In the sidebar of Liddles.net, you can see two progress bars. The first shows how much of our monthly support need is being met, and the second shows how much of our startup costs have been donated so far. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen God at work in the increase of both of those figures. We’re full of praise, wonder, and thanks!
It’s exciting to see those numbers climb as they have, especially the monthly support indicator. When that reaches 100%, we’ll get permission from Wycliffe to leave for Germany. The amount that remains is about $600 per month. With the help of 10-15 average financial partners, we could reach our goal and be on our way to Germany in August. That’s not a lot of people!
When people give to our ministry, sometimes they express a perception that their gifts won’t contribute much to the total. But I say that every gift makes a difference, just as we say that “every vote counts”. Our ministry to Wycliffe receives a broad range of donations, and the smallest one is just as important to the total as the largest one. That’s why I emphasized the word “average” — some people give more, some people give less. And that’s the way the Kingdom has operated for thousands of years.
What’s truly important is the giver’s participation in the Kingdom of God, in this case by helping to spread the Good News in the languages of the world. Here’s a story that Bob Creson, president of Wycliffe USA, recently shared about how technology has no small impact on this effort:
Jacob, senior mother tongue translator for the Mwaghavul project in Nigeria, just emailed his consultant another draft of the Old Testament passage he’s working on. Later today or tomorrow he’ll check back and probably find a response in his inbox. The rapid feedback will allow him to improve his translation and quickly move on to the next passage.
Sooner rather than later the Mwaghavul people will have the Old Testament in the language that best speaks to them, and evolving technology will have contributed greatly— not just to the speed, but also to the quality of the translation. Jacob’s laptop and email program have been important tools for several years, but suddenly his ability to communicate with Wycliffe’s Seed Company consultant, Bob Carter, has greatly improved!
Gone are the days when he would pack up his laptop, climb on his motorbike, ride nine hot, dusty miles to his brother’s house, sit out back on a stone bench he built for the purpose, and hope that the cell tower in his line of sight would give him enough signal to send and receive email. At best he could email Bob once a week. He’d get Bob’s response the next week after another nine-mile ride (one-way), and if all went well he’d send his response the following week.
But now he can sit in the Mwaghavul project translation office and send email to Bob without ever leaving his desk.
As several partners work together to provide cutting edge technology in a user friendly way, they are building the capacity of our mother tongue translator colleagues and accelerating the work in a way that speaks clearly to the urgency of finishing the Bible translation task. I praise God for that!
In our own lives, email and an Internet connection may seem like a small thing. However, in Jacob’s life, and in the wider arena of Bible translation, both clearly play an important role. A person’s gift to our ministry may seem a small and inadequate thing to them, but their commitment to faithful giving has a large impact on our lives and our ability to keep people like Jacob working efficiently and effectively.
If you’ve considered giving to our ministry, now is the perfect time to put the faith that drives those thoughts into action. No matter what you do, please pray for the Spirit of our God to stir the hearts of other people to give as well (as in Exodus 35:21-22), whether they give a lot or give a little. Pray for that target departure date of August 8th to be met. The prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters hold our lives and ministry together. Every prayer, and every gift, counts!