Archive for the ‘Bible Study’ Category

Goal!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 by Martin Horton

We started up some ladies’ football teams, but not just to learn football!

Football and the Bible. Not normally a combination you would think of. Though this combination is making a big difference in the Safwa language area in Tanzania.

John and Amani are Scripture engagement and literacy workers in the Safwa language area. In their work they cover areas such as teaching people to read, selling local language books, promoting the local language and Scripture engagement training.

They meet with pastors and members of the community to encourage people to use their own language and teach them to read their language, as well as train people to be literacy or Sunday school teachers or how to lead Bible studies.

Surprisingly, it was Bible studies that led to the setting up of the ladies’ football teams. Amani began it first in his own village and then it rapidly caught on in a neighbouring village too. Three times a week the ladies meet to practice and spend time learning to read the Safwa language and how to lead Bible studies. Their studies have begun with Mark’s gospel.

They come from different denominations and some don’t even go to church but they are starting to learn the word of God. And they want to inspire others too! The ladies have said how ‘they will continue this work of teaching people and will make sure that the word of God reaches every corner, even to their children.’ The ladies have also commented how eager they are to learn Safwa and the Bible so it can be used in their communities.

Please will you pray:
• For protection over John and Amani as they travel, often over rough roads.
• For connections with significant people in communities that will open the door to the word of God reaching many people in the Safwa language
• For the ladies on the football teams, that they would not only have fun playing together, but would be motivated to read the Bible and would be changed by the power of God’s word and his Spirit at work amongst them.

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It’s the first time I have understood

Thursday, January 12th, 2017 by Jo Johnson

If you have read ‘Standing in the Gap’ for some time then you may remember praying, back in May 2014, for the Karon project which we brought to your attention in ‘a new start in Senegal’. Back then the project was just starting and we told you that the plan was to  translate Luke’s gospel over four years and use it to dub the JESUS film too.

Here is how God has answered your prayers: the team have published Luke in print and audio form and we are delighted by the news found in this excerpt from a report.

‘We have been encouraged to hear that the recently published translation of Luke’s Gospel has been well received by the Karon community, particularly the audio recording. One man commented: “Now, when I’m going to work this is what I listen to. I have listened to it over and over, and it is excellent! It is the first time I have understood the life of Jesus!”

A bar owner in an island village has reportedly been playing the Luke recording every day from morning to night for the benefit of his customers. Anyone who goes to hang out in his bar – probably most people in the village – has been hearing the word of God in Karon.

Another encouragement is that our first print run seems to be selling out fast, and the demand is such that we will probably need to think about printing more copies soon.’

Give thanks that people have such enthusiasm for hearing God’s word in their own language.

Please pray:

  • that people will be so gripped by God’s word in Karon that they will want to listen to it and read it over and over again.
  • that they will not quickly get bored of it once the novelty of having materials in their own language dies away, but that they will keep chewing over these words until they work their way into their hearts and transforms their lives.

The team are now working on translating the book of Acts into Karon. Their first consultant check is scheduled for 13-17 March. The team ask that we pray for:

  • ‘the consultant check in March, when we hope to go through Acts chapters 1-11 with a qualified translation consultant, who will help us to make sure that our translation is as accurate and clear as we can make it. Pray for God’s protection during this week, as Satan is always eager to hinder our consultant checking time.’

Interested in praying regularly for  translation projects? Sign up to receive our magazine ‘Words for Life‘ which is packed full of interesting articles as well as our prayer diary giving daily prayer needs.

Resolve to make a difference

Thursday, December 29th, 2016 by Jo Johnson

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Often resolutions are made with the aim of personal improvement, to lose weight or get fit or read more. Instead of making a resolution that you benefit from this year, why don’t you make a resolution which will profit someone else instead?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABefore Christmas we had an appeal to raise money for a project in the Gajara region of Chad. This project is in a remote area and many of the people groups it serves do not understand the official languages, so they have no access to Scripture that is already available. Many of these groups are followers of another major world religion and have never heard the gospel.

