New French and Spanish Translation Projects Underway
For some time now, we have been fielding requests for translations of our book, Travel Guide to the Bible. The book is an introduction to the Bible that we wrote for people who are new to the English language and who have no previous experience with the Bible.
While we have been doing translation projects for more than ten years with Simple Truths, taking on a book with 70 chapters seemed like a daunting task. There were at least two reasons for that. First, the Travel Guide is ten-times the word count of Simple Truths. Second, the translation costs are many times higher.
We had been praying about when to start our first project for some time. We would have to decide which languages to tackle first and where we would find the funds to complete them.
Then in February, while we were participating in Missionfest Manitoba, a long-time friend of ours called us and asked if she could pay us a visit. Of course, we made time for her, but we could tell there was something out of the ordinary in her request. And we were right.
Our friend was born in Argentina. She is fluent in Spanish and has been a serious student of the scriptures for years. When she arrived at the house where we were staying, she handed us a folder. Inside was the chapter for the book of Esther from the Travel Guide, translated into Spanish. After a great conversation, she explained that she had heard us talking about our desire to see the Travel Guide translated into other languages, and she told how she was certain that God was leading her to volunteer to do a Spanish translation for us. Competence in the language, attentiveness to detail, and a true heart for the project – that is exactly what we look for in a translator.
Then, during our trip to Burkina Faso, we had multiple requests from people who were using Simple Truths to make the Travel Guide available to them as well. We have translated Simple Truths into 7 languages spoken in West Africa, but the Travel Guide has only been available in English. As one leader put it, “If we had that book in French, the majority of us could read and use it to help our people.”
That was in June. We prayed about it, and mentioned it to a few churches and individuals, but no one seemed to connect with the request.
Until last month.
We shared our work and some details about our trip to Africa with a church in Alabama. The pastor has been a wonderful friend of ours for many years. On that particular Sunday, the people listened with great interest, and after the service, one couple approached us with several excellent questions. A few weeks later, I received a call from the pastor. He informed me that the church had received a donation from that couple to cover the full amount of the French translation for West Africa.
We are so thankful for the kindness and generosity of the people who make up our support team. It is an amazing privilege to be a part of what God is doing through them. It is a wonderful thing to see God answer prayer. He does it constantly, in both big and small ways. And sometimes, the way he answers surprises us.