Over the past 10 years, some of our projects have been the result of working to build relationships that slowly grow into opportunities for ministry. But a large number of our projects have come to us unexpectedly. The books somehow “escape” and, as a result of things we could not have planned, our books end up in places that we did not anticipate.
Such is the case from our most recent trip to Canada. During our time there, I met Shoaib Abadi. Shoaib is from Afghanistan. Shoaib was born and raised in Kabul, where he studied Law and worked for the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. He is the founder of Hope for Afghans, a ministry that seeks to reach Afghans with the gospel and strengthen the Afghan church. As we ate lunch together, we discussed the recent changes in Afghanistan and the implications that has on Christians there. Somewhere in the middle of that conversation, Shoaib told me that he had recently read our book Travel Guide to the Bible. He talked about how helpful it would be for Afghanistan and asked me, what was clearly a rhetorical question. “Don’t you think this book should be in Dari and Pashto?” After walking through our translation guidelines and discussing distribution networks, I asked Shoaib to write a proposal. In less than 72 hours, this is a short section of what I received.
Afghanistan has a population of around 34 million people. Afghanistan has two official languages: Dari and Pashto. More than 50% of population in Afghanistan are under 25 years of old. Since Taliban took power on August 15, 2021 the government system fell apart and there is no rule of law or government structure. Women cannot go to work except for teachers and those who work in health care. Girls grade 6-12 cannot go to School. Women and girls cannot play any sport or participate in sport tournaments. Singers cannot sing and artists cannot play musical instruments.
There are estimated around 8-10 thousands Christians inside Afghanistan.
The Bible was hidden from the people of Afghanistan for the last 1000 years. In 2008 the first Dari Bible was published. I am part of Dari Bible Committee and we are working to edit the current text. We hope to publish the revised NT in Dari by 2023.
Since 2010, I have a live tv evangelical show for Afghanistan on Friday morning (prime evening time in Kabul) through satellite (Sat 7 Pars and Mohabat TV) and website (razezindagi.com) and social media sites. Afghans are connecting with us and asking many questions. Questions about the Bible and validity of the Bible have first place. Afghans have many questions about origins, structure and places of the Bible.
I do believe and think that translating the Book: Travel Guide to the Bible into Dari and Pashto will help millions of Afghans that are looking for answers about the Bible and seekers who are genuinely asking questions about the Bible.
I will be able to help you with distribution of the book through conferences and online.
Blessings. Shoaib Ebadi
Sometimes you get an offer that you can’t refuse. And so, we have agreed to initiate a project to have the Travel Guide to the Bible translated into both Dari and Pashto.
Each language will take 3-4 months to work through the stages of the translation process. The books will first be distributed and field-tested as eBooks, then they will go to press for distribution. Shoaib has a large network to aid in the distribution of the books through his broadcast ministry and he has personally ministered in many parts of the world among Afghan refugees. Given the recent withdrawal of forces from the country, the Afghan diaspora is estimated to increase rapidly. The Canadian government has announced that it intends to allow as many as 40,000 refugees from Afghanistan to settle in Canada. The United States government estimates that the number of Afghans who will eventually settle in that country is between 40,000 to 65,000, in addition to the estimated 140,000 Afghans who already live there.
Like so many of the projects we have taken on at Clear and Simple Media, this one has come to us by God’s providence. We look forward to watching as the translations progress and God brings in the funds needed to complete them. Translating both languages and printing the first 100 books in each language will cost approximately $12,000 USD.
Please pray with us as we embark on this new venture. And pray that many Dari and Pashto speakers, whether in Afghanistan or those dispersed around the world, will be reached with the message of Jesus as a result.