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- God’s amazing love drove demons away
Maricel recalls vividly the day an angry traditional healer threatened her father in their home. The healer was her mother, Carolina. Carolina was furious because her husband and Maricel’s father, Sotero, had again brought Christian pastors to their home in Palanan, a small town in the Philippines. They tried to tell her about Jesus. ‘I will kill you!’ she shouted at Sotero. ‘If I give up witchcraft, the spirits will come and kill us all!’ She mocked Sotero’s faithfulness. An evil spirit that controlled Carolina made her weaker day by day, Maricel says. Her entire body ached for two months. The family took her to the hospital, but the doctor found nothing wrong. She was terrified. Maricel was a teenager at the time. Looking back, she believes evil spirits tormented her mother. Sotero persisted in sharing Scripture with Carolina. Other Christian friends came to pray. Finally, she relented: ‘I will surrender my life to your God.’ Maricel recalls, ‘When the Christians, including my father, came to pray, the evil spirit still fighting inside of her wanted her dead. Suddenly, God opened my mother’s heart and touched her. She was free at last.’ Maricel recalls that after Carolina accepted Christ, ‘She became a changed person,’ Maricel says. ‘There was peace in the family.’ When Maricel was 9, she asked Jesus to be her Saviour. Nine years later, a church friend who was a Bible translator asked Maricel to check the comprehension level of her work. When she read the story of God calling Samuel in her mother tongue, Maricel thought, serving God is good. The next year, Maricel joined the Paranan translation team in Bagabag. She lives at the International cross-cultural leadership training centre, where she is working on the Paranan Old Testament. Everyone at the centre has multiple duties. Maricel helps with information technology, secretarial work and bookkeeping. She helps with farm chores. As a translator, she follows a stringent process of reading, outlining, analysing, drafting and revising Scripture. She writes questions and checks her work with partners and community members. ‘I thank God that he changed my family. I thank God because of his love for us.’ This blog post is adapted from a story by our partner The Seed Company. For more great stories on what’s going on in the world of Bible translation, sign up to our magazine Words for Life! (more...)
- Let thy kingdom come
Many of us enjoy the dynamic of being part of something bigger. We love being part of a crowd of supporters at a sporting event or taking part in a sponsored event to raise money for charity. Knowing that we are part of an extensive movement can give us a sense of connectivity and significance. Something else that empowers us is knowing that God has chosen to work through his people. When we join in with his mission through prayer, God is glorified and we can watch expectantly to see him move in power to do immeasurably more than we ever ask for or imagine! Because we think being part of a global movement is great and because we know that prayer is a critical part of partnering with God in his mission, we are very excited by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s initiative that is running this year between ascension and Pentecost (25 May to 4 June). Called Thy Kingdom Come, it’s a global call to pray, alone or with others, for our communities and other communities for which we have concern and love, to come to know Jesus. One way you can pray is to ask God for newly translated Scriptures to impact the people they’ve been translated for, whether whole New Testaments or just portions of Scripture. Since January we’ve told you about the Baka in Southern Sudan, the Beliyan people in Senegal, Kamuku of Nigeria, 11 languages in Papua New Guinea, and the Karon people of Senegal, but there are many others too. Wherever you are in the world, and whatever church you’re part of – join with Thy Kingdom Come and be part of this global wave of prayer. To find out more read Join a global wave of prayer by 24-7 Prayer’s International Director, Brian Heasley, or just head over to Thy Kingdom Come to Pledge2Pray. (more...)