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When Wycliffe translator Doug Meland and his wife moved into a village of Brazil’s Fulnio Indians, he was referred to simply as “the white man.” The term was by no means complimentary, since other white men had exploited them, burned their homes, and robbed them of their lands.

But after the Melands learned the Fulnio language and began to help the people with medicine and in other ways, they began calling Doug “the respectable white man.”

When the Melands began adapting the customs of the people, the Fulnio gave them greater acceptance and spoke of Doug as “the white Indian.”

Then one day, as Doug was washing the dirty, blood caked foot of an injured Fulnio boy, he overheard a bystander say to...

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