Every year Pioneer Bible Translators sends interns to various fields to work firsthand with missionaries. Their journey begins in Dallas.
Since arriving in Dallas, I have been thrown into a whirlwind of change. Coming here, I didn’t really know anyone. I was very excited, but there was this deep part of me seized with fear of the unfamiliar. However, fear melted away as I started to get to know the other interns and hear their stories of pain, joy and how God has worked in their lives. I was seeing the beauty in each of them and was incredibly blessed. While I’ve been here, there has been very little down time.
The first week I helped out in the Pioneer Bible Translators office preparing for the next week’s Pioneer Mission Institute (PMI). During that time, I was able to meet a variety of people – those who are working behind the scenes, those who volunteer many hours, and missionaries from all over the world. I was able to learn from, and hear inspiring stories of ordinary, yet willing people who changed lives by making the Living Word of God accessible to many unreached people groups.
The second week in Dallas was spent attending classes at PMI. All I can say is Woah! I knew going into my summer that God would challenge and break me in order that I would change and grow; however, I didn’t realize that it would start happening before I left the country. During PMI, missionaries shared stories and experiences about their different fields of expertise ranging from Bible translation and literacy, to community development and trauma care. It was overwhelming to hear about the numerous needs. But in the array of needs, the one that resonated with me and broke my heart was the need for trauma care.
My heart for some time has been broken for women and children who’ve had injustice done against them and are in need of hope and healing. I was told of the desperate need for trauma care in North Africa. I heard stories of decisions that we in the United States would never have to face. One story told of how the oldest and youngest generations in North Africa suffer the most. The missionary began to explain the events of when a tribe had to flee their village because rebels were coming to raid it. Since it was the dry season, they had to carry their own water for the journey. One family had 5 children in which the youngest was a baby. The mother was then forced to make an impossible decision. In order to carry enough water for her family to survive the journey, she had to leave behind her precious baby-sacrificing one for the rest. Hearing this, my heart sank and tears filled my eyes. How does someone live with being forced to make sacrifices like that? That is a pain I cannot fathom.
In response, I started praying, “Lord what is my part in all this? What can I do?” Though I’m still processing and don’t have any definite answers, God is at work in my heart. After hearing of all the needs and learning the reality of how many people don’t have the Bible in their own language, I have been changed forever. It has changed my view of God’s Word and has changed my prayer life. I’m more grateful now than I have ever been that I have a grace that breaks the chains of sin, bringing freedom. Through my relationship with Christ, I can find hope and healing of the deepest wounds that many are without and still desperately need.
If God has worked this much in just a few weeks, I can only imagine what is to come in the next two months. I will never be the same because of this experience and thank goodness for that!
The enemy wants to bring discouragement and lies to the midst of what God is doing, so prayers are coveted. I need the strength of our God as challenges arise, culture shock happens, and I’m stretched beyond what I feel I can handle. Praise God that He chooses the weak for His purposes. I pray I am used to carry the freedom of Christ to others. May He get all the glory due His name.