Imagine opening your Bible and finding the following translation of the best known verse in the Bible: “God loved the world so much that He gave it to His only begotten Son.” Earlier today, as I prepared to write this article, I used Google Translate to translate John 3:16 from English to Mongolian, from Mongolian to Bangla, Bangla to Basque, and Basque back into English. Had everything worked as it was supposed to, we would expect the verse in English to be the same as when we started. The result was far different from what some might think!
We know that God’s Word changes individual lives as each Christian who has trusted Christ can attest to that fact. But the Word of God also has such power that it can change an entire people group—once they have it in their language.
On January 8, 1956, five men stepped out of this world into eternity from the banks of the Curaray River in Ecuador and world missions have never been quite the same since. Yet the most significant change that took place within that jungle came because God’s precious Word was given in the language of the people there.
Bible translation is difficult. Everything about it is hard. It’s expensive. It’s time consuming. It’s a long-haul venture. It provokes intense spiritual warfare. And big picture problems like these don’t even address the day-to-day struggles that Bible translators experience. But when it comes to the big picture of Bible translation, I have observed two recurring problems in our local churches.
There are 7,361 languages in use somewhere in the world today
View stats from the printing ministry, Bearing Precious Seed.
I stood inside the studio apartment, looking around at the place I would now call my home away from home, when my cell phone began to ring. Answering it, I heard the unmistakable voice of Mounir Abouda, the landlord, asking typical starter questions in Tunisian Arabic: “Labes? Chna hwalek w eddar?” This is strange, I thought. I spent a good part of the afternoon with this man — what else could he possibly want or need from me? “Aslemma khouya,” I began. “Oui, ça va bien ya sidi, kol chay labes, hamdullah.” After all, everything was perfectly fine. I was fine, the studio was fine. It had been less than thirty minutes since we parted ways … hardly enough time for my world to collapse. “Maikel,” he continued confidently. “Fama haja okhra - ghodwa lezzem temchi maia lel merkez.” Come again? Did he just say what I think he said?
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, by land area, and the second largest in all of Africa. It is the fourth most populated country in Africa, the sixteenth most populous country in the world. It was a French speaking country until it was annexed in 1908 by Belgian and became known as the Belgian Congo.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
I met Mr. Yamashita in a locked ward of a mental hospital. His plight was depression and he was heavily sedated. A large portion of one side of his head was shaved and a half moon incision with stitches revealed the doctor’s work to relieve pressure from his brain. He had jumped from an open window of the same hospital attempting suicide. It was his fifth attempt.
At the very moment God spoke the words, “... Let there be light: ...” (Genesis 1:3), everything changed! Darkness immediately gave way to light and from that point on, nothing would be the same. These words were more than air vibrating through the vocal cords; it was the voice of the Almighty penetrating the darkness. These four words not only illuminated the sky and lit up the horizon, but they brought forth days, seasons, and times. Without a doubt, these words changed everything.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18–20
Do you enjoy seasoning your food with salt? Without salt, most food is bland and tasteless. However, add a little bit of salt and our food is transformed into something tasty and enjoyable. Salt makes a difference!
Every four years, top athletes from around the world gather in one country to compete in the Winter Olympic games. The goal of these athletes is simple: to have a gold medal placed around their neck and to hear the national anthem of their country played while they stand on the top step of the podium. The goal is simple, but achieving that goal is extremely difficult. It takes years of hard work and dedication, along with countless hours of practice, to be able to compete with the best of the best from around the world.
"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." -Romans 10:11
As missionaries, one of the first things that we had to do upon our arrival in Indonesia was learn the rules of our host society.
Colin Christensen was the youngest of three sons growing up in a small farming community of Walnut Grove, Minnesota. After graduating from Walnut Grove High School in 1964, and in response to a challenge by his pastor Rodney Benson, he attended Pillsbury Baptist College in Owatonna, Minnesota. Colin sensed something was wrong after his first year of college. Colin talked with his pastor that summer and realized he was not truly saved. He accepted Christ the same day he spoke with Pastor Benson and returned to Bible college a changed man. During his second year at Pillsbury Baptist College, Colin felt the call to preach. Colin had heard that Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan was a great school for preachers and transferred to Midwestern. Upon graduating in 1968 Charles Keen, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Milford, Ohio (FBCM) asked him to join the ministry as an assistant pastor and song leader. Colin was thankful for the opportunity and later said that of all the training he received, the training from Pastor Keen had the greatest impact on his life's ministry.
The Lord is surely coming back in my life-time! I just turned sixty and realize that if I should die or the Lord would come for all of us, whatever I will do for Christ I had better do now! I do not have time to feel sorry for myself, or to lose a single day mired in self-pity over missing Connie, though I do miss her so much!
Missionary strategies differ but missionaries always face a conditioning process that includes a variety of factors. The goal of this article is to share a few factors that God used to improve and influence our ministry in Uganda.THE ENVY FACTOR & THE PROSPEROUS SLAVE!
