Friday, May 22, 2020

The Word that Brings Freedom

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

This was the first verse from the Bible that Afaafa* had ever read. As a Kenyan who had been taught another majority religion, she had refused even to touch a Bible. She had planned to convert her Christian friends, but one of them challenged her to read the Bible for herself. She decided to read the first verse she set her eyes on, and there it was, Galatians 5:1. When reading it, she felt something powerful come on her. And that night she had a dream where God invited her to choose slavery or freedom. She chose freedom and became a follower of Jesus. Her two sons are growing up knowing Jesus.

Since 2005, Afaafa has been a Bible translator because “if God can change my life through one verse, then I expect every verse I translate will impact the life of another Bydla* person.” She longs to see her people receive Scripture in their language and know the freedom that comes in Christ. God’s Word has power to change individuals, especially when it is in the language that speaks to them best. It can bring freedom to communities and cultures, too. Thank you—your prayers and gifts for my Wycliffe ministry are helping train colleagues who will one day impact people just like Afaafa, all around the world.

*Names changed for security reasons.

Personal Update

My family and I are well. Working from home continues to be productive. The goal now is to prep for June virtual Equip using all we learned in April. I am not sure I realized how thankful I could be for predictable internet, but it is a blessing, keeping me in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Your many encouragements have also been a blessing. Grateful for you!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Day 52

Today is day 52 of Sheltering in Place for me. While this is not the plan I would choose, I am thankful for the Lord's gracious care. My family and I are healthy and able to connect regularly. The weather has been so amazing that I've had the house open and a wonderful breeze comes through. I've been reading YouVersion's Blended Plan (some Old and New Testament passages each day, but pairing Genesis and Romans, for instance) and have seen the holiness of God and the sacrificial love of Jesus more clearly.

But I am reminded that there are still more than 2,000 language groups who do not have any portion of the Bible in a language that speaks to their heart. They are unable to access God's Word clearly while we may choose from hundreds of English versions.

Together, we have been working and asking the Lord to change that -- to give all people His Word in a way that their lives are transformed. Your prayers and gifts impacted this group of Equippers who are also accelerating Bible translation. As you have prayed for me and given to my Wycliffe ministry, you have a part in their ministry, too. Thank you! We (Virtual Equip #46 crew and participants) are grateful!

Map by Marty Pelton

As a crew, we're processing all we experienced and praying that the Lord will use each of these colleagues mightily. Would you pray for them, too, as they continue their Wycliffe journey in this distinctive season? Thank you.

Thank you for your faithful partnership. The Lord uses you to encourage my heart as we serve together, each of us where He has placed us. Please let me know how I might pray with you.