“We can do this. God has equipped us to do this. We should do this. We must do this.” The words above aren’t just Christian “happy talk.” They came from a group of believers in Southeast Asia when they finally realized they could have the Bible in their own language.
They had been introduced to the collaborative MAST method of translation, where believers from the local church translate Scripture together for their own people. And they quickly saw what it meant. At last they wouldn’t have to wait for foreigners to translate God’s Word for them. They could do it themselves—and they got right to work.
It’s hard to describe what it’s like for people when they receive their own Bible for the first time. It’s a profoundly emotional experience. The group I was visiting had translated 18 books of the New Testament in just a few weeks. They figured they could have the whole Bible in their native tongue after their harvest season ended—just months later.
They’d been waiting for 182 years—since their first exposure to Christianity. And now, suddenly here it was. The experience was overwhelming.
While they were translating the Bible, another wonderful thing happened: