Bible translators press on as Russia war enters second year

By February 28, 2023

Ukraine (MNN) — Leaders from Belarus and Ukraine meet with cohorts in China this week as Russia’s war enters a second year.

Though claiming neutrality and issuing a so-called peace plan to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China has consistently supported Russia with trade and “non-lethal” aid. Last week, CIA Director Bill Burns confirmed that China might send lethal support to Russia in the coming days.

Meanwhile, 18 million people – nearly half of Ukraine’s population – need humanitarian aid and protection. “Infrastructure is very broken in Ukraine, and it is winter. Right now, conditions are tough,” says Arne*, a believer overseeing unfoldingWord’s work in the region.

Soldier examines an unexploded rocket in Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine.
(Wikimedia Commons)

unfoldingWord partners with church-centric Bible translation teams on both sides of the conflict. In January 2022, “we had a team working to produce [Bible translation] resources in the Russian language that would be usable across all of the former USSR republics,” Arne says.

Through its Eurasian Gateway Language project, unfoldingWord equips partnering church networks to translate Biblical content and training materials into an open-licensed format. Bilingual believers can then use these resources to produce the same support materials in minority languages, thus accelerating the overall Bible translation process. Find ways to come alongside this project here.

Team members moved out of Kharkiv and eastern Ukraine when Russia invaded last February. More about that here.

Believers faced challenges of every kind but never gave up on their mission – translating God’s Word into minority languages. The project leader “initiated a second project during this past year, and that project is proceeding nicely,” Arne says.

Today, team members “have problems getting clean water, hot water, and food. It’s not uncommon for them to spend time in various places of shelter, like subways, between the bombings. And yet, they manage to get work done,” Arne says.

“They’re [completing] between three and five books of Scripture, which, under the circumstances, is pretty remarkable.”

Praise God for these believers’ dedication, and ask the Lord to provide for their daily needs. “They need the basic necessities of life,” Arne says.

“Pray that the team would be protected, sustained, and supplied so God’s work could continue.”






Header image courtesy of unfoldingWord.

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