March 2020 brought with it the swift painful reality of sickness, economic hardship and social unrest. New ways of living and relating to each other. Who knew that ZOOM would become such an integral part of our lives!
Many of us yearn for a return to the way things were but I’m pretty convinced we will never return to that world, and some of it needed examination and change anyway. I’m old enough to remember the painful years in the sixties when we endured assinations, massive unrest and a reexamination of our personal and collective commitments. I also remember difficult economic downturns that brought hard lessons but also helped us reorder and move on.
Interestingly enough, I think Jesus taught about this issue we’re facing—not specifically, but giving us context for how to view what’s happening. In a conversation with Nicodemus he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God…the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’” (John 3:3, 5-7 NLT) And the Apostle Paul said “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think…” (Romans 12:2 NLT)
Richard Rohr says Jesus taught, and the NT writers followed his lead of teaching a patten of growth passing beyond some perfect Order, through an often painful and seemingly unnecessary Disorder, to an enlightened Reorder, rebirth or resurrection. This is the universal pattern that connects, restores and solidifies our relationships with everything around us.
We won’t know quickly what the new order will be but we can be assured there will be one and God will not be absent from it. He’s already arrived there and we need to wait patiently for him to draw is there with him.
A mother-tongue speaker of the KOM Language in the Northwest province of Cameroon, West Africa, Paul KIMBI was a member of the KOM New Testament translation team. After completing the New Testament project, Paul moved on to become a senior leader in the Wycliffe Global Alliance where he works as a senior translation consultant and also helping qualify future translation consultants.
Recently Paul and I were reminiscing about Cameroon. We talked about our mutual friend, Léonard BOLIOKI, and the loss of his son, Tonton. Over thirty years ago, following his tragic death, Dallas, and I attended Tonton’s funeral where we observed firsthand the power of the Scripture in the mother tongue. As Leonard read the story of Lazarus, in YAMBETTA, to the gathered friends and family, we could see and feel the deep penetration of Jesus’ words of comfort and hope. While the funeral service had been conducted in French, hearts were touched at a much deeper level when Jesus started speaking YAMBETTA.
Paul then told me of losing his own son, Samuel, at two months of age. Shortly after the devastating loss of little Samuel, Nawain Miriam (Nawain is a term of respect for older women in his community) and three other women from church paid a visit to Paul and his wife, Juliana. Continue reading →
At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath and read the Scripture for the day. Luke says, “And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’ ” (Luke 4:17-21).
The proof of his anointing is in the resurrection, but what does the resurrection mean? “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry abt any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.” -Tim Keller
”The mission of the church is to be a servant to the world in the name of Christ, to hear the cry of the poor, the wounded, the outcast, the hungry and thirsty, the sick, the orphan, the cry of mothers for their children, to hear these cries with the ears and compassion of Christ and to respond with his grace and example.” — Dr. Lamin Sanneh
On Jan. 6 global Christianity and Bible translation lost a giant — Dr. Lamin Sanneh. Continue reading →
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV)
When my wife, Dallas, and arrived in Cameroon, West Africa, Léonard Bolioki was already translating the New Testament for the Yambetta people, a small group numbering about 8,000 people.
From time-to-time Léonard would send Dallas and me updates on translation progress. Following the publication of the Gospel of Matthew, the first fruit of translation, he wrote, “The Yambetta people now have access to the Light of the World, the Good News, the Savior, Jesus Christ. This Light is the path of life freely given by God.”
Modern technology, partnerships and local community and church ownership has enabled translation to move at a pace never before experienced with no loss of quality of the end product. This issue includes articles about the use of apps, the development of new fonts and even a visual Bible being used for the Deaf that are all making God’s Word easily accessible in new ways. Enjoy personal stories of the ways God has moved in the hearts of individuals through their involvement in the Bible translation movement. Read more here.
Richard Rohr says, “I have come to mistrust almost all righteous indignation and moral outrage. In my experience, it is hardly ever from God. Zealots motives are often filled with ego, self, power, control and self-righteousness. Resurrected people, on the other hand, prayerfully bear witness against injustice and evil but also agree compassionately to hold their own complicity in that same evil. It is not over there, it is here. It is our problem, not theirs. If you don’t do this, strangely enough, it gives you a very false sense of control and superiority because you’ve spotted the evil and, thank God, it’s not me, it’s over there, not here. As long as ‘they’ are the problem and you can keep your focus on changing them, correcting them, expelling them as the contaminating element, then you can sit in a reasonably comfortable and self-satisfying position.” Continue reading →
Wycliffe Bible Translators USA hasn’t changed its vision in over 75 years. Everyone—all men, women and children—have the right to hear the Good News about Jesus Christ in a language and form they relate to best. We believe it’s an injustice when people don’t hear this message clearly, and we work to right that injustice. Continue reading →
Betty, seated with children, listens to the translators reviewing Galatians
Something new was happening in Betty Agotre’s village in Uganda. The book of Galatians had been translated into her Aringa language, and the translators had come to check its accuracy and readability. Betty came just to observe. But when they read verse six of the first chapter, she just had to speak up. “Would you please read that again?”Continue reading →