The year 2016 divided our nation. The media reports painted for me a dark picture of our country. But the spiritual reality I see contrasts sharply with that image. An awe-inspiring, worldwide unity movement has emerged just out of sight of our news media. And you play a pivotal role in this story. God continues to work out His plan—invisible but not hidden.
I had the opportunity to preach about the vision of Pioneer Bible Translators at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio TX. Watch the video.
The man spoke with passion as he described the effect that God’s Word preached over the radio was having on his life. Though this West African man follows another world religion, he pleaded with us to continue teaching the Word: “Don’t give up on us, don’t give up!”
I remember sleeping exposed on the ground in lion country. I can still taste the adrenalin from the day I killed a 5 foot long spitting cobra on my porch with a huge wooden spoon. Living in Africa was always good for a terrifying jolt to the system – the occasional near head-on collision with a market truck or a nasty case of malaria. Ah, the good ol’ days. The other day I signed a contract on behalf of Pioneer Bible Translators to give us the right to purchase 22 acres for $195,000 ($8900 per acre) beginning a process that will cost more than $890,000 so that Pioneer Bible Translators can have their first permanent facility in the US. I felt that familiar rush of danger in service to the Kingdom as I put my name on the document and my integrity on the line…
In January 2007 Pioneer Bible Translators set the audacious goal to double in size, meet all the needs in our current fields, and start four new projects. Now at the end of our 6 year plan, we have not achieved all of our personnel goals. But God has helped us achieve almost all of our goals at least to the 90% mark. We prayed for this growth primarily to build the capacity to start translating the Bible for 69 languages spoken by 33 million people by the end of 2014. We now translate the Bible for 22 million people speaking 58 languages in 12 countries. By the next board report we should add four more projects translating the Bible into languages spoken by over 11.5 million people. By the end of 2014, God willing we will have surpassed the goal of 69 projects, and we will have left behind the goal of translating for 33 million people. The last six years have radically altered our capacity as an organization and nearly doubled every conceivable measure of success. God answers prayer!
It is 4:30 a.m. and the prayer call rings out on loudspeakers. One hundred Christian seminary students use that as their cue to assemble in their chapel to worship Jesus. This day a team member from Pioneer Bible Translators is their guest. He shares that in their country, where we have just begun working, 450 language groups do not have even one book of the Bible in their language. When he asks the students how many speak a minority language, virtually every hand goes up. By the end of his message, fifty-five students express a keen interest in becoming a Bible translator!