Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… For several years now I have followed the efforts of Fellowship International missionary Frank to translate the Bible into the Sindhi language. I have visited Frank in Shikarpur, Pakistan and met his language helpers as they slowly complete the amazing task of translation. It is a “labour of love” for Frank and his support team back in Canada.
I thought you might want to learn more about it. I asked Frank to give a brief report for your prayerful consideration:
“Perhaps the greatest gift that we can give is God’s Word in the native language of the recipient. On a visit to Nathaniel’s place he asked if he could catch a ride to his sister’s place. When I agreed he responded by saying, “Good, because I can take 10 copies of the Sindhi New Testament to her.”
I was surprised and asked, “Why does she need 10 NTs?”
“Oh,” he replied, “Because she has run out of copies.”
“But isn’t your sister illiterate?” I responded.
“Yes, she is,” he said.
Totally confused I asked, “Then what does she do with the NTs?”
Nathaniel laughed, “She is one of these women who likes to do crafts and she invites other women from the neighborhood to come over to do crafts together. As they work together she asks someone, ‘Will you read to me from the book of Jesus?’ The woman is usually surprised and says, ‘Do you really have the book of Jesus here?’ When she is given a NT she is even more shocked because it is written in her own language, in Sindhi. The woman will often ask, ‘Can I borrow this?’ and my sister says, ‘Yes, please keep it!’” And so the Bible passes into the hands of Muslims who have heard about the book, but have never had the privilege to read it.
It is stories like this that drive my passion for Bible translation so that the common language Sindhi Bible is made available to the Sindhi people. I joined the Sindhi OT translation project in 1989 and it was published in 2007. The Sindhi NT was completed earlier and when it was published I asked an evangelist to a Hindu tribal group in which a people movement was happening, “How do you like the Sindhi NT?” His response shocked me. “We don’t use it,” he said. “The religious language is for Muslims, not Hindus.” As a result we are now working to revise the Sindhi NT for Muslims (first published in 1980s) and simultaneously prepare a parallel translation for a Hindu audience; the same Sindhi language but the religious vocabulary is different.
In March 2016 I headed back to Pakistan for another month of Bible translation (I do this twice a year) and we worked on the revision of the book of Hebrews. The goal is to have completed both the revision of the Sindhi NT for Muslims and prepare a Sindhi NT for Hindus by the end of 2018. My translation team consists of GMA (a Muslim who has been working in Bible translation for 30 years), Charan (a Hindu) and Papu (a tribal Christian evangelist). Please pray for (1) the salvation of GMA and Charan, (2) Significant conversations as we pursue the meaning of salvation in Christ as revealed in Hebrews and (3) health, safety and a productive time for my future trips to Pakistan.
The most exciting development has been the launching of an Android Bible app (Kalaam i Muqaddas – download it or free!) for mobile phones that makes the whole Sindhi Bible available to Sindhis. As the Bible is translated and prepared it is made available online. Pray for God’s Word to impact the hearts of those who are seeking a way to know God as Father.”
PLEASE PRAY for Our Missionaries
Please pray for Frank, his language helpers and translation team back home who check and recheck all of Frank’s work. There are financial needs to complete this translation work. You may want to ask Frank about how you can contribute to this most worthy cause. ( CONTACT )
I for one am looking forward to the day we celebrate the completion of this translation work. God will use His Word to transform the Sindhi people!
Have a blessed week,
Note: "Names mentioned are not real names and are protected."