“Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till he appeared…” In this season we marvel that God’s Word became flesh. The weary world no longer need suffer in sin and error, but God’s Word has not yet come to the 200 million Bibleless peoples of the world! Of the 6912 languages of the world, only 438 have a complete Bible and only 1168 have a complete New Testament. Praise the Lord with us as we celebrate what He has done through your prayers and support for Pioneer Bible Translators this year! God has moved powerfully to begin answering almost every request on our long-term prayer list.
We met this year’s goal for growth in order to stay on track for our six year plan to go from translating for 9.5 million people in 43 languages to 33 million in 69 languages. We needed to have 231 adults on our team to keep the pace needed to achieve our six year goal, but we ended the year higher with 233 teammates, a growth rate of over 12 percent. God has begun to help us send missionaries from other countries just as we have been praying. We now have four new recruits from Japan, the Netherlands, and Belarus.
All of the buildings we have been praying for have been completed or very nearly finished in Northern Eurasia, Papua New Guinea, and East Africa. In Dallas, we were able to purchase the 22 acres needed to begin building our first permanent corporate headquarters and are now planning for the construction of our first 5000 square foot building!
I have learned this year that we need to think big and start immediately if we want to keep up with God’s plans for the future when it comes to reaching the Bibleless peoples. By the time we finish the first 5000 square foot building in 2009, it will already be full! We are continuing directly on to the next phase of our building project to:
- Move our current modular building to the new property ($30,000)
- Build the second 5000 square foot building with utilities and parking ($670,000)
- Build the prayer chapel for our 24 hour prayer vigil. ($200,000)
Pray with us that God would provide $900,000 for the next phase of expanding our impact!
Translation and Literacy
This year we rough drafted over 53,000 verses, the equivalent of 7 New Testaments. This year our team published:
- Ruth in Aruamu (Papua New Guinea)
- Gospels, Acts, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes in Tatar (Northern Eurasia)
- Genesis through Job in Yalunka (West Africa)
- Matthew in Arabic script in Pular (West Africa)
- Gospel of Luke in 7 languages (East Africa)
Literacy materials were published in Toma of West Africa as well as Abu, Apal, Mum, Nend, and Waran in Papua New Guinea and Tatar of Northern Eurasia.
When Rebecca and I started work among the Yalunka people of West Africa, only a small church of forty out of the population of 70,000 followed Jesus. Now there are a number of small churches, and the believers light has begun to shine so brightly that in times of spiritual crisis the Yalunka people have begun to turn to the church for comfort and help. The church that has God’s Word in their language really is the hope of the world. God’s Word has power to transform whole communities! This year I will be traveling to another West African country to visit people who speak another dialect of the Yalunka language, but have never had the opportunity to hear the gospel until the year 2008! They still don’t have access to God’s Word in their language. The Word has not yet become flesh among these people. “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known” Romans 15:20 What might their community be like if they could make God’s Word the core of their lives? Pray for us as we start a new thing.
Do you really believe that this coming generation can leave behind the legacy of enduring access to God’s Word for every person on earth? The angel explained it to Mary this way, “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) Won’t you join with us in 2009, striving together to see transformed lives through God’s Word in every language? Pray with us this year for the long-term prayer requests listed below this letter.
For end of the year giving opportunities, look at the Christmas Catalog link right next to my blog. May God bless each of you with the joy of salvation as you celebrate Christ this Christmas! Thank you for prayerfully supporting us!
Discipling the Bibleless,
President, Pioneer Bible Translators
Long-term Prayer Requests:
- That God would inspire great progress in the 43 translations we have started
- That God would expand PBT International to send missionaries from other countries
- For perfect unity of purpose and heart in our team
- For $120,000 in 2009 for translation / training events in East Africa and Papua New Guinea
- That God would help us begin a prayer vigil for world evangelization and Bible Translation
- For God to increase the number of PBT teammates to 261 in 2009 and 385 adults by 2012
- That God would lead us to two more new fields by 2012
- That God would help us start projects to meet the identified needs in our fields so that PBT could become a team that translates scripture for 33 million people in 69 languages by 2014.
- For the construction of the building in Dallas in 2009 within budget
- That the property in Dallas would be tax exempt
- For $900,000 by the end of 2010 for phase II of the building project in Dallas
- That God would bless PBT’s finances, strengthening the general fund to meet needs around the world, and that he would help new teammates raise support