The love of God transcends all knowledge and understanding. His riches and mercy endure forever and His plan in our lives exceed human boundaries. And for that I am thankful. Never would I have imagined that I would have had the opportunity to partner-up with Him and be an instrument in bringing the Chamorro Bible back to His people.
It has certainly been quite the journey as I have participated in researching the religious history of Guam and the Chamorro Bible. There were many days when I felt overwhelmed and speechless with awe at the history being uncovered. I remember several times coming home late at night and sitting alone in the darkness with nothing to do but pray to the only One who could understand my thoughts, concerns, and sanctity of what I was handling. I felt incredibly unqualified and inexperienced to be part of a project to bring the Holy Scriptures back to the Chamorro people in their own language. But each time those thoughts entered my mind, Gods voice was heard even louder: Do not say, I am only a child. You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you... (Jeremiah 1:7) I am so thankful that God does not call the qualified, but He qualifies those whom He calls.
I have such love, respect, and appreciation for the Chamorro people and their culture. Ive been a recipient of their unconditional hospitality and walked away in amazement that they would gladly welcome a complete stranger, such as myself, into their very own homes. While they may have been missing their own Bible for nearly a century, the character of Christ is not absent from their hearts.
The resurrection of the Chamorro Bible is an exciting time for the Chamorro people and long overdue. Copies will soon be placed in the hands of every Chamorro wishing to have one. Gods words are true: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity... (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
God has heard the cries of the Chamorro people and has answered their prayers. They will no longer be without the Scriptures in their own language.
It is my privilege to be placing in your hands a special issue of ISLES dedicated to the history and resurrection of the Chamorro Bible. I pray that you will find it informative, educational, and that most of all, you will see the hand of God reaching out to you and personally placing the Bible in your very hands. May the Word of God come to life and cause you to fall in love again with the Book of books that gives freedom and life to the soul.