The students leaned forward, listening with fascination as a guest speaker at their Bible college in Eurasia described the Bible translation movement. They were astonished to hear how many people in the world today still do not have access to God’s Word in their heart language. Deeply moved by the stories they heard, some felt called to action.
One student left the classroom that day with the conviction that God was calling him to be a Bible translator. He had never before considered serving as a missionary in another country. Now he had a dream to take God’s Word to places where it has never gone before.
“But how can I do this?” he wondered. “How can I get the training I need in Biblical languages, exegesis, and linguistics? How can I find the financial support I need to live in another country and serve the Kingdom in this way?”
At the same time, we at Pioneer Bible Translators were asking our own questions—different, but closely related. How can we take God’s Word to Bibleless people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia? How can we live incarnationally among a people when, as North Americans, we cannot get visas for longer than three months? How can we learn the culture and language of the people we desire to serve when, in some cases, we are forbidden even to travel to where they live?
At Pioneer Bible Translators, we believe that the answers to many of these questions lie in partnerships. Partnership is one of our core values. We partner with prayer warriors and financial supporters. We partner with other Bible agencies. We partner with individuals, churches, and missions everywhere we work. We partner with the Bibleless people with whom we serve.
So why not also partner with men and women like this willing student? They already have some knowledge of the languages and customs of the countries where they will serve. Their passports grant them access to places that are closed to us. God is calling them and gifting them for this ministry. Why not partner with them to accomplish the goals of Bible translation in this hard-to-reach area of the world?
This is exactly what Pioneer Bible Translators has begun to do. We are establishing a presence in Europe, and we are now recruiting the first generation of Eurasian workers to serve throughout their region. We are partnering with organizations like The Seed Company to provide needed funding for training. As God enables us to bridge the gaps these new teammates face—such as training and financial support—He is working through them to bridge a gap we face: placing cross-cultural servants in the region’s restricted-access countries.
One by one, each crucial piece is falling into place. This is the global Body of Christ, working together for His glory!