Did you celebrate Labor Day this past weekend? Although originally established to honor the work done in trade and labor organizations, the observance has become a bit more generic over the years. In fact, for many, the day has nothing to do with labor at all, simply representing the end of the summer, the beginning of school, and the coming of autumn.
But I got to thinking about the meaning of labor and all that it entails. You may not think of translation teams as laboring away on the field to bring God’s Word to the people they serve. But if we consider a few of the definitions of the word, you may change your mind. For instance, labor can be defined not only as physical, but also mental work, especially of a hard or fatiguing kind. Similarly, it means to exert one’s powers of body or mind. Or it can simply mean that one is striving toward a goal.
A number of years ago LBT missionaries Rev. Nathan and Sarah Esala, then serving in Ghana, suggested Bible translation is much like constructing a house. It takes cooperation, effort, the right tools, the best materials, and a firm foundation to build both a home and a Bible. That means physical and mental labor on the part of a team committed to completing the project to the highest possible standard.
Of course, Bible translation is a labor of love—love for Christ, love for God’s Word, love for people. Whatever the circumstances, even when facing challenges or setbacks, we fully ascribe to Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians: “Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
It takes a team to build a Bible. If you pray for, give, or share about the need for Bible translation, you too are part of the Bible translation team. Thank you!! If you haven’t yet chosen to participate, we thank you for following the LBT blog and ask that you please consider joining with those who are working together to bring Scripture to people in languages they can understand. Click here to learn how you can share your love for God and His Word around the world.