Tabitha* is the accountant for the Flame* Project in West Africa. She shares the difference Jesus has made in her life, and why she loves serving him in this way:
People had told me many times about the need to give my life to Jesus, because he is the only saviour of mankind, but I was unmoved. It was only when I saw the difference he made in my sisters’ lives and how they acted that my heart was changed. I understood, gave my life to him, was forgiven and became his child. And then I could live a new life.
Now that I was a child of God, my uncle, who is a pastor, encouraged me to reach out to others in our community. My interest in language and in the Bible had grown by that point, so I asked for an internship with the Flame Project. I wanted to learn how to read and write in Flame, but also to use that to reach out to my Muslim friends.
When I was given the chance to apply for the job of project accountant, I jumped at the opportunity to use my time and talents to serve God and my people.
Bible translation requires money – sometimes a lot of it! In order to achieve our goals, we need to manage these resources carefully. Translators don’t necessarily understand budget systems well, and besides that, they need that time to work on translation. So somebody with accounting skills is needed to give reliable reports to partners and ensure we stay within budget. Doing that frees up the translators to do their work.
Keeping to the budget can be a challenge, especially as we don’t always have the budget for 100% of our needs. And on top of that, I have to deal with non-budgeted expenses, which have to be submitted to my supervisor. Sometimes you really have to reach beyond yourself in order to manage those situations.
On the whole I enjoy my work, because I can serve God and others at the same time. But most of all, I enjoy the interactions with the translators. I get to know them, their situations and their needs, and I get to pray for them and all their financial and personal needs.
The Flame people are proud of their cultural identity. Their language is used in many mosques throughout the country, so they feel they know God best. When they are addressed in their own language, it makes them feel valued. Translating the Bible into their language and working in partnership with their religious leaders means they will hear and understand its message. They tend not to be able to read, especially languages using Western scripts. So the Flame Scriptures with portions written with the Arabic-like Ajami script, along with the audio version, are expected to reach many more people – a reality we’re already seeing with the New Testament.
The Bible has transformed my life. Now I live my life in the light of the word of God, and I give thanks to God for revealing his word to us.
*Names changed for security reasons