“Thxrx is nothing wrong with our typxwritxr xxcxpt for onx littlx kxy. Thx othxrs work pxrfxctly. Onx malfunctioning kxy makxs a diffxrxncx, doxsn’t it?”
I came across this in an old LBT prayer letter, written to donors in 1969. It went on to say, “You may say to yoursxlf, I am just onx. What I do or don’t do won’t makx much diffxrxncx. But you arx wrong. Thx nxxt timx you think you arx not important, rxmxmbxr our poor old typxwritxr. You arx vxry much a kxy mxmbxr of our ministry.”
The missionary’s typewriter actually worked just fine. But she was trying to make an important point. Her ministry was funded through the gifts of hundreds of donors who wanted to share God’s Word with the Yessan-Mayo people in Papua New Guinea. Because of those financial partnerships, LBT was able to complete the Yessan-Mayo New Testament translation in 1980, the first of many Scripture translations to come.
Things have changed since standard equipment included manual typewriters. But it’s still true that Bible translation cannot happen without financial support. Because of the generosity of prayer and financial partners, LBT is serving in several new language programs this year—Waria, Grebo, Dhirayta, Zayse, Gokana, Assyrian, Mende, and Sabelto.
In a 1980 prayer letter, the Yessan-Mayo community shared its gratitude by inviting those who supported the translation project to attend the dedication ceremony. “Novemba 1 nem lotu nente, barrow tete, aawas aate. Arr yaabel nem God atarre tumaa, nemre kwom tumakk baas rraastana sigelow, nem potte. Akarr nem loto nente… November 1 we will have a service, a celebration, and a feast. On that day we will receive God’s words, the words written on paper. On that day if you come and be with us, that will be good. We will be pleased and happy together.” It’s doubtful is any were able to attend, but they certainly knew that whatever their contribution, their partnership was appreciated and brought joy through God’s Word to the Yessan-Mayo people.
Whether translation, literacy, or language development, God’s Word reaches people who never before had access to Scripture. And they are grateful. Nxvxr doubt you arx kxy to bringing Scripturx to pxoplx around the world. Over 40 translations and many thousands of donors prove it. Thank you for your participation in the Bible translation movement!