo language and culture. There's no Rosetta Stone for Wilo! Davey and his partners had to learn it the hard way, and it took ten years before they understood well enough to begin teaching "God's Talk." New Tribes Mission advocates chronological teaching from Genesis onward, laying the groundwork for understanding what Jesus' sacrifice really means.
The tribal people found the strangers to be extremely interesting and spent hours peering in the windows and doors. Early on, Davey records:
"I was like a TV set for these tribal people, a window through which they could gaze upon a limitless amount of curious and foreign scenes. No doubt they would be ecstatic when my co-workers arrived, as it would provide them the option of changing channels."
Davey and Marie's story, Our Witchdoctors are too Weak: The Rebirth of an Amazon Tribe, is told in an anecdotal style with a wry sense of humor. If you're interested in reading a contemporary tale of primitive people seeking truth, you will enjoy this true account.
Davey and Marie Jank bring the Amazon jungle to life in this quirky and fun book. The short chapters touch on so many aspects of jungle life and cross-cultural ministry, but the under-riding theme throughout the book is a people (the Wilo tribe) who have been longing for someone to unlock for them the message of God's Talk. What sort of people does it take to bring God's Word to a remote tribe? You might be surprised to find out.
I was so amazed at the amount of sacrifice that our missionaries must endure to get a bible translated into another language.This book gave me great respect for their hard work to serve a people whom God loves.
I don't usually read non-fiction and yet I really enjoyed this book. The author is very humorous and writes in an entertaining style that enthralled me. Several times I laughed out loud at the descriptions presented on everything from housecleaning ants to the Wilos lack of a word for `no'. Steadfast in his faith, the author sets out to learn the language and customs of an Amazon tribe who requested missionaries to teach them about 'God's talk'. He faces witchcraft in action, tribal traditions and dangerous situations while struggling to learn the Wilo language.
I wish the author had included more about his courtship with his coauthor since they met in the jungle and continued the work together, but perhaps that's a subject for another book.
This book would interest anyone who ever wondered what a missionary's life is about. It entails some of the harsh decisions missionaries face while preparing people to receive God's Word and tells of the joys of salvation by a people who waited over 25 yrs to learn how much God loves them. Even if you've never had the urge to travel this foreign path, this book will bless you with hope in the knowledge that the Gospel is being spread.