Russia (MNN) — While Russia claims to have pulled out of Georgia, many observers say Russia hasn't completely withdrawn from the region. In fact, Russia has gone a step further and voted to recognize South Ossetia as an independent nation, although South Ossetia and Abkhazia are recognized internationally as Georgian territories.
The two regions gained de-facto independence in the early nineties and have largely been run by separatist, Kremlin-backed governments since then. Many Abkhazians and South Ossetians have been granted Russian passports.
While the political situation is difficult, Max with World Bible Translation Center is optimistic about outreach. "I think God is opening up a little bit [of a different] door to that part of the country and that part of the world, so that people would maybe see things a lot differently than they would have otherwise."
And, it couldn't come at a better time as WBTC is in the process of revising its Easy-to-Read Bible in Russian. Max says they're trying to "get rid of old, archaic forms of some verbs and some words and simplify it, and make sure even people without any education whatsoever could easily read it and understand what the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is talking about."
If everything goes smoothly, the new Bible should go to print in either December 2008 or January 2009.
Max says the people in Russian know about God because of its religious history. He says as they read the revised Bible, a relationship will develop. "A lot more people will convert to God in a real understanding of that word — not just knowing about God."
Max says the New Testament is finished, and the Old Testament is making great progress.
To date, World Bible Translation Center has sent over 2.5 million Bibles to Russia. Many organizations have already placed their orders for the new Bibles.
WBTC is asking you to pray that they will meet deadlines and be able to get it into the hands of many who will use it in evangelism.