Ewe John and Romans: The review process for John and Romans in Ewe by the translation team in Togo and the graphics designer is finished. The files for the booklet and the cover have been submitted to the printer. This has been a laborious process and involves far more than you may think. Here are the steps we have been through:
1) First, we and the Togolese had to see the need and get a vision for the translation.
2) We held a Bible translation conference to stir up the leaders to do to this work, wherein several committed themselves to be involved.
3) The translation team had to be assembled and organized. This took some time.
4) Then, the 15 member translation team did the translation of John and Romans over a period of a year or so.
5) We returned to Togo to help the team begin the process of reviewing, checking, and editing.
6) The team finished the review over the next several months.
7) Next came the typing and formatting of the translation for printing.
8) The funds for printing had to be raised.
9) Finally, we are anticipating the culmination of all this work in the printing starting in August.
10) Lastly, we will ship the books and they will be distributed in Togo.
11) And, the translation work will proceed.
There has been a lot of long distance work going on to bring this to pass. There has been a lot of work to raise the funds necessary and to coordinate the project. There has been a lot of communication between ourselves and the Pastor and graphic artist at South Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church in Quebec, Canada and the team in Togo and the printer in Cincinnati. There is a great deal left to do as you can see since numbers 9-11 above are still in process. Just this morning, I had to work with the printer and the graphic artist to get adjustments made to the cover. Please pray for us and everyone involved that God will bring it all to a successful conclusion and that He will use the John and Romans booklets to bring many thousands to Christ. I expect that about 200,000 French-Ewe John-Romans booklets will be printed along with about 2500 whole French Bibles of the latest revision of the Ostervald French Version.
Last year we Praise God for how He has opened doors to present the ministry in churches, Christian schools and Bible colleges and challenge the hearts of those willing to follow Him to the ends of the earth. Our message is to present the challenge of Bible translation around the world. From Genesis eleven it is estimated that 78 languages came from that single event and after thousands of years nearly 7,000 languages are spoken today among the 7.4 billion people on our earth. As missionaries and nationals reach deep into their countries they find a common thread…a Bible that man can read in their vernacular.
Connie and I added another year to life and ministry…we have had a few break downs and repairs needed to these old bodies, but God has allowed us to press forward. Thousand of air and land miles were traveled endeavoring to advance upon the dark areas of our world where there is no Bible or a Bible available. The CAV (Chinese Authorized Version) translation added new chapters and books of the Bible. In Togo, West Africa a new translation is nearing the printing stage and then will be given to those longing to see those precious words of hope. Arabic Bibles were printed and distributed in Syria and Lebanon where Civil War has devastated their countries. A more user friendly deaf Bible has come across our path that needs our help in getting it printed and placed into the hands of these forgotten people. Finishing touches on a very difficult translation of the Telugu Bible of India made significant advances. The Isan translations continues to reach those in NE Thailand. Then there are yet those in the jungles of Ecuador and in the country of Paraguay asking for help that their people might have Gods Word in their language.
This new year brings new challenges of patience, perseverance and dedication to finish the task. Prayers are needed for those working diligently in Bible translation. The attacks come as simple as a virus on their computer deleting all of the work they have accomplished. We are reminded of James 5:11 “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
Prayer Request: Chinese translation…Ewe translation of Togo, West Africa & funds for printing...Distribution of Isan NT for Thailand...Arabic Bibles for refugees...Translation progress of the Telugu whole Bible for India…Deaf Bible completion…Up coming foreign trips to Lebanon, Togo, Paraguay, Ecuador and India.
Many thanks to the Lord for the way He is leading you in this whole project. Much as we are concerned, we have now resumed work on typing the notes. We were obliged to use the services of a typist to speed up things. My Pastor friend who also used the Greek New Testament for John 12 to 21, has had viruses on his Lap top and in the course of solving the problem, they could not retrieve the work he has done earlier. So he now has to start it all over again. I will be taking part of the work for him to speed up things. Please pray with us. I think it is possible to begin thinking of a trip to Tog somewhere in March or before the first semester in 2018.
Our Ministry in Northeast Thailand is going very well... I just returned home on December 13th. The audio recording of the Isan NT is underway. Radio DJ Baaw Ter's unsaved wife is becoming more friendly and open. I had a great opportunity to get to know her and talk a bit about the Creation and the Creator. I presented her with a signed copy of the Isan NT, which she accepted and began to read a while later. Praise the Lord!
December 1, 2017
Dear Praying Friends,
Connie’s Health... Thank you for your prayers concerning Connie’s issues with macular degeneration. She is following the advice of her doctor to slow down its progression. Her family doctor gave her thumbs up with all of her blood work coming back normal. As time goes by she is adjusting with her limitations. I have installed better lighting in the kitchen...we would not want anything to effect her great cooking ability!
Arabic New Testaments: We have sent funds to Arabic Bible Outreach for the refugees in Lebanon and Syria. There is a great open door at this time and we must take advantage.
Deaf Bible: Deaf missionary Mike Bader explains that deaf people have a difficult time with pronouns, so his team is going through the Bible color coding and inserting brackets to identify the pronoun. When ready we will assist in raising funds for the printing of this project.
