In just a few days, over 10,000 athletes will participate in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Every one of them devoted considerable time, energy and resources towards the goal of winning a medal for their country and being named best in the world in their chosen events.
As Christians, we know that the ultimate prize is eternal life with Jesus Christ. Serving on the mission field or here at home, sharing God’s love in any capacity, isn’t done for personal gain or glory, but that God may be glorified through the work He has called us to do.
Still, there are similarities between athletes and Bible translation teams. Each show tremendous commitment, making sacrifices along the way, intent on their purpose, focused on their objectives. Even as an athlete strives to win a coveted medal, translation teams strive to provide people with the most accurate and clear Bible translations possible.
Most importantly, neither athlete nor translation team can achieve their goals on their own. Just as an athlete needs the support of friends, family and coaches, translation teams need your prayers and gifts to bring Scripture to people in a language they understand.
Like an athlete training for the Olympics, it takes a translation team years to produce a New Testament. But the victory achieved is far more influential and life changing than the winning of any race or event could ever be. You are an important and valued member of the team, sharing the love of Christ with people you may never meet in this lifetime, but who may well join you in eternity if they only have the opportunity to accept Jesus as Lord.
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 2:25