“I’m going to sit here and watch these seeds grow,” one of my girls told me.
I had just planted some tomato seeds, back when my kids were little, and I tried to explain to her that you can’t actually watch plants grow. You can’t see the changes with your eyes, you can only look back later and understand once the plants are bearing fruit. God is using the ministry of Pioneer Bible Translators to change the world for many Bibleless peoples!
Translation Progress Increasing
This graph shows a glimpse of what I’m talking about. We went from a total of 270 thousand verses drafted at the end of 2007 to 644,000 at the end of 2013. Our team learns and grows a little every day, and it adds up: we have translated a draft of more verses of Scripture in the last six years than we did in the previous 30 years! God is so faithful. We were working in 5 countries back in 2007. Now we work in 14! We were translating the Bible in 35 languages and now 62. God is moving in power to really make a difference in his mission.
Transformed Lives Through God’s Word
But the work of Pioneer Bible Translators goes far beyond cranking out books! Our vision is transformed lives through God’s Word in every language and this year we have made great strides. One of our teams has been feeding about 250 infants, many of whom would have died without the intervention of people like you giving to Pioneer Bible Translators. Another group in Asia has baptized 25 people this year. These are marginalized, completely unreached people just now getting Scripture. One of them said, “If we had known that we could sing and pray in our own language, many more of our people would have decided to follow Jesus.” At the Yalunka Bible dedication, one of my friends explained the impact of the newly published Bible in the church: “Back before we had some Scripture in our language, I’m not even sure we were Christians. We couldn’t understand anything about it. But when we got Scripture in our language we came to understand.” They truly have! Now there are members of that church preaching on the radio, planting two other churches, and teaching many individuals how to follow Jesus.
The whole Bible Translation movement is gaining momentum. Not long ago we were saying that 2,200 languages needed Scripture and no one was working to translate it for them. Now that number has dropped to 1,919. Back then 350 million people needed a translation project to start, now 180 million. God is doing a new thing in our time, and we get to be a part of it. We don’t see the changes every day, but the legacy we are leaving behind us is undeniable. The vision God gave us is gradually becoming a reality: transformed lives through God’s Word in every language!
Challenges in 2014
Our facility is full again. The major challenge we face in 2014 is to provide office space for the people God is bringing to work in Dallas to mobilize that next great wave of missionaries and support the current mission force. We are currently raising $1.5 million to complete a 5000 square foot building to provide the space needed to achieve the vision.
I can’t wait to see what God will do in 2014!