International (MNN) — 50,000 Easy-to-Read Burmese New
Testaments will soon be ready for distribution in Myanmar, and a generous donor has
agreed to match church donations up to $50,000.
Half of the New Testaments have already been printed in Sri Lanka, and
the rest should be finished within three or four weeks. Each New Testament costs $2, so every dollar
a church donates to the project will be doubled to buy one New Testament. The donor specifically wants to match
donations given by churches.
"He feels like the churches are made up of individual
Christians who are interested in getting the Bible to the people of the world,
and he feels like this is a project that he wants to see churches involved with,"
said Tom McGregor of World
WBTC has posted a bulletin insert on its website to help
churches get involved.
McGregor said WBTC is trying to get the Burmese Bibles done
as quickly as possible, to take advantage of the short window of opportunity
God has given them.
"The news media is broadcasting less information about Myanmar, and we
don't want this to be a project that slips to the backburner. We want it
foremost in people's minds so we can get this done," he said.
The New Testaments will be shipped through Bangkok,
Thailand and Yangon, Myanmar
to evangelists, churches and Bible schools all over Myanmar. Several other ministries in Myanmar have
expressed an interest in helping to distribute the New Testaments.
One of WBTC's ministry partners in Burma requested
500,000 Bibles. Although only 50,000 New
Testaments are being printed at this point, ministry partners have ordered more
paper in case funds become available to print more. The translation of an Easy-to-Read Burmese
Old Testament has not yet been completed.
One of WBTC's distribution partners in Myanmar
stressed the need for an easy-to-read translation of the Bible: "I personally
feel that the Scriptures need to be readable by the masses of people who may or
may not understand high language."
Even Buddhist monks in Myanmar are requesting copies of
the Scriptures, and many Buddhists are becoming Christians after 80,000 people
died and 1.5 million lost their homes to Cyclone Nargis on May 2. Thousands more people face malaria and other
diseases due to dirty water and poor sanitation.