At a recent banquet in San Antonio, Max Lucado surprised me by honoring Rebecca and me for the 20 years we invested to complete the translation of the Yalunka Bible. If you are curious to see or download the Yalunka Bible, go to YouVersion, Or you can hear and download the dramatized audio version from Faith Comes by Hearing. At the banquet, Max compared Pioneer Bible Translators to the New Testament writer Luke, because we provide Scripture for the Bibleless people of today like Luke did for Theophilus.
Sometimes people say that mission work is a thankless job, but not for us. The way our family and friends at the Oak Hills Church conspired to have Max Lucado narrate the story of our ministry made us feel thoroughly appreciated and honored! The Oak Hills church has provided a large portion of the funding for Rebecca and me to minister in Pioneer Bible Translators for more than 20 years.
I was so blown away by the kindness of their gesture that I could barely pull myself together. I did manage to share some powerful stories of transformed lives through the power of God’s Word among the Yalunka people.
One man had lost his mind and regained his sanity by clinging to the Bible. He had to hide from rebels during the blood diamond conflict and somehow cross the border in spite of losing the use of his leg to leprosy. When he encountered the Yalunka Bible, he said, “I don’t know about the rest of the world, but as for me, this is what I have become.” Another man became a Christian when he encountered the gospel of Luke and realized that Jesus came not for the righteous but for sinners.
A Bible Translation project like this wouldn’t be possible without the whole body of Christ working in unity! The Yalunka Bible was printed through the generous partnership of Bible League International. For the translation, Pioneer Bible Translators worked in partnership with the local Yalunka church and the World Partners Yalunka Team. Here’s how the local translator described the impact of the translation on his own life:
As this blog post is being published, I am in West Africa working with the local Christians and World Partners to maximize the impact of the Yalunka Bible by working together to start a church planting movement.