Bob’s last trip, which he just returned from April 29th, took him to two countries and four language groups. During that trip a total of 3,378 verses of Scripture were checked and approved for printing in those four languages.
The first leg of his trip was in a country he had never visited before, and although the people and surroundings didn’t look much different than where we lived for so many years, the language and the script were completely different, making communication quite a challenge. The important epistles of Romans, Galatians and Colossians were checked for that group and will now be part of that church’s growing library of translated Scripture.
After two weeks in the new area, Bob traveled on to more familiar turf for the remainder of his trip. The next check on the schedule was the final 1,000+ verses necessary to complete the New Testament for that particular language group. As you can imagine there was some celebrating taking place as they checked the last paragraph of the last epistle! In fact, they celebrated with pizza and ice cream, treats that few of the native speakers were very familiar with – but they definitely enjoyed them nonetheless!
Stop #2 – Completing the New Testament!
At the third location, it was very encouraging to see several high school and college aged students taking part in the consultant check, helping to verify that the translation of one gospel and three epistles for their language group was both accurate and understandable. In the past there was a relatively small number of people who helped the translator with this part of the translation process, so we are hopeful that some of these younger people who expressed enthusiasm for hearing the Scriptures in their own language will become ‘regulars.’ That would not only help them to mature in their faith, but also help the translation process go quite a bit faster. We checked nearly 1,400 verses for the believers of that church.
Stop #3 – Growing interest in God’s Word
Then on the fourth stop, a missionary couple who are just starting into the translation phase of their ministry had their first translation check. We covered the three Old Testament books of Ruth, Esther, and Jonah. That particular people group only has a handful of believers, who just heard the Gospel for the first time this past year. But despite the fact that the three native speakers who were helping us were not yet believers, they seemed to really enjoy hearing those stories – and undoubtedly they grew in their understanding of how God shows his love and compassion both to his own people and to all the world.
Stop #4 – Future brothers and sisters in Christ?
Our nephew Alan McDole, whose parents Paul & Tina also serve with NTM in the Asia-Pacific region, is staying with us until he goes to New Tribes Bible Institute in August. He accompanied Bob on his return flight, and is now in the process of looking for employment here in the Fort Wayne area.
During their long layover in Tokyo, they were able to see a little bit of Japanese culture by taking a 3-hour tour of a historic temple not far from the airport.
As always, we thank you for your interest in and support of our ministry to those people groups whose knowledge of our Lord and his Word is still incomplete.
Because of Calvary,
Bob & Debbie Clark