Jeff, a Wycliffe Bible translator, was working on the island of Papua New Guinea to translate God’s Word into the islanders’ native language. One evening Jeff sat outside talking with his translator assistant, a local native he had spent months with learning the language and translating the New Testament.
As they sat outside looking up into the night sky, Jeff pointed at the moon and asked his assistant, "What is it?"
The assistant responded with his language’s word for the moon. "No," Jeff replied. "What is it?"
"Well," his assistant began. "When I was young my father told me a story. He said that his father’s father’s father’s father’s father once carved a great spear. He then took this large spear and, with all his might, hurled it into the sky, where it stuck fast. When we look at the moon, what we are actually seeing is the round end of that spear."
The assistant then turned to Jeff and asked, "What about you? What did your father tell you about the moon?"
Jeff chuckled and said, "In America, we are told that many years ago some men built a great big metal bird. When the bird was finished, three men put on special suits and climbed inside the bird. Then the bird took off from the ground and flew all the way up to the moon.
"They flew around the moon several times, then two men climbed into the bird’s head. The head detached from the body, leaving behind the third man, and flew down to the surface of the moon, where it landed. The two men got out of the bird’s head in their special suits and began to walk around. They discovered that on the surface of the moon there were no trees, water, grass, buildings or anything else; nothing but rocks and dirt.
"After looking around a bit, they opened up the bird’s head and took out a little car they had brought with them. They got in the car and drove around on the moon, collecting rocks and some dust. Then they planted an American flag and got back into the bird’s head, leaving behind the car. The head then flew back to the body still circling the moon, where it was reattached. Then the whole big metal bird and the three men flew all the way back to earth, where they landed in a great big lake and were picked up by men in giant canoes."
Jeff continued, "We actually have a museum in America where you can go and look at the rocks that the men brought back from the moon in the metal bird."
The assistant sat quietly for a moment pondering the story he’d just been told. As he turned to reply, Jeff, expecting some question about how the metal bird was built or what the rocks looked like, was amused to hear his assistant ask, "So, you mean to tell me they left a perfectly good car up there?"
"Yes," Jeff answered. "They sure did."
"Do you think they left the keys in it?" The assistant asked.
"I’m sure the keys are there," Jeff said. "Furthermore, the car was built by the American government. I am here from America, and as an American citizen, I give you that car! It’s yours!"
A smile broke out on his assistant’s face. He turned and gazed intently at the moon, as if searching for a glimpse of the vehicle he now owned, then turned and said, "But, how do I get it down?"
Jeff laughed and replied, "It’s your car, you work it out!"
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