During May we’re focusing on hope in God. Each of the posts published this month will be about the author’s experiences hoping in God. Please see the Prayer page to read our strategic prayer request for this month and to see how we, as a branch, are hoping in God.
By Eunice Herchenroeder
More than three decades ago Dave and Alice Parrish and their daughters established their home among the Mbore people in order to translate God’s Word for them. The people’s hope that they would one day have Scripture in their own language began to be realized.
In the ensuing years the Parrishes established deep relationships among the Mbore, and Dave and a team of Mbore men began their translation work. Then through a series of circumstances God redirected the Parrish family’s ministry focus. They left their home among the Mbore, leaving behind only short portions of completed Scripture. As the translation work ground to a halt, hope turned into disappointment.
The Mbore waited and prayed. God answered by sending Dave Robinson. Dave was a Biblical scholar, not a Bible translator. But he had expertise that could enable the Mbore team to resume their translation work. Their hope was revived. The books of Luke, Acts, and Galatians were translated and published, and several other books were in various stages of being translated and checked. Then Dave and his wife Chris returned to the U.S. Once again, the Mbore people’s hope was disappointed.
They continued to pray. But this time they decided they wouldn’t wait. They realized that completing their New Testament wasn’t Pioneer Bible Translators’ job. It was theirs. One team member in particular, Steven Piki, had gained a great deal of skill and experience. He was willing to do whatever it took so that he and his team could complete this translation, if we would commit the people and resources needed to come alongside them. We were already stretched thin. Making this commitment seemed way beyond what we could do. And so we answered, “We don’t know how, and we don’t know who. But we will help you do what it takes to finish this translation.” Once again, hope was restored.
That was seven years ago. As we, the Mbore, and countless warriors around the globe have prayed, God has honored the faith that it took to commit to finishing this New Testament. He has protected the team, and He has provided the trainers, advisors, consultants, and others needed to come alongside them. As this is written the entire New Testament has been translated and is undergoing final reviews and corrections in preparation for being typeset and printed. At long last, hope is about to be fulfilled.
Now more than ever the entire team needs prayer. Satan has tried unsuccessfully to derail this translation many times, and we do not expect him to give up now. The next several months are critical. Pray that God will do all that is needed so that next year the Mbore people’s hope will be fully, tangibly realized as they receive the entire New Testament – the life-transforming Word of God – in their own language.
Eunice provides administrative support services and assists in the development of mother-tongue literacy materials for children.