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Language of the Heart

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What Happens When People Receive Their Own Bible?

29June, 2017

Bruce Smith

Fund 2 MAST Workshops today!

“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:

They began absorbing its life-changing truths. The insights they gained began to change their spiritual understanding. And that naturally overflowed into their families, their communities, and their daily lives.

Right now we have an opportunity to see all these amazing things happen again. Two MAST teams are ready to go in a Muslim-dominant area of Southeast Asia. But they need funds to get started.

Here’s the remarkable thing: We talk about accelerating Bible translation. But that’s just a word we use to describe what we see happening right in front of our eyes. People receive the Bible in their own language; then their neighbors notice and want the same blessing for themselves. With today’s methods and technology, it happens faster than ever. That’s how Bible translation accelerates and multiplies.

As a result, the demand for MAST workshops is now so overwhelming that we’re struggling to keep up with it. But we can’t say no to people when they’re asking for the Word of God. So our MAST funds are going out as fast we receive them.

It’s a great problem to have! But it means that we and all our partners must step up and really give all we can to the task. So today we’re launching our Translation Today event. In just 24 hours we’re hoping to raise $39,000. That’s only $19,500 each to launch two new Bible translations—an incredibly modest investment for such a monumental endeavor. We must fund these MAST workshops in this Muslim-dominant nation TODAY!

I hope you’ll prayerfully consider what your role should be in this great endeavor. And then give whatever you can.

I’m eternally grateful for your continued support!

FUND TRANSLATIONS NOW

July 1st Update: Friends like you raised over $43,000 and fully funded two MAST Bible translation workshop! Read more about it...

 

As President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates, Dr. Bruce A. Smith has made it his life-long goal to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel through the ministry of Bible translation—affecting hundreds of language groups who still need the Bible translated into their heart language. Bruce and his wife Jan have two daughters, two sons-in-love, and are the proud grandparents of four grandsons.

Bible translators are ready... help now!

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