The World Shuts Down ... God's Word Advances
God always goes before us, preparing the way and ordering our steps! And I am amazed when we look back and see his hand at work where we were least expecting it.
When we developed an online system for Bible translation, we had no idea COVID-19 would shut the world down . . . and that national Bible translators would need to rely on new technology to keep Bible translation projects moving forward.
But God knew, and He used this innovative online system to answer the prayers of people longing to have God’s Word in their heart language! People groups like the Udmurt, located in a region of central Russia.
Surrounded by more dominant cultures, the Udmurt people historically allowed their cultural identity to be swallowed up into the majority culture. The Udmurt language was only taught in some village schools, rarely heard on the streets, and not seen on local signs. Their language was spoken less and less.
But slowly, that has been changing . . . and in the most unusual of ways. Comic books first started to help re-establish national pride and a love for their heart language. And now, a group of Bible translators are committed to seeing God’s Word translated into Northern Udmurt for the local community!
In the middle of the global pandemic, 32 national Bible translators began working on a translation project for the Northern Udmurt language. This was right as social distancing guidelines and quarantines were put into place . . . but regulations couldn’t stop a group that had trained for Bible translation using the internet. This translation technology tool allows Bible translators to work and collaborate remotely using laptops and tablets.
As the pandemic swept across the globe, the Udmurt people were not deterred. They charged ahead to complete their translation.
Now, the New Testament is available in the Northern Udmurt language, and they have made great headway on the Old Testament, completing portions of Genesis, Exodus, and Psalms!
Many of us often used Zoom during the COVID quarantine as a way to gather virtually and safely with family and with colleagues at work. But virtual meetings also helped advance Bible translation! I received a photo of the translation team leadership meeting through Zoom, and my heart rejoiced.
Уго Инмар яратӥз дуннеез, но сётӥз аслэсьтыз Одӥг вордӥськем Пизэ, котькудыз Солы оскись медаз быр, нош мед луоз солэн ноку но быронтэм улонэз шуыса.
John 3:16 in Udmurt
Praise God for the technology that allowed Bible translation to move forward when so much other activity came to a screeching halt!
It is amazing to see all that God has done for the Udmurt people . . . but there are more language groups crying out for God’s Word in their heart language, too. If you feel God leading you to help these language groups see God’s Word translated for their communities, you can give a gift today.
Please know that your financial partnership helps another people group come to experience life transformation—just like the Udmurt—through the hope found only in God’s Word.