One of our teammates facilitates a Bible translation in Africa, working primarily from her home in the U.S. Earlier this year she visited her friends in their desert home to share recently translated Scripture with them. She needed their feedback on how clearly and accurately it communicates. She also needed to know how readable their newly developed writing system is. Her young son accompanied her so he could visit the place that had been his home for the first few years of his life.
She realized that she could accomplish her goals for this trip — and that it would be a pleasant experience for her son — only if their journey was covered in prayer.
Here’s how she asked people to pray, and here’s how God answered:
- Pray for God’s protection over us physically and spiritually. We will be staying for extended periods of time in the homes of non-believers, and I know there will be spiritual opposition to our being there.
God’s answer: We arrived and returned safely, and we did not experience feelings of oppression or darkness while we were in others’ homes. We both experienced a lot of tiredness from non-stop people interaction, but the Lord gave us both strength to continue to engage with our hosts, even when tired.
- Pray for wisdom. Pray that I would know when to share about the hope I have and when it might be wiser to remain silent.
God’s answer: I was able to share the Good News — again — with a close friend. She is not yet open to the message, but we had opportunity to discuss our different beliefs and why we believe them. I was also able to spend a few days discipling a friend who is a new believer. She is so eager to learn, and I know the Lord gave me the ability to explain more complex, faith-related concepts in her language.
- Pray for joy in seeing old friends and being reunited with them!
God’s answer: Lots and lots of joy on this trip!
- Pray for the community checking. Pray that I would have ample time and opportunity to check chapters of the Abraham story with trusted friends there. Pray that the Word would touch the hearts and minds of those hearing/reading it, and pray that I would get helpful feedback on the writing system and the translation.
God’s answer: This prayer was answered, and one of my friends wanted to know, “When is the rest of the story coming?” She was eager to hear more of the story! We continue to get positive feedback on the overall understandability, naturalness, and beauty of the translation.
- Pray for energy. I will be sharing space and all the hours of my day with lots of people. Pray that God would give me the energy to engage with my whole heart and, at the same time, to parent my son well.
God’s answer: As I touched on above, we were both pretty tired by the middle of the trip, but we made it through!
- Pray for my son. Pray that he would be able to adapt to new circumstances and understand that although life in the desert is different from life in America, it is still good! Pray for his willingness to try new things, and pray that I’d be able to help him adapt and also feel safe. He was born in the desert and lived there his first three years, but he’s been in the U.S. for the better part of two years and has acclimated to life here. I’m excited that he will be able to spend time in local homes and experience anew this culture and way of life.
God’s answer: God answered this prayer in big ways. Parenting my son through the cross-cultural interactions was one of the biggest lessons on this trip.
This teammate’s prayer partners went down on their knees, and God answered. The result? A Bibleless people group who live in the desert – both physically and spiritually — are one step closer to having Scripture in their own language — and one step closer to knowing the One who loves them and gave Himself for them.
When you pray:
- Join our teammate in giving thanks for the many ways God answered prayers during her time of on-site ministry in Africa.
- Pray that the seeds planted, as people heard God’s Word and conversed with our teammate, will sprout and begin taking root in people’s lives.
- Pray for other teammates who do not currently live onsite with the people they serve, that God will give them opportunities for fruitful personal interactions.