Celebrate with me! The twenty-year New Testament project was completed in mid-2019. All glory to our wonderful Lord!
I have taken some needed sabbatical leave and time for reporting back, and meanwhile our translators’ study program has notched up a couple of gears. They have been studying theology, exegesis, translation theory and other biblical studies including Hebrew language in preparation for independent work on Old Testament translation. After passing a course on Hebrew basics, I have now joined the translators in their on-line class — taught by none other than ‘Rose’ who has been a prolific and determined translator alongside me in the New Testament work. She is the first of our four trainees to complete all her studies and receive approval to work as a translation advisor (exegete). Our translators’ growth in skills and knowledge is palpable. We are very grateful to the international agency which funds their studies.
Harassment from local officials, however, is causing interruptions to scheduled study, an increased need to be cautious in the team’s contacts with in-country supporters, and myriad daily frustrations. Right now, a lawyer is approaching government agencies on behalf of the team for permission to print the New Testament in-country. Please pray with us that a sufficient quantity of reasonable quality books will be permitted. This will be a miracle from God.
As a team we continue to hear positive feedback from the non-believers who read the translated books — they can read them with understanding — and also mixed feedback from the small believing community. Those local believers who have been helping us read and review translated texts have also been targeted for harassment, and this is causing difficulties for them, alienating some from our team. The Evil One loves to sow discord and misunderstanding.
My Hebrew studies continue apace, and I am also working alongside two translators to mentor them as they begin to work more independently. I hope to travel and meet up with one of them for a training event midyear, then on to visit ‘our’ country. I have been asked to teach a course to the translators at that time. Low energy levels make me very hesitant to take on a teaching role, so I ask you to pray for me so that together we may see the Holy Spirit at work energising and enabling me for the work He gives.