When my wife Madelon and I arrived on the mission field of Uganda in 2003, we knew Africans would want a Bible Saviour who could deliver them from sin. Early on, we dealt with emotional struggles that began to reveal important realities behind missionary ministry. After nine months of learning, we started our first Bible study in a ten feet by ten feet shop on the back of a hillside. Our first Sunday brought rumors from our African prospects. I knew we were in trouble upon fielding their first two questions. First, we were asked where the Coca-Cola was that they had been promised. Next, they wanted to know where the flushing toilet would be placed.
FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS God used the nation of Israel to effect His will for mankind. Through a covenant made with man and later through His dealings with this man’s ancestors, God reveals Himself to all who will attend. God paints a picture as He deals with the people of Israel. This painting reveals that man has a problem that only God can remedy. The problem is sin and God’s remedy is Jesus. Jesus came, lived, died, and overcame the grave. Jesus ascended and is coming again. The command of Jesus until His return is to be used of Him to bring others into the fold. The vehicle God uses to accomplish this command; to complete His will now for all mankind is the New Testament Church. Born again, regenerated believers are positioned in Christ and have a new identity. This identity is corporately referred to as the Church. The objectives of the lives of every Christian must not contradict this new identity as we are used of God to fulfill His will.
The Amazon rainforest holds the largest concentration of uncontacted people anywhere on earth! Of the estimated 100 uncontacted tribes in the world, no less than 77 reside in the Amazon; tribes isolated from society without any chance to ever hear the Good News of Christ. Romans 15:20 states, “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:”
When we think about missions, we often think of someone giving up everything they have, going on deputation, and leaving this country for another country that, more than likely, has less amenities and comfort. However, there are many ways that we can accomplish the Great Commission and access the field. One non-traditional way that is not routinely used, especially with the goal of evangelism, is medical missions.
Over the years, the ministry of Bearing Precious Seed (BPS) has had the opportunity to be involved with Scripture distribution at many worldwide events. These events have included the last two World Cups (one in South Africa and one in Brazil) as well as the last 11 Olympic Games. In the last 20 years, the Lord has allowed BPS to partner with other ministries to distribute over 3,000,000 portions of Scripture. This Scripture was printed in 35 different languages. The first open door was during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. These Olympic Games provided us with our first glimpse of the opportunities that exist during such an event. We quickly recognized the ability to reach a great number of people, from a great number of countries, during a singular event.
SHARED THOUGHTS FROM AN INTERN WHO SPENT 10 MONTHS WITH JOEL AND BROOKE DAKU MISSIONARIES TO I-KIRIBATI
“Onimakina Te Atua”! This is the I-Kiribati phrase for “have faith in God”. This phrase now rings true on an island in the middle of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. This phrase now means something in the lives of people who had never before heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Prior to the arrival of the Daku missionary family in 2012, the I-Kiribati people did not know God; they had no understanding of “Onimakina Te Atua” or of the grace that is extended to the unbeliever upon exhibiting such faith. Praise God their lives are now changed. Praise God their lives continue to change as they learn more about God and how to live for Him.
We have all taken photographs that are blurry and out of focus. If you are like me, this might happen quite often. I find myself adjusting and refocusing the lens so that the image I am attempting to capture becomes clear. Sometimes I have to take multiple photographs to get a clear representation of the picture or image I am trying to capture.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45
What is deputation? Deputation can be defined in many ways. It can be defined by thousands and thousands of seemingly endless miles. Personally, we have only traveled about 36,000 miles through the first 17 months of our deputation, but I know some missionaries who regularly drive close to 5,000 miles a month! Why so many miles? Because we will go wherever God allows us to go just for an opportunity to tell one more church about the great need for the Gospel in Chile. We will sleep in a different bed each night and meet many people who will soon become mere faces in our memories; just so we can remind them what a great God we serve and how there are billions of others around the world who may have never heard of God’s saving grace.
There was a confused gathering in a flat, bushy area just north of the isolated Andean village of Postrervalle, Bolivia. Suddenly a young man, with a notable gold tooth, energetically spoke out. The people listened to him and the confused mob began working together in a somewhat orderly manner. The situation was that the village nun (town boss) was sick and the Air Force was sending a plane to evacuate her. The people quickly prepared to provide an adequate landing site. A young missionary, who could barely speak Spanish, was present and working alongside the people. He was impressed by what the man with the gold tooth accomplished and a friendship began that remains to this day.
One of the Bible passages that I memorized as a child was Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” This passage teaches us that although we may not always understand God’s directing in our life, we can (and should) always trust His directing. When I was 13 years old, God began working in my heart about going to Indonesia as a missionary; when I was 15 years old, I surrendered to that call. At that time, I did not know why God wanted me, personally, to be a missionary; nor why He wanted me to go to Indonesia instead of the Philippines where I was raised. Although I did not understand, I knew it to be God’s directing in my life, and I trusted Him to bring it to pass.