Friday, 25 March 2011

A tribute to Mary Gardner.

This is a photo of Mary Gardner of Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Her picture was on the front page of newspapers today because Mary was the victim of a bus bomb attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

It was my privilege to know Mary many years ago, at a time when I was considering whether I might become a Bible translator myself.  Mary, at that stage, was just finishing her training and getting ready to go overseas to Togo, to begin translating the New Testament for the Ife people.

This was accomplished.  Bible translation is a slow and laborious process but the Ife people got the New Testament in their own language in 2009.

Mary never married and had no children.  She poured out the prime years of her life in the work she felt that God had called her to.  Rather than rest on her laurels after translating the New Testament for the Ife people, she was then studying Hebrew in Jerusalem in order to continue on to the Old Testament.  I remember her as a very gentle, soft-spoken, lovely young woman.

As it says on the Wycliffe website: "Worldwide there are over 300 million people who do not have access to the story of God's love for his people - the story of the Bible - in the language that they understand the best, their 'heart' language".

However, there are many dedicated people like Mary all over the world working to make sure that the Bible will be available in all languages.  Today, I'm sure, many of them will be thinking of Mary's elderly parents, her siblings, her colleagues and the Ife people in their grief.


Anonymous said...

What a way to spend your life. It makes some of the modern Church excesses seem even more trite than normal. Thank you Father for the life of Mary Gardner.

Anonymous said...

I agree, having fielded one of the most manipulative letters complaining about the wording of a prayer, this story shows what true service and sacrifice means.

Runaway Child said...

What an amazing life she had, and how many lives have been transformed through the translation. Praise God for her service and faith and may she be enjoying the fruits of her labour with the Lord. Condenseness to her beloved family, friends and co workers. One day all will be reunited. x

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