Bible translation by nationals is moving forward dramatically.

By April 24, 2006

Guinea Bissau (MNN) — Guinea Bissau is a place of intense spiritual battles. Where Christian work expands, the enemy tries to oppose.

Recently, more than 50 shaman (religious leaders in animism) placed a curse on Bible translation and Christian work there. The shaman’s plan backfired, and instead of the believers getting sick and dying, the shaman began to get sick and die.

Wycliffe Associates’ Bruce Smith says the power of Truth has made people much more responsive to the Gospel. “This was an incredible demonstration of the real power of the Truth in that arena, and led to a lot more people turning away from their animistic roots, and from the leadership of their animistic religious leaders, and toward the Christian work that is going on there.”

Many of the people in the region are very aware of the spiritual dimension, says Smith, but God’s work in their spirits is changing hearts and lives, “People are much more responsive now there. The demonstration of power in that particular kind of situation is very meaningful to the people that are living in a spiritual reality, in a spiritual dynamic that is probably difficult for some of our listeners to actually comprehend at this particular point in our lives.”

Advancing Bible translation is what Wycliffe Associates aims to do, and God is doing some great things, Smith says, “When the Holy Spirit and power is demonstrated in this kind of a situation, it definitely has a serious impact and increases the credibility of Christianity in that arena. Our particular focus, as always, is on getting the Gospel translated into those local languages. And one of the trends that we’re seeing in that particular area, is that the national church and people in those churches have a much greater increase in interest right now in seeing the Gospel translated into their own languages. And so that particular aspect of the work is moving forward pretty dramatically.”

The needs are still great. Translation work in 27 languages still needs to be started. Facilities need to be built in order to help that work progress. Service opportunities abound, and prayer is a huge need. Smith says that short-term teams are needed, in order to “help to see these facilities come together so that the local people can take more responsibility themselves.”

Short-term opportunities abound. Smith says they’re looking for, “people with a willing spirit, availability, and a desire to know more about what God is doing in these kind of arenas, and to help accelerate Bible translation.”

For trip information, contact Wycliffe Associates using their information listed below.

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