Nel Claassen is a consultant working with the TWFTW.
She was introduced to the concept of Bible translation while studying theology. She did a specialized course in Bible translation after completing her theological studies.
TWFTW is a Bible translation organization that works only in languages in which the Bible has not been translated. The organization empowers indigenous speakers to translate God's Word into their own language. "Who is able to speak a language better than a person born into it?"
According to Nel, this method is more effective, time-wise as well as money-wise. "A lot of money is saved because it is not necessary to accommodate a foreign missionary family at great cost. Expatriates also have to spend many years learning to speak the language. It takes a trained team of indigenous speakers 3 years to translate the New Testament, and 8 years for the Old Testament."
Nel also spent considerable time in Israel studying Biblical Hebrew. She consults teams translating the Old Testament.
Her many travels to different places have not always been as idyllic. She lost her only child, a son of 20, while she was working in the Comoros. "So many of us on the mission field have suffered severe personal losses. Therefore, I maintain, if the Lord does not call you to be a missionary - do not go!”
Nel recently returned from four weeks of consultation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She says that to her, the greatest privilege is working with God's Word, the greatest gift is the Pentateuch, and working on Genesis is always a revelation.
Even though successful, it was a stressful time, as both her mom and niece were ill during this time. Communication was problematic, which made Nel feel as if she was constantly stumbling through the dark.
While in Ethiopia, she worked with three new teams: Borna, Yemsa and Basketo. She was blessed with two assistants to help her. The Yemsa team completed consultation on Genesis. The Basketo completed Ruth, Obadiah, Esther and Jonah.
Nel is thankful for all the support she receives - through prayer or financially!
In 1 Samuel 30:24 and 25 King David laid down the principle that all share in the spoils of battle. We are in this together! Grace and peace to all.
Nel Claassen, TWFTW Consultant
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