USA (MNN) — 2010 was an incredible year for Bible translation around the world. And Bible translators are praying for another great year in 2011. But they can't do it alone.
The Seed Company is a ministry that's accelerating Bible translation by coming alongside national nationals and helping them do the work.
Senior Vice President for Field programs, Larry Jones, says, "The Seed Company was privileged to participate in an amazing acceleration of Bible translation work around the world this past year. 93 new people groups were engaged, and we got them started on the process of having Scripture in their own language."
They were also able to get "26 more people from Africa, Asia and Latin America involved as Bible translation consultants — getting them on a development path, to be professional contributors to the Bible translation cause," says Jones.
Jones says The Seed Company wasn't affected by the downturn in the economy. "We had our best year ever in terms of growth in our field ministries. We currently have over 400 projects that are actively being conducted around the world. This is a remarkable acceleration."
The Seed Company attributes the One Verse Campaign as a reason for their incredible growth. "It's been a way in which we could invite a broad spectrum of people here in the United States to participate in prayers and finances in the work of Bible translation."
For $26, you can underwrite the cost of one verse of the Bible for one of the approximately 2,000 languages that still has not one word of Scripture in their language. This past year, school children, teens, and adults all participated in this program.
The Seed Company hopes to have similar growth this year. Jones says there are certain areas that need support. "Nigeria in Central Africa is one of the key areas. Indonesia and the Pacific Islands, including Papua New Guinea–that's the huge concentration of remaining need for Bible translation. And the third one is in India and the Himalayan region in South Asia."
Will we see a translation started in each of the remaining 2,000 languages? Jones says, "2000 is really not all that many in terms of an absolute number when you consider the size of the church globally. So, is it possible that we'll see this in our life-time? I think it's very possible."
There's another reason for the optimism. "We're also seeing tremendous innovations in technology that enable us to apply Bible translation disciplines. It's making it possible for us to accelerate this even more."