Never underestimate how creative God can get when it comes to executing the Great Commission.
Scripture makes it very clear that, as believers, one of our fundamental duties is to help people find Jesus and to make disciples out of them. The work of the Bible translation ministry unfoldingWord.org and its partnership with the Church Growth Project of Chad is a perfect example.
It comes as no surprise that the majority of the population in the African county is Muslim, and Arabic and French are the two official languages. But PCET doesn't take that into consideration when hiring locals to take on a job, and that includes translating Bible stories into their native tongue.
Most of the people who responded to an ad for workers just happened to be non-Christian, but what is happening with this work project is no less than a miracle.
Christianheadlines.com has reported that, because of their work with the Bible, at least two Muslim translators have converted to Christianity, and that "many of the imams in the area have been surprisingly open to engaging with the groups in reading the stories to their villages once they're completed."
Some of the translators' faiths have grown and, as one Chadian leader described it, "people have come to see that Christianity is not just a Western product. When they can listen to the Word of God in their own language, that changes the narrative."
Eric Steggerda, field operations manager for unfoldingWord, says that "many of these languages are struggling for importance in the world. There's not much that's actually in their mother tongue, so they rejoice when they find things that are, because it really speaks to them of the importance of their language. They're very receptive to the idea of the Bible stories, for example, translated into their mother tongue."
During this journey, PCET brought in pastors to help ensure that each group's translations were accurate and free of theological errors, but it was rare for the difference in religion to be an issue. And the work has already begun to bear fruit in amazing ways.
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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