Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bible Translation is NOT boring

I remember it vividly.  My fiancée and I were sitting at a Mexican restaurant in downtown St. Louis during the Urbana06 mission conference in St. Louis, MO.  It was a day we were supposed to fast but I had worn myself out in the days leading up to the conference, so we were stopping so I could eat.  Knowing we wanted missions to be a part of our family vision we were looking at various organizations to be a part of and who could use our respective skills: IT for Bob, and media for me.  While we were studying our list and deciding who to talk to a second or third time Wycliffe was mentioned, but I told him Bible Translation looked boring and I didn't see how my gifts would fit.  I had grown up hearing about Wycliffe and our church supported Wycliffe missionaries but it never struck me as something special. 

 What's the big deal about giving people another book to put on their bookshelf?

Fast forward 2 years.  Bob was getting restless at his dead-end call center job and began looking for something else.  He had gone on some short-term trips with Wycliffe during college and was on an email list that advertised a job opening at the Wycliffe USA Orlando office.  He applied and was offered the job.  So we moved to Orlando and Bob started his job.  I still didn't quite have a passion for Bible Translation.  It wasn't until we began meeting coworkers and other missionaries who had done a translation that I began to understand its importance. 

It's not just another book; for many it's their First Book.

I began to hear that most of the languages that are in progress and waiting to be done have an extra hurdle: they need a written form of their language.  It's literally never been written down at all.  For these people groups the process of Bible Translation is more than another book on the bookshelf: it's opening a doorway to the outside world.  The literacy that comes along with a Bible Translation project opens up opportunities for education and advancement.  It changes the culture from the inside out.  
Credits: The Seed Company
I'm excited to be a part of this change for the Vidunda people of Tanzania as they gain access to more scripture in their language.  Its a powerful thing when you hear Jesus speak your language.  Join with me as we support the Vidunda people OneVerse at a time.  

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