The technological revolution from 3×5 file cards to modern high-powered computers and their amazing software for Bible translation, is only part of how God is methodically working in our day for the sake of the nations.
In blog #10 I described how He is calling the established Church in the far corners of the earth, to evangelize the Unreached in their region. Obviously, they need the scriptures in the heart language of those they are reaching, and our primary role has shifted from translator, to translator-equipper. We call that Church Centric Bible Translation (CCBT) because it is centered around an already-established church, and it’s a game-changer.
CCBT, initially a strategy of UnfoldingWord of Orlando, FL (*Disclosure below), is increasingly embraced by other translation ministries. God is serious about moving us toward Rev. 7:9 and is releasing additional tools to use with CCBT. UnfoldingWord’s Open Bible Stories (OBS) is one example.
OBS is fifty key stories from creation to Revelation which are infused with the Gospel message. Its 598 illustrations help to introduce the Gospel to a new community, and it is distributed as a “story book” in places where the Bible is forbidden.
Further, it is used to train nationals in how to do translation before they start on the Biblical text itself. For example, OBS is a key training tool in a ground-breaking effort led by the Chadian (Africa) Church in eight languages there, with a plan to reach 50 languages. Incredibly, the translators-in-training are mostly Muslim and the OBS translation process alone is producing many Jesus-followers! How cool is that!?
Consistent with UnfoldingWord’s overall approach, the OBS is offered under an “open license.” Anyone may download, copy, share, translate, record, create video, and print the stories for any purpose and in any language – all for free. It is presently in over 50 languages, with more in process. Resources are offered to help others do their own translation.
The Chad initiative needs our help and it’s a wonderful place to multiply your Mina, whether you can give $10, $100, $1,000, $10,000 or much more. Enough resources have been entrusted to God’s people to complete the Bible translation task and I pray that many more will soon catch the vision, and find the joy, of investing there. Luke 19:12-27 isn’t a children’s story. See the links below to learn more.
*GUP479 is a series on God’s Unfolding Plan for Rev. 7:9
UnfoldingWord LINKS, as of July 24, 2020
Introducing the Open Bible Stories:
See the stories here:
Resources to help others translate the OBS:
A description of the Chad project:
Results from the Chad project: (This is one of eight people groups in the first OBS trainings)
Giving to the Chad project:
Instructions for national church leader for the CCBT process:
I served on the founding board of UnfoldingWord (originally named Distant Shores Media) but resigned due to personal overload after my son Brian’s Jan. 21, 2019 passing in an airplane accident.
This blog article is strictly personal and the opinions expressed herein are mine. I have no formal or informal capacity in UnfoldingWord and am not speaking for the ministry or their board or staff. I write for the sake of the Unreached and because I believe UnfoldingWord to be an exemplary example of tools that God is using to reach them in our Day.
With God’s help, I will avenge Brian’s death, and that of my son Ken Jr. in 2011, by declaring God’s goodness and the wonder of the Life He offers – to the ends of the earth – until I join them in the Presence of Jesus. – Ken Stoltzfus