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by Jon Olsen
As speakers of the English language, we don't have to think twice about the availability of materials that help point us toward God. Whether it's the endless variety of Bibles we have (various translations, application notes, life stages, etc.), web resources or good Christian books, information on practically everything related to our faith is easily accessible.
According to the Ethnologue, there are over 6,900 known languages spoken in the world. Many have been fortunate to have had the Bible translated into their language through ministries such as Wycliffe Bible Translators (note: Calvary partners with Global staff members such as Marilyn Escher and Dave/Mitzi Shinen who are actively helping translate the Bible into languages where God's Word has not previously been accessible).
However, we have still faced many hurdles in terms of translating the Bible into some of the languages that represent "unreached" people groups (the leading authority on the world's unreached people groups is the Joshua Project). To successfully translate the Bible into a new language requires an expert team of translators, those who are fluent speakers of the receiving language, and additional layers of experts who can cross-check work for accuracy.
I recently met with Roland Heck (GRN USA) who shared with me some of the exciting things his ministry is doing. Global Recordings Network is an innovative organization that produces top-notch audio and visual resources to make the gospel accessible to every language. One of their tools is an audio player that can be taken into the remotest of locations and used immediately by people who are often hungry to hear more about the God who created and loves them.
On their website are links to many of the audio files that are burned onto the audio players. As I clicked around their website with Roland, I was amazed by the number of languages their team had translated Bible stories into. This really is a pioneering-type ministry and one that is making significant headway in making God's Word available to everyone on the planet. On one page is a search engine that will pull up any one of hundreds of different languages (I was astounded by the number of languages available on their site, many of which offer multiple recordings of stories from the Bible). Another page provides users to search for languages by country.
As a kid, I was always burdened by the idea of people living on this earth (the remote parts of Africa always came to mind, although there are many others parts of the world that are considered unreached) and not being able to hear firsthand about Jesus and His love for them. Organizations such as Global Recordings Network help provide a tangible answer to that question. Take a look for yourself at this great resource!
Jon Olsen is Missions Pastor of a local church in USA.