Archive for September, 2009

Divine Appointments

Divine appointment: a time when God perfectly orchestrates something in ways you could never imagine.

Which pretty much means that divine appointments happen when you least expect them.

Yesterday was our first full day in Lima, Peru, and the plan was to spend the morning relaxing after the long day of travel. However, our in-country host, Ron Ryan, decided it would be a good idea to let us spend the morning visiting with some of the missionaries who work here in Lima.

This ended up being huge for our guests from Moody Radio. They were able to hear about the need for translation, the process behind it, and the work that goes into it. More importantly, though, they witnessed the passion that drives us, straight from the mouths of those God has divinely appointed to do Bible translation. When asked this morning why anyone would leave their comfortable life to enter the often “dangerous” work of translation in remote areas of the world, one missionary friend responded, “I think it would be more dangerous to disobey the call of the Lord, don’t you agree?”

I was so struck by the emotional connection the missionaries feel to their work here. They’re here because they believe God himself appointed them.

After lunch we stopped at CILTA, a linguistics training school for the indigenous peoples of the Americas. We thought our visit would last only 45 minutes, but before we knew it, we’d been there for an hour and a half. Sitting there listening to stories of God’s work in the lives of the peoples of the Americas, we lost track of time. We heard the story of Felix, a man who deciphered God’s divine appointment for him through a dream, leading him to work with a translation team on a dialect of the Quechua languages. We were touched not only by his story, but also by the tears of those who know Felix and have been personally impacted by his dedication to the work of Bible translation. In a world full of schedules, busy calendars and deadlines, it was nice to sit back and forget the clock, recognizing that God had our schedule carefully planned out…and it included an appointment to hear stories of the way Scripture in your heart language can change your life.

Yesterday also confirmed another divine appointment I feel privileged to be a part of: the partnership between Wycliffe Bible Translators and Moody Radio. This is a special time in our organization’s history. We have the opportunity to introduce not only the staff of Moody Radio, but also their listeners across the country, to the important work of Bible translation—and show them how to get involved. Today, as I’ve observed five Moody friends learn new things about our ministry, I’ve been keenly aware of God’s hand in this. Moody’s fall campaign will be focusing on Wycliffe’s work, and I believe God is going to do something big through it. I know He has chosen this time for a reason.

I’m thankful that I serve a God who loves to orchestrate the details of our lives—a God of divine appointments.

-Rachel Tidwell-

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By Bob Creson

A few days ago, I blogged about a Rangi translator who had to tear up his most recent draft of the Gospel of Mark to distribute the portions to Christians who were hungry for Scripture in their mother tongue.  You can read about it here.  In Tanzania, 112 languages—more than 90 percent of all languages spoken in that country—do not have adequate Scriptures.  This lack of mother-tongue Scriptures is devastating.

Church services are conducted in Swahili, the national language.  As a result, 1.4 million speakers of nine Bantu languages in the Mara Region of Tanzania struggle to understand biblical teachings.

There are many longtime churchgoers who cannot adequately answer the question, “Who is Jesus?” or even explain biblically why He died for us.

I’ve been thinking about the hunger for God’s Word that led this Rangi translator to tear up his Gospel of Mark.  This story makes me appreciate the urgency of our work in that area through a project called Scripture Access for All: Tanzania and Uganda. The project is part of our larger, worldwide Last Languages Campaign to provide for “the least, the last, and the lost” who still hunger for the Scripture in their language.

As you read this post, Wycliffe missionaries are working with national translators and like-minded organizations in remote areas of Tanzania and Uganda to translate God’s Word for nearly 2 million people through Scripture Access for All. This work is vital.

If God so leads you, you can send a gift online today by clicking here.  I almost never use my blog to ask for support, but I am doing it today.  Your contribution will help ensure that churches grow stronger and more people hear the saving message of Christ.  Thank you for your prayers, and if you can click here and help meet this need, I would be grateful.

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