Devotion and prayer time have always been an important part of the work week at the offices of Lutheran Bible Translators (LBT). Our focus is to study God’s Word and then offer prayer and praise as we remember the various needs of our co-workers, communities, families, friends and partners.
Prayer is also a regular feature for translation teams and staff overseas. Jim Laesch has traveled extensively on behalf of LBT during his 40+ years of service. A number of years ago, while meeting with the staff at The Institute for Sierra Leonean Languages (TISLL) in Freetown, Sierra Leone, he had a unique prayer experience.
“I knew it was prayer time back at LBT, so I asked the TISLL staff if we could pray together, even as our colleagues in the States were praying. Interestingly, all of them started to pray at once!
“When they were finished, I remarked that I had only heard English. Since between them the staff spoke several Sierra Leonean languages, I requested that they each pray in their own language. They agreed, and the chorus of prayers once again started simultaneously. But then it hit one person’s funny bone, perhaps because he was trying to listen to the languages others were using while praying in his own. He tried to hold it in, but a giggle escaped, and soon the rest were also laughing. I think the idea of everyone praying in their own language at the same time was a bit of a new idea and the sound of it evoked surprise, fun and joy. After a good laugh, we remarked that it was a bit like Pentecost. I feel God enjoyed it too!”
TISLL continues to be instrumental in promoting translation and literacy in Sierra Leone. One of the things the staff prays for is financial provision so they can meet the needs of many language communities. Requests for materials and programs is outpacing the capability to provide them. Click here to learn more about TISLL and how you can put God’s Word in the hands of the people of Sierra Leone.