Middle East (MNN) –- From the Arab Spring and rioting in the streets, to U.S. troops being pulled out, the current of change sweeping through the Middle East is charged with tension. Many in the area feel uncertain about the future, their "tomorrow" hanging like a cloud.
With so much shifting in the Middle East, Doug Lockhart with Biblica argues that this day and age could not be more pivotal for bringing the Gospel to the people. "Any time there's change, there's opportunity; and there certainly is change if we're watching the news. There's opportunity to place God’s Word in the hands of people in some very exciting ways right now.”
And Biblica is certainly leading the way with their fairly new release of a printed translation of the Bible into Arabic. They also have an audio recording of the New Testament in Arabic. Current work is being done to record an Arabic Old Testament.
Arabic is the main spoken language in the Middle East, as well as one of the top 10 languages spoken around the world. It's no wonder Biblica has made this translation a major focus with over 344,000 estimated Arabic speakers as of 2009.
"To have a Bible in their heart language, that they can understand, just might connect them to God's Word and might begin a relationship with Christ. That's something we want to make sure we take advantage of," Lockhart states.
Unfortunately, a common trend seen with missions is to not put much emphasis on funding projects for outreach in the Middle East. According to The Joshua Project, just over 71% of the Middle Eastern population is still completely unreached with the Gospel.
But Biblica is working to change that trend. "[Placing] Bibles in the Middle East is one of our top areas," says Lockhart. "We segment, or we cluster the world into seven areas, and of those seven areas the Middle East is right at the top. It's because there is such an important need for reaching people with God's Word in that area of the world."
To place these Bibles, Biblica has the help of support partners living in the Middle East with "feet on the street." These support partners actively distribute the Bibles sent by Biblica. But to actually produce the Bibles, Biblica needs the help of fellow believers around the world.
It only takes between $1 and $3 to produce a version of Scripture in the Arabic language. All money donated goes directly to the production of these Bibles. Lockhart says over the next year, Biblica hopes to place hundreds of thousands of Bibles into the hands of Arabic-speakers in the Middle East.
Please pray for the impact of the Gospel to make headway in the Middle East and for the production of these Arabic Bibles to bring the light of Christ to those living in darkness.