The Need for God’s Word
Over 500 million people around the world, speaking nearly 4,000 different languages, still don’t have God’s Word in their heart language—their mother tongue, learned from birth, the language that speaks most strongly to them.
Where are most of these language groups located? Most are in the 10/40 Window, a rectangular area that covers North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, between approximately 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator. Along with Indonesia, the area includes a majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.
The 10/40 areas are some of the most resistant to the gospel message, difficult to enter due to physical and political boundaries.
But national translators and technology are breaking down these barriers. With satellite terminals, solar power, websites, and even social media, we are making progress. However, we need more trained IT staff, especially those who are multi-skilled in repairing, troubleshooting, administrating networks, and training others. Almost every area of IT is needed.
Giving God’s Word to a people group in their heart language allows them to understand Scripture more fully. One person said reading the Scriptures in a trade language was like walking and stumbling around in the moonlight, whereas reading in his own language is like having a spotlight that gives him the ability to see and understand clearly.
Translating the Scriptures impacts the language group in multiple other ways:
- The language group gains a written script, a grammar, and a dictionary.
- The people realize their language has true value.
- Their culture is preserved as stories and traditions are recorded to help people learn to read and write.
- Literacy increases job and self-employment skills, and helps reduce poverty and hunger.
- Health information is usually translated and taught as well, reducing illness and death from disease.
- Scripture teaches people the importance of gender equality, and care and concern for others.
- Communities learn how to write worship songs in their style, with their musical instruments.
Playing a role in giving God’s Word to others in their heart language is an amazing privilege. Learn how you can serve with JAARS, Wycliffe, SIL International, and affiliated organizations to make an eternal impact as part of the global Bible translation movement. Your IT, software, and field engineering skills uniquely qualify you for involvement in the Great Commission.
- Is God urging you to get personally involved in his work, either short- or long-term?
- Are you wondering how you can use your technology skills to advance God’s kingdom?
- Are you researching ministry involvement opportunities?
Start your journey by following the pages in this section, beginning with Explore.