2020 has been a difficult year for all of us. In spite of difficulties and disappointments, God is still in control, He is at work, and He is blessing. We trust His will and guidance. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jer. 29:11).
Regardless, 2020 has also seen some definite progress in the Bible translation ministry. In addition to starting new translation projects, we have been building a solid foundation for the future continuance of this ministry. Dr. Zeinner has given overall direction to the ministry and has done much to inform and mobilize the churches. Dr. Combs’ ministry has been primarily in the more technical details of education and translation work. Both sides of this work must continue and expand. We pray that God will raise up leadership that can lead the next generation. We are establishing a solid foundation that future generations can build on. We have designed and built the launch pad and are finishing the rocket. The future must see it sent into orbit.
Two new translation projects have been initiated this year. The first is a new start to an old project. A new Swahili (East Africa) translation was started by Alan Lear many years ago. Dr. Zeinner was involved with him in that project. Brother Lear translated John and Romans. However, brother Lear died about a decade ago and there was no one else to continue the project. Now we are working with missionary Robert Mickey, Jr. to continue the translation. The second project is centered in the Malayalam language of India. Not long ago, we had a meeting with an Indian pastor. We challenged him to examine the Malayalam Bible he was using according to a checklist we have on our web site. He and his Indian friends discovered there are many errors in that translation. We had a Zoom meeting with him and several other pastors in India and they determined to begin a new translation. After that, I sent this Brother a set of translation principles and recommendations, tailored to his situation, on how to organize and begin a project. They have begun to create and organized their team. They also are in contact with some believers who speak languages that do not have a Bible. Next year, I hope we can travel to both Africa and India to provide further training and guidance.
Other projects in German, Ewe in Togo, Mandarin in China, Isan in Thailand, Telugu in India, and Guarani in Paraguay are continuing.
Pray for us that God will grant health, continuance and blessing on the work that has been started, and new open doors.