Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:45, NIV.
More than 770 million adults do not have access to the Scriptures because they cannot read, and a further 2-billion people struggle to read full sentences.
‘About 67 million children do not have access to primary school education and another 72 million miss out on secondary school education’, World Literacy Foundation.
Does God limit His message to the literate, forgetting the majority of the world?
No! Our just and righteous God will reach every man, woman, and child according to His will. He is unstoppable. On International Mother Language Day (February 21st), we praise God for providing a way for the oral majority to receive His Word through Oral Bible Translation. The exciting part is, He includes the whole Body of Christ as He seeks and saves the lost - the greatest of all commissions given by the greatest King of all kings.
Oral Bible Translation has burst onto the Bible translation scene like a powerful river carving a way through rugged terrain, forging new paths to reach remote communities that were once inaccessible.
The Word for the World employs a two-pronged approach. We collaborate with communities seeking literacy development to plan and launch mother-tongue literacy programs. Participants eager to learn, undergo training to create a writing system from scratch, as many lack their own alphabets. Subsequently, these equipped communities then develop their own range of written materials such as poems and Bible stories for children.
The second approach responds to the oral majority who wish to preserve their rich oral culture. For these communities, Oral Bible Translation seamlessly integrates with their well-honed memorization methods to internalize vast amounts of information. The Word for the World does not translate Scripture for people but places a strong value on community ownership and responsibility. Local nationals who desire to translate God’s Word orally into their heart languages are equipped to do so as they receive training, equipment, resources, prayer, and support hand in hand with the local Christian churches.
“At the start, we didn’t know what devotion means regarding translation and general lifestyle. But as we continued doing [translation work] every morning, we noticed some changes in our knowledge of understanding and internalizing Bible stories: You read a story and internalize it, and it becomes part and partial of your lifestyle. This has helped us in a way that we try to live by what the Scriptures say.” Oral Bible translator, Kusua, Uganda.
Acts 17:26 says that every man’s time and place was appointed by God. It is not an accident that you are living in a time when we will see the Great Commission fulfillment. Christians will see the goodness of God in the land of the living as His Word goes to every tongue in the language they speak in their homes. What an exciting time to be alive in the long line of biblical history.
What better way to honor International Mother Language Day? Be part of His-story, pray for the explosion of Oral Bible Translation and join us as God accelerates this movement.