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An artistic way to engage with God

By December 24, 2015

Brazil (MNN) — [Part 2 of our 2-part mini-series on the unique roles in Bible translation] Have you ever wondered, “God, how on Earth can you use this?” If so, you’re not alone.

Just after Trevor and Sarah married ten years ago, they felt God calling them to Bible translation ministry. The catch? They were both musicians.

Bible translating is about, well, translating the Bible, not singing songs. But God had a plan.

But God had a plan.

“In our minds, we gave up the artistic aspect of our lives and of our professional lives. And thought, ‘Okay, God’s leading us in a totally new direction,’” recalls Trevor.

brazilBut after partnering with Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, Trevor and Sarah began to realize God wanted to use their artistic talents.

“We started to hear more about this ministry called Ethno hearts…. I had heard of [it] before but wasn’t too sure about it,” says Trevor. It was God’s way of combining their two passions.

After all, Bible translation is really about engaging God’s Word with a culture.

Afterwards, the little family eventually found themselves on their way to Brazil. Sarah was born in Brazil. Her father was American, her mother Brazilian. A lot of her childhood was spent between the two countries and cultures. Her lineage made it easier to adapt, learn the language, and get visas for her and her family.

Now in Brazil, Trevor works with indigenous people as an art specialist.

“While the Bible is being translated into their language, we’re trying to come alongside them and help them engage in Scripture in ways that are unique to their culture. [We want them to] have their own art forms, their own music, their own styles of dance and drama and storytelling. Anything that’s kind of artistic, we look to engage Scripture with that,” says Trevor.

(Photo Courtesy Christ Gilmore via Flickr) Brazilian Martial Arts

(Photo courtesy Christ Gilmore via Flickr)

And it’s working. The people are starting to take ownership over the project. They’re being inspired to engage with God’s Word culturally on their own.

“We can use what is truly indigenous to their culture. That way they can really engage in worship in Scripture in a way that makes sense to their heart,” says Trevor.

While Trevor works with the people, Sarah’s primary focus is to care for their children. She also supports Trevor however he needs.

But, she still likes to work hands-on with the people when she’s able. She’s even had the opportunity to work with some women.

“They are just a handful of believers. And the women of those couples….one, in particular, I’ve been able to mentor to some degree,” says Sarah.

This has given Sarah and Trevor lots of opportunities to share the Gospel and help others grow. “Over the last year, we’ve walked through health difficulties, and you know they’ve walked with us in some regards. They’ve had their own health struggles, and so we’ve been able to come alongside them and pray with them–pray over them and pray over their families,” Sarah says.

Sarah’s advice to anyone on a similar path as her and her family: pray. Pray that God clearly opens and closes doors. Pray constantly and seek His counsel. Furthermore, hold on to plans with open hands. You never know where God is going to lead.

Sarah and Trevor also ask for your prayers.

Pray for:
  • the continued work of the Bible translations in Brazil
  • this period of transition
  • protection from the enemy
  • and the work of the Gospel

To learn more about ethno-art, click here.

To learn more about Wycliffe USA, click here.

[Click here for Part 1 on this subject.]

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