Where are we investing our energy in the ministry?

“It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation, Romans 15:20. When Paul says ‘where Christ has not been known,’ he means places where there is no worship of Christ at all.

Paul here indicates that he believed that God had given him the ministry of establishing strategic churches in virgin gospel territory. Paul must have felt ‘crowded’ by too many Christians around him. His purpose was, therefore ‘not to build on another’s foundations’ (see 2 Cor. 10:13–18). As he does in 1 Cor. 3:9b–15, Paul uses the metaphor of a building to describe the work of ministry.

To adopt Paul’s other metaphor from the same passage, he had been given the task of ‘planting’; others, like Apollos, were there to ‘water’ the fragile new growth (1 Cor. 3:5b–8). In John 10:16, Jesus says, ‘I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.’ Where are we investing our energy in the ministry? Communities who have never heard the gospel of Jesus for the first time are referred to as unreached people groups.

In Kenya, these communities are: located in remote areas characterized by the harsh climate and rough terrains; have unwritten languages; have low levels of literacy; have high poverty levels; have little or no Christian witness; have little or no church plants and lack of basic social amenities. These are the communities that the Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL) that we serve with seeking to reach, evangelize, and disciple using mother-tongue Bible.

It is my prayer that we should have compassion for ‘other sheep that are outside Christ‘s pen’. This week, as we pray, let us remember the communities in Kenya who have never heard of Jesus, and have no Scriptures written in the form and language that they can understand. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.”

By Elly Gudo, a Translation Consultant at BTL

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Tharaka Bible, Japhet Nthiga

I found a FRIEND in the Bible

At the mention of the Tharaka Bible, Japhet Nthiga’s face lights up. There is a special bond between him and a special FRIEND he has found in the Bible. Japhet is blind and the only way he can hear about the good news of Jesus Christ is listening to the Tharaka Audio Bible recorded from the New Testament, and when his daughter is reading it out for him.

In July 2019, a month later after the dedication of the Tharaka Bible, Japhet walked into the Tharaka Offices, 25 KM away from his home to get his Bible.

At the time, all the 3,000 printed Bibles had all been sold out; only four copies left in the office which Onesmus Kamwara, Tharaka Project Officer had secured for his family. “I did not even inform him that we had run out of the Bibles. I picked one of my copies and the audio Bible and packed them for him.” During a recent visit to his home, Japhet gladly shared how it has been since he received the Bible.

“I am privileged to have the Tharaka Bible. The Bible speaks to me. It is close to my heart, every time I am listening to it being read to me, or listening to the audio, I feel like I am in a conversation; I likened the conversation to that of a FRIEND.” To God be the glory!

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Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL) launched the Tharaka Bible for the Tharaka people

Tharaka Bible at One Year

The month of June 2020 marked exactly one year since Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL) launched the Tharaka Bible for the Tharaka people. Onesmus Kamwara, Tharaka Project Officer and Consultant in Training reflects over the past year:

“A lot has changed since the dedication of our Bible.

The Tharaka people now read a complete Bible, unlike before when we would have a number of Old Testament Versions and the Tharaka New Testament in our congregations. The Bible is also a great solace and mostly during this period of COVID-19 Pandemic, ‘reading the Tharaka Bible encourages me that God will protect me from all harm, Psalm 121:1-3.’

We thank God that the Bible came to us at such a time as this. There is an increased readership of God’s word among young people. Bible colleges have also adopted Kîîtharaka as a language to be taught in their institutions. With such progress for the Tharaka language, I see the continuity of the Tharaka Church, benefiting from informed teachers of God’s word through the language they understand best.” #TharakaBibleAtONE

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