Good morning from a dry and chilly Jos,
The temperature is dropping, we are down to around 20C first thing in the morning. Might not sound too cold but I am sat here typing this in a fleece jacket! We have had no rain for well over a month and none likely for another 4 months at least.
We took advantage of the dryness to have a Bonfire Night celebration on our compound. There is something very nice about being able to celebrate Bonfire Night in your shirt sleeves, knowing that you are not going to get rained off! I certainly don’t miss the annual challenge in Britain of can-I-physically-walk-in-the-number-of-layers-needed-to-prevent-me-from-freezing-at-Bonfire-Night. I did miss the fireworks however. We decided not to attempt any, loud bangs here tend to have rather negative associations.
Tim had an unexpected opportunity to share about Bible Translation at Hillcrest’s Middle & High School chapel (think all-school assembly that parents can show up to) this week. The youth pastor for the school had come down sick and asked Tim to fill in for him. So Tim put on his youth worker persona and went for it! We had a lot of brilliant feedback with one Nigerian mum saying that she thought it was the best chapel ever! Most people, even here in Nigeria, don’t realise just how many languages there are in Nigeria and how few actually have the Bible. Or even how important scripture in your own language is. Nelson Mandela explained it well when he said
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.“
One of the things I have been doing over the past couple of weeks is working through a new way to look at Scripture Need statistics that should help us to get a much better picture of what the remaining needs really are in Nigeria. These are the former statistics.
Living Nigerian languages: 510
Nigerian languages with a full Bible: 25
Nigerian languages with just a New Testament: 57
Nigerian languages that need translation starting: approximately 240
One of the challenges that we are facing is that traditionally it has been expected that each language will need, at most, one translation. However we are finding more and more that many of these “languages” are actually made up of “dialects” that each really need their own translation. As a result we are pretty confident that the true number of translations that need starting is a lot higher than our current estimate of around 240. Thankfully we serve the God of the Impossible!
If you can, please do take a bit of time to pray for us and the work we are involved with.
- Things at work are slightly less manic than they were last month.
- Great time celebrating Bonfire Night with some Brits and some “honorary” Brits.
- Tim having the opportunity to share about Bible Translation at Hillcrest.
- That our God is more than capable of meeting the scriptures needs of Nigeria.
- That what Tim shared will stay with both the students and their parents and encourage them to look and see how they can be involved in supporting Bible translation.
- For all those languages that still have no scripture either published, or even in progress, that God would release his resources to provide for their scripture needs.