Woman_hands_praying_with_a_bible_in_a_dark_over_wooden_table_-_1200x628

We personally know believers all around the world whose days are filled with troubles. Christians face persecution daily in so many countries. Bible translators are even being hunted.

During MAST workshops in nearby “safe places” national translators often feel free from fear. They are absorbing God’s truth in the Word as they translate chapter after chapter into their own language.

Last week we received a sweet message from a pastor of two churches and five Bible schools in a country in Asia.  He attended a MAST workshop and worked on their Old Testament translation. In part, the pastor writes:

     “But somehow God arranged a trip for us in ____workshop
     Where we translated
     OT
     We started with few people to translate the first book of OT
     Genesis
     And we done it
     And then we finished few more books

     And God used us to translate His words in our own language
     It’s very sweet language
     We thank God we did it
     We finished in our first workshop
     Around 10 books of OT
     We would like to finish all OT
     By the grace of God
     Remember us in prayer 🙏
     Yours sincerely,
     Pastor ______”

And then I read the email from the leader of this MAST workshop:

     “Woohoo! Great memories of a great progress in this OT project.

     If you use any of this information, please don't include my name and protect the “Pastor”
     from allowing his name to appear. If it is traced to him, it wouldn't take long for our
     enemies to trace this to some of us and that can easily compromise our brothers and
     sisters in other parts of the world. Though it may seem safe for them, they don't know that
     through some of us in Wycliffe Associates their identity could cause problems elsewhere.
     Thank you!”

My dear prayer partners, our God is truly at work as translation of Scripture presses on daily. God’s grace abounds. Yet, the dangers are also very real. They are real for the national Bible translators. They are real for all of the MAST leaders and facilitators. We do have an enemy. We are invading his territory. Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

When I think of the MAST workshops happening all around the world, my heart is stirred knowing the spiritual battle that’s also taking place. When I pray for them, I think of Jesus’s encouraging prayer for His disciples recorded in John 17. As Jesus prayed, so we can pray:

I have given them Your Word and the world has hated them,
for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.
 
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world
but that you protect them from the evil one.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth.
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

My friend, God’s Word is being translated by His children in far away places, where “the world” hates them. God’s Word in the local language is powerful. Believers in countries where they are persecuted need the strength, the peace, and the help God has for them in His Word. They need the Bible. They need our prayers to hold them up. They need our prayers to keep the evil one away from Bible translation in action.

On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us,
as you help us by your prayers.
Then many will give thanks on our behalf
for the gracious favor granted us in answer
to the prayers of many.

2 Corinthians 1:10-11 (NIV)

Thank you, my friends, for your heart of love that reaches around the world to those who are without God’s precious Word in their heart language. Oh, that very soon all will have His Words of life.