Training and Assisting Translators: We are involved with promoting, training and fund raising in China…India…Thailand…Paraguay and Africa. Faithful translations is our goal!
Ewe Translation for West Africa: We are half way through the fund raising ($40,000) for the Ewe/French John and Romans, French New Testaments and whole Bibles for Togo, West Africa. The Ewe translation is progressing rapidly and our goal is to print early 2018.
Telugu whole Bibles: Our prayers are that in 2018 we will see the Telugu whole Bible printed in India. The translators heavy load and responsibility merits our intercessory prayer.
Prayer Request: Connie’s health…Chinese translation…Ewe translation of Togo, West Africa & funds for printing...Distribution of Isan NT for Thailand...Arabic Bibles for refugees...Translation progress of the Telugu whole Bible for India…Deaf Bible completion…Up coming foreign trips to Lebanon, Togo, Paraguay, Ecuador and India.
Connie and I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, may these days be filled with the joy of our Lord as we remember the reason of His coming and the wonderful salvation He gave to us!
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support, your partnership is vital.
Until all may hear,
Stephen R Zeinner
The Ewe translators are almost finished with John and Romans. The translators met in August to review the progress and found that each book was within about five chapters being finished. Some of the translators don't have computers, so they have hand written their translations. These hand written translations need to be typed by someone else. The gentleman doing the typing was not able to finish the typing in time for the October meeting due to family sickness. Therefore, the scheduled October meeting had to be postponed. When the translators have finished translating and checking John and Romans, Steve Zeinner and Jim Taylor and Steve Combs will return to Togo to do accuracy testing of the translation and to impart more training. If the team is in agreement we will go to print in preparation of sending a container of French whole Bibles...New Testaments...and bi-lingual French/Ewe John and Romans. Pastor Nugent of Grace Baptist Church, Lee Summit MO, has committed to pay and assemble 2,000 whole French Bibles, which is a huge blessing! We are now at $16,000 of the $40,000 needed for this project. It is also hoped that God will give us extra donations to cover the purchase of five computers for the translation team. Any donation amount will help. You may send donations to Plantation Baptist Church, Plantation, Fla. or use the Paypal connection on our web site, www.bpsglobal.org.
Would you please consider helping?
The German translation continues to make progress. The following books have been translated and are in the checking process: Genesis, John, and Romans. The Book of Luke is currently being translated. The Book of Redemption has also been translated and is being checked. We are interested in talking to anyone who knows German as their mother tongue and will be willing to volunteer some time to read through the books that have already been translated listed above. We need them to make notes of areas where the translation is weak or incorrect.
If you are interested in doing that, please contact us through the contact page on our web site, www.bpsglobal.org. The Photos are of Steve Combs and James Kramer, the translator.
Steve and Suzanne Combs' recent trip to Sacramento, California had some very positive steps. The trip was for two purposes. One was to see their son, Rob, and his wife, Denisse, who live in Sacramento. The second was to contact pastors there and make them aware of our ministry. Steve had very positive visits with Pastor Robert Jupp of Calvary Baptist Church, Pastor Charles Carter of Grace Baptist Church, and Pastor Justin Soto of River City Baptist Church. He also planned to visit Pastor David Quitevis in the northern San Francisco area, but the nearby fires in Napa Valley made them decide not to.
Some of my awesome duties and privileges are to present the need of Bible translation in churches and colleges. On this trip Connie and I traveled to Alaska, the scenery was breath taking, and at every glance we were in awe of God’s magnificent creation. I preached and had some great meetings presenting the ministry and making new contacts. We saw old friends and made some new ones. Travels took us from Anchorage, to Fairbanks, to Valdez, and then back to Anchorage. We were able to meet with some great people and discuss the world of Bible Translation.
By Steve Combs
It seems fitting to begin our blog posts with an overview of the translation needs of the World, so that you may intelligently pray for us, the ministry, and for laborers to join the harvest. Jesus said, "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:35). If we are to "look on the fields," it is necessary to look at the state of the Bible translation ministry as it is today. The following statistics are from the International Mission Board and Wycliffe Bible Translators (2014-2016).
People Group Statistics:
World Population: About 7 Billion
Ethno-linguistic People Groups: Over 11,000 (as measured by countries in which they reside. See the article "What Are Unreached People Groups?")
Unreached People Groups: 6,793
Population of Unreached People Groups: 4,208,580,655
Last Frontier People Groups: 4,730
Population Last Frontier: 867,577,905
"Last Frontier" is defined as: 1) less than 2% of the population is born again and 2) there has been NO active church planting in the last two years (so far as is generally known).
Many of these people groups also do not have a Bible or even a New Testament. Some have a few verses and some have active translation projects underway. Othesr simply have NOTHING!
The Bible Translation Statistics are as follows:
Total Languages of the World: over 7,100
Active Languages in Use by Mother-Tongue Speakers: 6,887
Languages With Whole Bible: 554
Languages with Only New Testament: 1,333
Languages with Portions: 1,045
Languages with Projects Underway: 2,267
Languages with NO KNOWN Scripture: 3,955
"Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest" (Luke 10:2).