As we approach the celebration of the nativity of our Lord, we of course envision Him as the newborn babe in the manger. This image of babies reminds me of the phrase baby steps, used to describe not only the first tentative attempts to walk, but also the incremental strides we take to build an organization, or start and maintain a project.
Lutheran Bible Translators (LBT) has taken its share of baby steps—small efforts towards the completion of a much larger task—since the organization was established in 1964. Faithful donors like you have been with us every step of the way.
Sierra Leone was among the first countries where LBT missionaries served, with three New Testaments completed by 1984. But translation and literacy efforts in following years were disrupted by war and the subsequent need to restore stability and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
Despite these setbacks, efforts to share God’s Word continued. And those renewed endeavors resulted in translation, literacy, and Scripture engagement efforts that impact language communities throughout the country. In fact, because many people are now able to read, they could worship at home when churches shut down due to COVID-19.
On DECEMBER 1—GIVING TUESDAY—LBT will raise funds to help partners in Sierra Leone take the next steps towards expanding literacy programs in a number of languages. New literacy classes, development of materials, and training for teachers—all will benefit communities as they learn to read God’s Word in the language they best understand. If you haven’t already, click here to listen to Rev. John Bundor explain why literacy is so important for the church and language communities.
When people read God’s Word in their own language, they understand that the Christ Child took His first trembling steps upon this earth much as we did. More importantly, they’re learning that Christ’s walk through life was without sin, leading to a blameless death on the cross, a sacrifice to redeem humankind, to redeem them. Thank you for sharing this life-changing news!