Friday, November 19, 2010

Our Journey Toward Bible Translation

Martha and I had the opportunity to share our story on Sunday night at Covina Assembly's missions convention. You can watch the video below.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Heart for Translation

We knew that we would face obstacles as we prepared to become Bible translators, but we never dreamed that one of those obstacles would be heart failure. After Martha’s heart attack on January 2, her heart was not able to supply sufficient blood flow to meet her body’s needs. The cardiologist said that if her heart function did not improve, she would likely need to have a defibrillator implanted to ensure that her heart would not one day just stop beating altogether. We did not want that to happen, and we prayed to God to heal her heart.

On August 23, Martha went in for her follow-up echocardiogram. She did not have an appointment with the cardiologist, so we did not expect to receive an update on her condition. While the technician was performing the exam, she said to Martha, “I have some good news for you.” She went on to explain that Martha’s heart had recovered significantly and was now functioning at nearly a normal level. Martha came home with tears in her eyes as she shared the news, and together we praised God for answering our prayer.

Over the last year there were times when we questioned in our hearts, “Are we going through all of this work to become Bible translators just to find out that we won’t be able to do it because of health reasons?” But God always brought us back to the verse of Scripture that He laid on our hearts right after Martha’s heart attack. Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Even now, this verse brings tears to our eyes. God is faithful, and we praise Him for being our strength when we are weak.

What will you be doing?
We will produce a translation of the New Testament for one or more people groups in Papua New Guinea that have no access to the Bible in their own language. It is very likely that the group(s) we work with will not even have a written language. That means that we will also develop an alphabet and help the people learn how to read and write in their own language.

How long will it take?
There are many variables that affect the length of a translation project, but a good estimate is seven to ten years.

Which language?
Papua New Guinea has nearly three hundred language groups with a need for Bible translation. After we arrive in country, we will work with the Wycliffe leadership to determine the best fit for our skill set and family needs.

Are the kids excited?

Yes. We have started sharing the news with the kids. They are very excited about living in Papua New Guinea and being a part of translating the Bible for people who don’t have the Scriptures in their own language. We are surprised by how much they seem to understand about what we will be doing.

When are you going?
Our goal is to leave for Papua New Guinea in January 2012. However, we cannot leave until we have raised 100% of the monthly budget that Wycliffe has assigned to us.

How can we help?
God has called us to the work of Bible translation, but we can’t do it alone. We need people who can pray for us, encourage us, and support us financially. All Wycliffe missionaries raise 100% of their own financial support. We are relying on God to provide through the gifts of interested individuals and churches.

What’s next?

Our first assignment as members of Wycliffe is to develop a team of partners who will pray for us and support us financially. We invite you to consider joining our team. Please let us know of your interest by completing our online Invitation to Partnership.