Folk in non-English speaking nations are getting an increasing number of vital creation materials translated, but the fields are still white unto harvest.
Published: 29 April 2010 (GMT+10)
“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
There was a time, and not all that many years ago, when one had to literally pack up house and travel to a foreign land to take the Gospel message to all nations under the sun. That still happens today, of course. There are dozens of missionary organizations world-wide overseeing many thousands of their missioners; as there are also multitudes of evangelists working in fields closer to home.
And then there are those who are also fulfilling this call to evangelize the world from their very own home, sitting at a desk and typing on a computer keyboard. We know of many such people in at least 30 countries world-wide who are tirelessly translating creation materials into their own language, for the express purpose of having those articles and other publications easily accessible to their own people. They know that in just about every country and culture (and certainly their own), evolution is a major stumbling block to belief in the Bible, so “creation evangelism” is a crucial Gospel priority.
I sometimes wonder how the Apostle Paul would have enjoyed (and used) the Internet had it been available to him in the 1st Century AD. Of course it wasn’t, and yet his letters are still having a profound impact on people all over the world. God has His tools for each phase of His program, and now we are in the 21st Century with this truly astonishing means at our disposal. Web usage is growing at a daily rate that is staggering in its magnitude. Certainly, there are still many millions of people who do not have access to the electricity needed to facilitate the WWW, but those numbers are falling. If Coca-Cola can make it into the Sahara Desert, so too will the power to generate this means of communication. Increasingly, even many people in poor villages have access to a shared Internet portal somehow. We get very excited at the potential to reach increasing numbers, in rich and poor nations alike, through the Internet with the news that the Bible is true and can be trusted, including about their origins.
Just take a look at our growing list of translated articles. The translators of these are largely unsung heroes and certainly quiet achievers. We don’t advertise the names of the translators—indeed for some it would be a matter of personal security. But it is not hard to appreciate their heart for the work or why they are so keen to work so diligently in this field. The following is an extract from an email from one of our newest translators:
“The very point that CMI does not intend to make any income [from this and many other translation projects], I fully appreciate because this actually is a Christ-minded and God-honouring attitude that is to be found quite rarely within the Church. I would like you to know that my desire is to work in this same kind of spirit. If you could realize all the spiritual needs we have here in France with a so aggressive secular anti-Christian trend having dominated for so long a time, and with so many French Christians suffering from the spiritual poverty of the Church, I think you would well understand how CMI’s help is precious to us, by letting us translate valuable books.
“As for myself, although I work as a research engineer, I live a very simple life (you can ask John Hartnett who once came to our home). And we have been saving money for 6 years to be able to install a central heating system in our house. It was not easy for us (especially the kids) to endure cold temperatures in winter. Moreover, my parents in law (my wife’s parents) also live with us, and so I have to feed a family of 7 persons with only one income.
“My desire is to spread the creation and Gospel message in the widest way as possible in the French-speaking countries, with no financial gain targeted.”
And this is very much the theme of so many emails. There are young mums, grandmothers, grandfathers, people with doctorates and people without, working dads who still find the time to translate articles week by week, young marrieds who are giving of their valuable time, too, in the pursuit of this lofty goal … and so on. In many ways I am pleased I am not able to mention names because I feel sure I would miss someone out and I surely would not want that.
It took one of the funniest (well, I think so anyway) female comedians of the 20th Century (Lucille Ball) to come up with this perceptive statement:
“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it … ”
She went on to say:
“The more things you do, the more you can do.”
And this has certainly been my experience as busy person after busy person has taken up the challenge and begun producing material (via translating CMI’s books and/or web articles) in their mother tongue or second language.
If you feel that you would like to offer your time and skills to help in translating this life-changing material into another language, and you think that you and/or the team you have assembled have what it takes, please contact us here. Even one extra web article every few months is better than if you hadn’t done it, and could make all the difference in someone’s life. And of course, you can freely use it yourself as well, once translated.
P.S. Don’t worry if ‘your’ LOTE [Languages Other Than English] language is already part of our list, there is always the need for more materials in any language, and our coordination systems are there to make sure you’re not going to be ‘doubling up’ on someone else’s work.