Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, for the Bible Tells Me So
Think about how many times on a Sunday morning you’ve listened to one of our pastors preach an excellent sermon explaining God’s Word, and you’ve said to yourself, “Wow – that was exactly what I needed to hear today!” Or think of how many times you’ve opened up your Bible, needing to find encouragement, comfort, direction, or guidance, and the Word of God cut straight to your heart, speaking to you exactly where you needed it. Or think about times when a friend has had a question about faith or life, and you were able to open up God’s Word and show them the answers that God has already provided…
Now think about what your life would be like if the Bible didn’t exist for you – if you had never had a chance to read or hear God’s Word. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine going through life without the Bible and its amazing message of God’s love. But sadly, that is the reality for many in the world today.
Statistics from October 2020 state that the 7.8 billion people in the world speak a total of 7,360 languages. The whole Bible has been translated into 704 of those languages. (John Wycliffe is credited with producing the first complete translation of the Bible into English in the year 1382.) The speakers of the other 6,656 languages are still waiting. Some of those people are sufficiently bilingual to be able to read scripture in another language they have learned, and some have access to some portions of scripture in their own language. But, 3,945 of those languages still have no portion of the Bible. That number represents 255 million people with no access to any scripture they can understand. That’s a lot of people living in the dark!
While those statistics can feel overwhelming, the good news is that progress is being made throughout the world, even now, to eliminate Bible poverty. There are currently Bible translation projects going on in 738 languages (representing 65.4 million people) around the world. Wycliffe Bible Translators and other agencies have been working for decades to bring God’s Word to those who are still waiting. And, Grace Fellowship Church has been a part of that effort. GFC has partnered with Wycliffe missionaries – translators as well as support workers – for many years, and GFC is still partnering with a team working on Bible translation for an unreached people group overseas.
Because of the sensitive location of that work, it is not publicized widely. But, be encouraged that GFC’s investment in that project is making an eternal difference for a people group who have been living in darkness with no opportunity to even hear the truth.
Many of the remaining Bible translation needs are in areas of the world where political, cultural, geographic, and language barriers are high. What can you, as an individual, do to help provide God’s word to those who are still waiting?
- Pray. Pray for the people still waiting, that the Lord would prepare their hearts and call many of them to himself through his Holy Spirit. Also, pray for the workers who are already involved in the Bible translation task, whether as translators or support workers. The task is difficult and they need much wisdom and protection. And, also pray that the Lord would raise up more workers willing to engage in that work.
- Give. Continue giving generously, as the Lord leads, to fund that work. He allows the work to happen through the generosity of his people.
- Advocate. Help raise awareness of the need. As more and more people learn about Bible poverty, hopefully more and more hearts will be stirred to help put an end to it.
- Go? The Lord may not be calling you to go overseas, but would you be open to going if He did call you? Allowing yourself to be changed by Christ and used by Christ –in whatever ways he chooses and wherever he asks – that’s what this ultimate journey is all about.
This GFC Global Partner serves in an area of the world where gospel activity is not welcome. For their safety and on-going ministry, their name is not shared here.