International (MNN) — There are more than 350 million people without one verse of Scripture in their heart language. But 350 million is only 5% of the world's population. Is it really that important?
The Seed Company believes it is vitally important. In fact, they are not only serious about getting translations of the Word of God in each one of the world's languages started by 2025, but they are committed especially to language groups that they call the "Least of These."
"These are small language groups that are 10,000 speakers or less," explains Michael Currier. 'Least of These" language groups make up over 70% of the 2,000 languages left without Scripture. 600 of these "Least of These" groups have less than 1,000 speakers.
Many of these groups do not have the Bible, but they do have churches and have heard the Gospel. So for what is seemingly such a small group of people without Scripture, is it really worth the years of effort and thousands of dollars to give these groups Bibles? Especially if they understand the Word of God in another language?
Although 10,000 speakers to one language group is a small amount as languages go, Currier puts it into perspective.
"If we know of a church that has 10,000 members, we think that's a significant church, and we would not question the need to invest in the ministry of that church because they're reaching so many people," Currier explains. "In the same way, we're talking about groups that are that size and they have no access to the basic tools to grow spiritually. We wouldn't tolerate that in a church that size; how can we tolerate that among a people group who have no knowledge of God?"
It's imperative for numbers, but also imperative for depth of faith. Currier notes that people without the Scriptures in their first language often miss out on understanding many of the truths of God. Some people who profess faith in Christ even turn back to old practices and idols when crisis hits, simply because they do not have the tools teaching them why not to do so.
But as Scripture is introduced into these communities, complete transformation ripples throughout. Family relationships change as mothers, fathers, and children learn how to treat one another. People respond to times of trouble as God tells how them to respond, not as they think is best. The effect of the Living Word of God is a depth of transformation that is hard pressed to exist otherwise.
Like The Seed Company, the Bolthouse Foundation is passionate about reaching each of these people. They are so passionate, in fact, that they have offered The Seed Company a grant to meet their translation goals for the "Least of These."
"The Bolthouse Foundation has offered a matching grant. So any church or church-related group can invest in one of these translation projects and see their investment doubled," Currier explains.
It costs anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 to support a full translation project, depending on the language; but any church, small group, Bible study, Sunday school class, or Vacation Bible School can at least make a dent in those project costs, especially with the help of a matching grant. To get a group or church in on this Kingdom-building opportunity, click here and learn more.