With this in mind the project aims to encourage national missionaries to use oral Bible stories in eleven languages and written Bible portions as the translation teams complete them. Two groups which have churches are already benefiting from the New Testaments published in 2012 and two more such groups hope to complete New Testaments in 2019. We are so grateful to all who gave to enable this vital work to continue.

However, in order for the project to reach its goals it also needs committed prayer support. Will you make a New Year’s resolution to regularly pray for this project? You could do this alone or with your home group or other members of your church.

Get started by praying for the following:

  • For perseverance for the translation teams
  • For technology to work reliably including computers and solar panels. Technical issues often slow down the translation work.
  • For the storytellers – that they will see fruit from their ministry.
  • For Bible listening groups which study the Bible using audio versions. Ask God to reveal himself to many through these groups.
  • For encouragement for everyone at seeing the results; lives transformed through faith in Christ.

Sign up here to commit to pray for this project. You’ll receive project updates to help you pray.

Why don’t you follow us on Twitter @wycliffeuk_pray to find out about other urgent prayer needs.

Anna grows in confidence

Monday, November 7th, 2016 by Camilla

Anna sits quietly in the circle of workshop attendees, eagerly listening to the conversation and poring over the words of her Setswana translated Bible.

Anna is a single mother from the village of Kapatura in northern Botswana. She took part in a cluster project. ‘The first time I heard some speak about the Bible was the first time I was interested in the Bible. I used to hear the Bible, but wasn’t really interested until then,’ says Anna.

confident-annaNever before had Anna received the opportunity to learn the Scriptures for herself instead of having someone tell her. The churches she used to attend taught false doctrines, she says, and convinced members that the only way to know God was directly through the pastors in charge rather than through the Bible.

When Anna began attending Sunday morning Bible study, she was suddenly handed the power and confidence to listen, ask questions and learn more and more about God’s word for herself. Each week, those that attend the studies practice their ability to memorise, internalise and then share a new Bible story. They work together to reach the best translation, and everyone’s opinion – no matter their age or background – is viewed equally.

Anna talks about the difference the ability to wholeheartedly pursue true knowledge of the Bible has made in her life. ‘I used to only know God by mouth, but now, by learning the Bible, I know this is where my life is. If I hold onto the Bible, I will have a good life.’

God is clearly using Anna and she has already begun to narrate Bible stories to her family at home, and her plan to share with the youth around her is inspiring and impressive. Here is a timid and seemingly unqualified woman proving that God’s love doesn’t differentiate.

Thankful and passionately ready to move forward, Anna prays that her actions bring glory to God.

This story originally appeared on our partner organisation the Seed Company’s website.

Interested in supporting the work of Bible translation? Find out more on how you can go, give or pray.

Bible Sunday: How much do you value the Bible?

Monday, October 24th, 2016 by Camilla

According to research by ComRes for the Bible Society, only 57% of Christians in Britain (not including church leaders) believe the Bible should shape their daily lives “a great deal”, and a surprisingly low 35% said they read the Bible every day. Surprised? So am I. Read more here.

As yesterday was Bible Sunday, we’re encouraging our readers to give some extra thought to their Bible study. Be honest: What is your relationship with God’s word? How would you like it to change? How big is the gap between your aspirations and your practice?

It’s OK if you’re not quite where you want to be. Don’t fall into the guilt trap and hope that will motivate you to change. There are better ways.

Consider your destination before deciding how to get there. What do you want your Bible study to look like? What do you want to get out of it? If it helps, write down 2-3 simple goals.

Once you have a destination in mind, plan your route. Don’t try to get there in one day – you’ll run out of steam. Play the long game – start small and build up.

Stuck in a rut? Try mixing it up! Try a different Bible translation, or an audio Bible (there are plenty of free ones available online). Try reading at different times of the day. Try reading with others. Team up with an accountability partner.

Also: Check out my new favourite resource, The Bible Project! The Bible project has a series of videos exploring different books of the Bible and where they fit in to the overall story the Bible tells as a whole, as well as videos on specific themes such as The Covenants, and the Image of God.

If you want to get into the Bible more, but feel like you need one more little push, try this short article by Christian Today: 4 reasons you should make time for daily devotions if you aren’t already.