Archives For d p

October 13, 2016


by d p

Image result for fishing net sunrise

strengthen feeble hands
and tighten loosened cords
for we must throw these nets wide n’ long
n’ our ropes must hold strong as we hold on
’till every catch has been caught
’till every cast has been fought
’till our deck is filled with all the fish that we got

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I am spending my summer traveling around the United States, speaking at churches and raising support so that I can go to Central Africa as a Bible translator. I have already visited, and have identified the people group I want to reach. They have no Bible in their language. They have no written language. They have no alphabet. They have no functional schools, healthcare, government, commerce, or literacy. There is not a single Christian in the entire people group.

is it worth it

But what most surprises people is that there are only 50,000 who speak this language. I’m frequently asked if I think that it is worth while to leave my country, family, and friends to go and spend my life in a place for the sake of reaching 50,000 people. The goal seems impossible; first I need to learn French, then I need to learn Arabic. Then I need to learn the language of the people group I’ve targeted. Then I need to create an alphabet, teach them to read, all while trying to codify and understand the language.    Continue Reading…

africaThe Lord has provided me with an opportunity to advance the gospel through frontier missions. I recently returned from a visit to a Central African nation that has 11 million people dispersed among 130 distinct ethno-linguistic groups. Many of these groups remain entirely unreached and unengaged for the gospel. I had the opportunity to study one of these languages this past year. There are roughly 50,000 people that speak this language, and there is currently no written alphabet. There are no missionaries working among this people group. There is no church. There are zero believers.

And yet the door remains open for the gospel. Even though the country has a Muslim government, they still grant missionary visas, which is almost unheard of for a Muslim country. This makes it possible to do full-time ministry without having to spend time trying to creatively stay in the country.   Continue Reading…

Missionaries need your prayers. Right now, there are people laboring for the Lord in difficult parts of the world, trying to advance their gospel. The outcome of their effort is connected to the work of prayer on their behalf, by those left behind. God is of course sovereign over the advance of the gospel; but God plans the ends as well as the means, and he has chosen to see the gospel advance through the power of prayer.

Prayer Banner

This is why Paul, perhaps the most rugged missionary ever to live, repeatedly asked those who sent him to pray for him (Rom15:30; 2 Cor 1:11; 1 Thess 5:25; 2 Thess 3:1; Heb 13:18). If the pioneer of all pioneer missionaries (Acts 9:15) needed prayer, how much more do missionaries today need our prayers?

But it can be difficult to know exactly how to pray for missionaries. What are ways you can effectively intercede for those who bring the gospel to distant lands? Scripture gives us several specific items to be praying for on behalf of missionaries:   Continue Reading…

May 17, 2012

Reaching the Unreached

by d p

If you have not heard it yet, I encourage you to listen to David Platt’s sermon from the Together for the Gospel conference (audio/video). In it, he makes a passionate appeal for American Christians to do more to reach the unreached parts of the world. It is a compelling and convicting message, and one that should stir people’s desire for the gospel to go to places it has yet to penetrate.

One of the most obvious barriers to evangelism in much of the unreached world is the simple fact that no Bibles exist in the spoken language of the area. There are over 2,400 languages that do not have a translation of Scripture, and many of these language groups lack a written alphabet all together.

If you are moved by Platt’s message to reach the unreached, or convicted by sheer number of people in the world that don’t have access to the gospel in their own language, here are three responses:

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Yesterday I explained what I see as the biblical mandate that churches and Christians support the work of Bible translation in languages that still, 2000 years after the coming of Christ, do not have the Scriptures. But while the need for Bible translation is great, there are two extremes when it comes to reaching these minority people groups. Both are errors that are common with many churches and missionaries that are involved in this work, and speak to the relationship between church planting and Bible translation.

After all, those who are active in the translation of languages have made huge sacrifices and showed intense devotion to their calling. They usually have moved to the most remote and difficult parts of the world and are obviously passionate about their task. Meanwhile, those who focus on church planting have made similar sacrifices, and have their own entrenched views on translation work. For these reasons, the entire field of Bible translation often has these two extremes:

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When people hear that I desire to spend my life translating the Bible into languages where there is no translation, I am usually met with this question: “Why don’t you just teach them English?”

This is sadly a question often asked to those who have decided to do something about the fact that in over 2,400 languages there is still no access to God’s word, and at some level it makes sense.

After all, why should American churches support Bible translation? The arguments against it are obvious; there is hardly a people group left that does not have some access to some Scripture. Many of those whose primary language has no Bible speak at least one or two other languages where the Bible has been translated. Also, most of the languages that are still left to be translated are smaller than many church congregations in the United States. And given the rapidity of language death, there may not be many generations of speakers left for these remaining languages. Shouldn’t the church focus her efforts on places with the potential of greater impact?

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