Unexpected Skills You Learn in Bible Translation
January 29, 2021

Unconsciously, we in the West take certain skills for granted. Skills like knowing how to browse the internet. It’s such a simple thing that many of us wouldn’t think about. But it’s a vital skill for our modern age, and for translating the Bible in the midst of a global pandemic. Many classes and training, which used to be in person, now have to be done remotely via Zoom. Naturally, this comes with unexpected difficulties such as an unreliable network connection, but nothing, not even technological difficulties, will stand in the way of God’s Word being translated.Recently, in Nigeria, a training event was held and one of the learning items was “Basic Computer Skills.” Not surprisingly, many of the students reported struggling with failing networks. Still, they overcame such challenges and marched on with their lessons.Pastor Tari Asona Yakubu, a student from Gwandara, said, “The DBT online training has really added more to my knowledge of computer and internet. It also helped me not to be away for a long time from my family and my community and also helped me to be able to manage time.”Even in the middle of hardship, God is always with us, giving us what we need. Not only that, He gives us more than what we need. In Pastor Yakubu’s case, the extra blessing was more time spent with his family. Normally the students must travel far away from their homes in order to meet in person with others for these group training events. And he wasn’t the only one to express a similar story.Mr. Umar Bulus Agbonto said, “The online training for me is an eye opener because coming from the rural area, I have never imagined that such type of technology was in existence whereby people can interact and learn without coming together to see each other face to face. With this, I have gained more knowledge not just to translate the Bible in my own language but also have additional knowledge of the computer and internet.”Empowerment. Empowerment is the word that comes to mind with testimonies like these. In our world, knowledge of the internet and the computer are both taken for granted, and absolutely vital. The skills these men have learned are not just for translating the Bible into their mother tongue, but are skills that they will carry for the rest of their lives. It’s a starting point for people who couldn’t even imagine such things were possible.Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

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