A number of years ago, our daughter spent a summer ministering at a Christian camp in northwestern Ontario. Through our subsequent visits, my husband and I met a young man who was, at the time, a student at New Tribes Bible Institute. We remained in contact with this young man, and followed his path as he married a wonderful girl, had two children, and is now serving as a missionary in Papua New Guinea.
This is an excellent young couple. When they came to present their mission work to our local church, my husband and I both agreed that this was the best presentation we'd ever seen. They were knowledgeable about their destination and knew exactly what they'd be doing. I've sat in missions presentations where I am still not sure what is being done.
My husband and I support this young couple, who went to PNG in July. Through their blog and email, we follow their progress, the blessings and the challeneges. We love this couple, so it is a joy for us to be involved in their work. They have a passion for Christ, and for extending the kingdom.
Recently, while reading The Doctrine of the Word of God, by John Frame, I came upon a footnote:
I confess, however, that I don't quite see the point of the huge number of translations now available in English. I suspect that the rush to bring out more and more English translations has more to do with the financial profitability of these than the inherent need of them. I pray that God will send more and more of our linguists out to translate the Scriptures into languages where translations are more needed, even though less lucrative.
Frame's book is excellent, and I learned a lot, but that comment, set in a footnote, was the thing that jumped out at me the most. And the reason is it did is because our friends in PNG will be involved in the work of translation. Since we have come to know this couple and what they're doing, I am more regularly reminded of the need for Scriptures in languages other than English.
How much does it cost to put out yet another devotional bible? Or another specialty bible? Or another and "easier" translation? PNG is only one of many places where there is a need for the Scripture in the indigenous language. How about investing in those kind of projects? Would we here in North America really notice the lack of another specialized bible? These are questions which wouldn't have occurred to me if I had not been supporting this couple.
Supporting missionaries spreads the gospel, but it also educates those of us who stay home. Knowing the exact challenges helps us to pray for those who leave their homes and go. It gives us a sensitivity to the fact that here in North America, we have so much, and our lifestyles don't set the standard for the majority of the world. Just count the bibles in your house. Do you have more than one translation? I do. Just think: some new Christian out there would love to have one bible in his own language.
Support missionaries where and how you can. Even if you can't support a missionary financially, prayer support is vital to their work. It will benefit them and you, too.