"If your God is so mighty, why doesn't He speak my language?"
A Cakchiquel (Guatemala) man to SIL founder William Cameron Townsend
Some years ago my elder brother passed on after a long illness. According to tradition, his immediate follower inherited his wife. He too passed away. Later on, the implicated woman accused of witchcraft died too. The three individuals presented the same symptoms before their death.
In the community, people said it was the result of AIDS. I could not believe such a thing.
Actually we were defining AIDS as American Invention to Discourage Sex. For me it was a utopia. Until one day, a man in our local church gave me a brochure on HIV/AIDS. This brochure in our mother tongue was developed by SIL Cameroon. That day, reading through it, the message was so clear and spoke directly to my heart. I understood that HIV/AIDS was speaking my mother tongue. That means it was a member of our community and present in our village. I wish I had read this brochure before; I would have saved at least one of my brothers’ life.
Such testimonies on the impact of the translation work of SIL are common in more than 30 language communities that have this AIDS brochure.