We cannot do it alone. We should not do it alone.
These two realities are the foundation for the Global Partnerships Division, one of the newest dimensions of the ministry of Pioneer Bible Translators. For a number of years we have partnered with Pioneer Bible Translators of Canada, who sends our Canadian colleagues and oversees their work. Another partnering organization, Pioneer Bible Translators Ukraine, has already begun serving the Roma people. Yet another, based in the Philippines, has selected a board of directors that is developing their vision for the future. An experienced Brazilian missionary has agreed to lead the formation of a partnering sending agency in his home country.
We cannot do it alone because the task is too great.
- Over 1,700 languages still need Bible translation to begin.
- We are praying that we and our partners will see churches using Scripture to transform every language group on earth by 2050.
- With 66 current projects, we are asking God to help us end 2016 with 72 language projects and end 2018 with 84.
- We are praying for 740 of the right teammates by the end of 2018.
While God can raise up these new teammates from anywhere He chooses, there is no reason to assume that they will all be North Americans. North Americans cannot do it alone because—well, because we are North Americans. In some areas of the world, believers from other countries can enter, remain, and gain cultural acceptance more easily than North Americans can. We need international teammates to reach many of the unreached areas of the world.
In some areas of the world, believers from other countries can enter, remain, and gain cultural acceptance more easily than North Americans can.
We should not do it alone because the body of Christ is bigger than North America. We need the healthy diversity that international teammates bring. Our international colleagues are often better prepared academically and spiritually than North American teammates. More importantly, Jesus gave the Great Commission to the global church, not just to North Americans.
The Global Partnerships Division coordinates our partnerships with sending organizations based in other countries. The initiative builds upon decades of interdependence between Pioneer Bible Translators’ expatriate missionaries and national workers as well as our years of working cooperatively with our Canadian colleagues.
Our vision is a fellowship of autonomous, self-determining sending agencies that choose to unite around the common mission of transformed lives through God’s Word in every language. While the shape of each agency will be appropriate to its own culture, each will embrace the core values of the Pioneer Bible Translators International movement. While we will be organizationally distinct, we will be spiritually one. This unity will enable teammates from different cultural backgrounds to serve together harmoniously.
As always, our strategy for realizing this vision is prayer. We need your prayers because we cannot do it alone, and we should not do it alone. We cannot do it without the power of God, unleashed by your prayers. And we should not even try to do it without those spiritual resources. So we ask you to pray.
Pray for supernaturally clear communication that overcomes cultural differences. Pray that we will approach our partners with humility that defies our Western tendencies. Pray that we will work interdependently rather than fostering unhealthy dependencies. Pray that we will effectively help our partners recruit, train, send, and care for their own missionaries. Pray, most of all, that more and more language groups will have access to God’s Word through our cooperation with our global partners. Because we cannot do it alone, and we should not do it alone.