“The Sovereign Lord will show His justice to the nations of the world.
Everyone will praise Him.” —Isaiah 61:11 (NLT)
As the Wycliffe@URBANA’09 team prepares to spend December 25-January 2 in St. Louis at InterVarsity’s URBANA missions conference, we are making plans for casting the vision for Bible translation, for engaging students now and in the future in the Bible translation movements around the world, and ultimately for bringing glory to our God. As one whose life has been impacted by URBANA (1987, 2000), I’m thrilled to be returning as I give leadership to this team.
Ife New Testament (Togo) Dedicated on October 17, 2009
In preparation for this event, Ife translator Komi Sena and Pastor Akpo went to Togo’s capital city to tell those Ife who work in government offices about the dedication. One government minister – a member of the Ife-speaking community – received them warmly and gave a financial contribution towards the dedication expenses.
The minister’s deputy—who was very interested in this news—said, “The Ife New Testament will help the people in all aspects of their lives, not just the spiritual. It’s more important that the Yam Festival.”
The Yam Festival is an annual occasion when families get together and celebrate. Yams are a staple food for the Ife. This declaration indicated his understanding that the Word of God is a greater ‘staple food’ for the Ife people than even yams.
It’s the starting place for education and opportunity…for healing from trauma…for effective health education…for the elevation of minority cultures. And it’s the starting place for lasting spiritual transformation. The Word of God — living and active — partners with the Spirit of God, bringing freedom and hope that is beyond what we can imagine even on our best days.
I’m thrilled to report that we are participating in the fastest acceleration in the pace of Bible translation that the Church has ever witnessed. I am humbled to recognize that God has called me to play a very small part in this— His movement, His work. And I am overjoyed to extend a heart-felt THANK YOU to you for the part which you play as well. I love that we are doing this together! Literally thousands of people from around the globe, working together to bring glory to our Father through the translation of His Word for all peoples on earth in the language and form they understand best.
Wycliffe has posted our most recent videos on YouTube so anyone can view them for free from their offices or homes or the library — wherever they access the internet. This link will take you to Wycliffe’s channel on YouTube (in you’re currently online, that is). Let me recommend IT STARTS IN THE STRANGEST PLACE as the perfect place to start your viewing. (I’ve posted this in previous blogs too — so you shoudl be able to find it in the video set to the right on this page.)
If you would like to see images from Wycliffe’s ventures at URBANA’09 or would like to participate in the conversation that has started and which we hope will continue after that week-long conference, we’d love to have you become a “fan” of the Wycliffe@URBANA’09 page on Facebook. The image to the left is a hyperlink to that site.
The Extraordinary Privilege of Partnership
I am continuously grateful for the ways that you participate with me in this ministry—through your financial investments, through your kind expressions of friendship, and through your prayers. All of these are critical. All of these are powerful. I’m convinced that God’s intent for His Church is that we live interdependently. I’m convinced that God’s character is best expressed when we partner together to accomplish things that we can’t possibly do together unless He shows up. Things only He can do .
The Word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood. That is what the world needed then and what it needs now. As Christ’s body, we are called to move into the neighborhoods where God intends to call others into relationship with Himself. What a great joy it is to share these neighborhoods with you, my friends! To shine His light together in the dark night.
With you, for Him!
This is the Executive Team for Wycliffe USA: Russ Hersman, me, Bob Creson and Chuck DeVries. I love serving with this team—another expression of God’s grace in my life as well as of His extraordinary generosity, that I get to work with these godly people.