Called Out of the Darkness
My heart is heavy as I continue to hear of brothers and sisters in Christ in Southeast Asia facing persecution and violence . . . it’s often the cost of translating God’s Word!
Many faithful national Bible translators also live in a part of the country so remote that they have no contact with the outside world. No roads in or out, no internet, and no other means of instant communication.
All they want is God’s Word in their heart language! They are not concerned with their own well-being or security . . . even as attacks from terror organizations are leveled against believers in some parts of the country. They want nothing more than to make sure their communities experience life-transforming light and hope found in Scripture!
LIGHT SHINING IN A DARK PLACE
I was recently meditating on 2 Peter 1:19 in my devotional time, and Peter’s metaphor of light and darkness stirred me: “We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts . . .”
God’s Word is a light shining in a dark place.
When we can’t see the purpose in our current circumstances . . . when we can’t understand why our situations are so difficult . . . when we can’t figure out why the darkness seems so thick around us . . . we can look to the light, look to the Word of God for wisdom and clarity!
I pray for all our brothers and sisters in Southeast Asia to experience this—to know that God’s Word is the light that will cast out the spiritual darkness in their communities. And that God’s Word is the only light powerful enough to dispel fear and doubt in the face of terrorism and persecution.
National Bible translators are putting their hope and faith in the Word of God, for it is a sure foundation, reliable, and trustworthy—a lamp to guide their feet and a light for their path (Psalm 119:105). I feel spurred on as I see their willingness to give everything they have to make sure their villages and communities see this light.
With God’s help, we can bridge the gaps of geographical distance and physical isolation, providing the tools local churches need to continue translating God’s Word so others may read Scriptures in their heart language. How their lives will change!
NO INTERNET . . . NO BIBLE
It seems hard to believe, but in many parts of the island nations of Southeast Asia, there is no internet connectivity and essentially no means of communication with other regions. For generations, churches in these villages have been more or less told have to keep waiting to have God’s Word translated into their language. Imagine how that must feel . . . to thirst after the things of God—to experience God’s Word—only to be told to wait!
Local believers are weary of waiting. They are ready to move forward with their own translation projects. The major hindrance to completing the translations that will give them God’s Word in their heart language is a lack of internet connectivity!
Some have tried to translate God’s Word by hand, but the process is arduous and extremely tedious. And tragically, one translation group lost five translated books of the Bible because they didn’t have the proper equipment to back up their work online.
With a simple internet connection, Bible translation can change dramatically! When connected, translators can work in confidence knowing that they have everything they need to translate God’s Word into their heart language.
DEVELOPED FOR TIMES LIKE THIS
Wycliffe Associates has developed Bible Translation Acceleration Kits (BTAKs) with situations of extreme isolation in mind . . . and during a pandemic and social distancing, they have been tested, tweaked, and are ready to empower local churches to move forward with Bible translation in any part of the world!
Each BTAK contains a satellite communications terminal, internet router, modem, and in areas where there is no electricity supply, a solar panel, battery, and portable solar-powered generator. This enables Bible translators to:
- Collaborate online with others to work more accurately, efficiently, and rapidly.
- Access a complete digital library of Bible translation resources.
- Check each other’s work to ensure quality of translation.
- Upload and store translation work immediately to avoid confiscation by hostile authorities or destruction of handwritten documents by the elements or, in some cases, even insects.
- Connect with fellow Christians for encouragement, prayer, and worship.
Bible translation can happen anywhere . . . anytime . . . when local translation groups are equipped with a BTAK! In times of persecution and violence, they can work under the radar. If extreme weather conditions or geography cut their region off from the outside world, translation work can continue via satellite connection. And as they save their work in the cloud, translators can be assured that all of their work is safe from confiscation by those who oppose the gospel!
BUT WE NEED YOU!
We’ve seen whole language groups transformed when they finally experience God’s Word in their heart language—and God uses BTAKs to make it happen!
Right now, we have so many groups requesting BTAKs that we are eager to say “Yes” to as many as possible. Our goal is to fund 30 BTAKs. One BTAK costs $2,500—so to provide them for 30 language groups, we need $75,000.
You can help spread the light of God’s Word in spiritually dark places with a gift today. When you help provide a BTAK for isolated language groups, you help shine the light of the gospel in some of the most hard-to-reach places on Earth!
Imagine the joy and the celebration as entire villages hear the resurrection story for the first time in their heart language! Imagine them hearing that Jesus died and rose again so that they might have life . . . and live more abundantly!
Please prayerfully consider how you can help provide BTAKs today. Your generosity will mean one more language group is able to start their translation work. It will also mean that one more language group finally knows that God speaks their language . . . so many more will put their trust in Jesus Christ!