If you live in North America or Europe, you’ve probably always had a Bible within reach, whether you wanted to read it or not.

“English speakers have had it for hundreds of years; it’s not something we’ve struggled [to access],” unfoldingWord CEO David Reeves says.

On a global scale, many believers don’t have this luxury. According to Wycliffe Global Alliance, 1.5 billion people have only a partial Bible. Of them, 220 million people in 3,883 language groups have nothing.

Little by little, that statistic is starting to change. In South Asia, Christians recently finished New Testament translations in 15 languages spoken by nine million people. This work “wasn’t done by Western missionaries. It was done by the people who will be using them,” Reeves says.

“Amid some tough obstacles – COVID outbreaks, lockdown, severe economic difficulties, persecution – they just kept working on it because they wanted these texts. They were tired of waiting on someone to show up [and do the work].”

unfoldingWord supports large-scale indigenous church planting networks in a process called Church-Centric Bible Translation. Learn more here.

“We’re always working with large-scale church planting movements; people who are doing work amongst unreached people groups, pressing into areas where the name of Jesus is not known,” Reeves says.

Believers in this undisclosed country “were able to do the (translation) work with some coaching, mentoring, tools, and resources. We provide those things, so they were able to move forward.”

Help accelerate Bible translation worldwide through unfoldingWord. Praise God for opening doors of opportunity in South Asia so believers can have access to His Word.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch the joy in their heart because these are people who’ve never had a Bible in their language,” Reeves says.

“It’s not just ‘oh, there’s a new version on the shelf at the local bookstore.’ It’s the first version ever in history in their heart language.”


This story originally appeared at Mission Network News and is republished here with permission.