Testing Times for our Translators: March 2024

Our teams are currently involved in 11 Bible translation projects in a particular south-east Asian country where Christians often count the cost of following Jesus. According to Open Doors this country sits within the top 20 countries in which persecution is hardest. The country remains mired in violent conflict, and during the last few years, the Christian minority has encountered greater violence and tighter restrictions, with churches indiscriminately attacked and believers driven from their homes. One of the translators sent an email out just a few days ago: “Since what happened a few years ago, we have been struggling in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, and economically. The situation is worsening all the timeBut despite this worsening situation we have completed consultant checking with two of our teams, and if God allows, we still have a plan to start six more projects. We have a training course scheduled for 11-22 March, and an Oral BT course scheduled for April, as well as continuing with online consultant checkingIn all of this we are in dire need of your prayers, and for God’s protection over us. Please pray for God’s immediate peace in this country, and that we may be able to travel and continue our work, and achieve the goals we have set for this year”.

Talk about perseverance! It seems that these teams are “hard pressed on every side, but they’re not crushed” (2 Cor 4:8) – and so we pray with them for their safety and protection. We pray God’s blessing on our translators and community checkers, that God would strengthen them in their work, and enable them to endure through these tough and testing times.

More on Marek! In the January update I focussed on the launch of the Slovak Roma Bible, which happened last year in December. Marek Olah, who was one of the translators on that project, recently told me that it wasn’t only the Roma people of Slovakia that had benefitted from receiving God’s Word – but that many Roma outside of Slovakia had been in touch to request a Bible; people from France, Belgium, UK, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic! It’s great to see that there is a hunger amongst the European Roma to have their own copy.

However, there are still many more people in Europe that don’t yet have God’s Word in their own language. In fact, out of the 315 European languages, only 75 of them have a full Bible; that’s only 24%! A further 45 languages in Europe have the New Testament, and the rest (195) only have small portions of the Bible. This all goes to highlight the fact that you don’t have to travel to far-flung places in Africa and Asia to experience Bible poverty; it’s right on our doorstep!

Last week Marek and I were interviewed on Premier Christian Radio about the work of TWFTW, and about the Slovak Roma launch. If you want to find out more about Marek, and his work amongst a marginalised people group, click on the following link and listen to the interview; it’s about 30 minutes in length, but to listen to the podcast you will need to sign up for a free premier account. 


“Out & About” Diary Dates:

  • Fri 1st Mar: Office move! New Address: Hartham Park, Hartham Lane, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9BS.
  • Sun 3rd Mar: Preaching at Strete Evangelical Church, Devon (AM)
  • Sun 24th Mar: Preaching atWarminster Baptist, Wiltshire (AM)

Praise & Prayer Points:

  • Barry & Julia Funnell head off to South Africa for 3 weeks on 3rd March. In his role as Director for Consulting Services Barry will be involved in back-to-back workshops relating to consultant training, the curriculum of the BT Diploma course, and oral Bible translation. Please pray they would strengthened for the task ahead!  
  • Ethiopia: Praise God that the full Gofa & Dawro Bibles were dedicated towards the end of last year. 20,000 copies of each language were printed in both the Latin and Ethiopic writing systems so as to make them accessible to both older and younger generations.
  • Seed Company: We continue to praise God for our partnership with the Seed Company, who are helping us build our capacity as a growing support base. Thanks to their support we’ve been able to hire a part-time grant writer, a part-time accounting advisor, and we’re moving into dedicated office space on 1st March. 
  • SE Asia: Pray for our teams in SE Asia; that God would protect them in their work and enable them to endure through these tough and testing times.