"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:10, NIV).
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:44-45, NIV).
Friend, my dear prayer partner, this morning I find these words of Scripture very hard to read. Yet, I must tell you of our precious co-workers—our dear friends—who have been brutally murdered.
Militants killed four national translators and injured several others in a raid on a translation office in the Middle East. They shot and destroyed all the equipment in the office including the Print On Demand (POD) equipment. The invaders burned all the books and other translation materials in the office. Two workers died of gunshot wounds. Two other workers laid on top of the lead translator—saved his life—and died deflecting bludgeoning blows from the radicals' spent weapons.
We praise the Lord that He protected the computer hard drives containing the translation work for eight language projects.
The remaining translation team has decided to re-double their efforts to translate, publish, and print God's Word for these eight language communities.
Will you pray with me for the injured translators? Pray for others to step up and take on the translation task. Please ask the Lord to mend the hearts and wounds of the translation team who have gone through this horrible ordeal. Pray that God will strengthen their minds, their hearts, and their bodies to be able to continue the translation of the gospel for their people.
Please pray for Wycliffe Associates as we come along side this translation team to assist them, to replace equipment, to help the martyrs' families, and the families of those hospitalized.
Please pray that a new location will be found that will provide safety, security, and the freedom to continue translation and printing. Pray for the safe delivery of new computers and POD equipment that Wycliffe Associates will be providing the translation team.
Pray with me for the killers too. Pray for these whose hearts are so hard. Pray the Lord will open their eyes to what they have done. Please ask the Lord to meet them, each one, right where they are. Pray that He will show Himself merciful, that they will know His forgiveness, His love, and His peace.
And dear friends, as you pray for this one situation in the Middle East, you may be led to give to the Emergency 911 Fund. Please take this opportunity to be an encourager to translation teams in dangerous places. And continue to pray. Pray for all the newly formed translation teams diligently translating Scripture in their own language, for their own loved ones, in extremely difficult places.
As I wrote these words, I received a note telling of four New Testaments completed in the past couple months! Praise God.
Thank you dear prayer partners for taking this burden to our Lord,
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