Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Simple Math

Starting a Bible translation program every 3 weeks meant that it would be 2150 or beyond before the last language communities were hearing the first portions of God's Word in a language they can understand well. At the turn of the 21st Century, at a time when many people were worrying about Y2K, leaders in the Bible translation movements were asking themselves some simple questions.

"Is this good enough?"

"Are we okay with this pace, knowing that it means a few more generations of people from thousands of language communities will enter eternity having never heard God speak (except, in some cases, as a foreigner)?"

"If we are not okay with this pace, can we do anything about it? Should we do anything about it?"

Simple math (the kind I can wrap my head around) shows that we'll need to start a translation program every 3 days in order to be entering the last languages in this generation -- by the year 2025.

In a few months we will be able to say that Vision 2025 (a vision to see Bible translation in progress in every language community needing one by the year 2025) is 10 years old. In that decade we have experienced the greatest acceleration of the pace of Bible translation that the Church has ever known, cutting off more than 100 years from the projected date for entering the last languages. New translation programs are starting at a pace of more than one per week.

While that is fantastic -- while we are celebrating all that God has accomplished in us, through us, and in spite of us -- Wycliffe is committed to ongoing acceleration. We continue to have a holy discontent and until God puts out that fire within us, we will keep doing what we know to do.

Pray continuously.

Love justice and mercy.

Walk in humble obedience to God and His Word.

Work hard - always giving credit to God for all He does.

Invite everyone to participate.

Get out of God's way.

HEBREWS 12: 1-3 (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.

The image above is of a painting by Hyatt Moore -- one of 18 that surrounded us through the Last Languages Celebration on November 22. It is titled Bangladesh Beauty. To see more of Hyatt's wonderful art, visit his website.

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