August 2015

Sunshine Zone approves Endowment Fund Application: We at TBTA wish to convey our appreciation to the Sunshine Zone of the Southern California District of the International Lutheran Laymen’s League for approving our request for funding to support TBTA’s work in Vanuatu and the Philippines.  The members of the Sunshine Zone want to see God’s Word made available to everyone, especially the people who have never had it before.  So they voted to support the Bible translation work that is being done by TBTA.  We sincerely appreciate their contribution.  We also appreciate Pastor Les Beale, who is Stephen Beale’s father, for presenting our ministry to the members of the Sunshine Zone.

The Bible Translator’s Assistant – Philippines: The Tagalog project in the Philippines is going very well; the pace of the translation work continues to accelerate.  Last week Tod Allman and Ephraim Rey were able to draft Luke 4:1-21 in a two and a half hour meeting.  Additionally, a couple of languages closely related to Tagalog have been identified, and we’re exploring the possibility of modifying the Tagalog grammar to accommodate those other two languages. 
In order to increase our effectiveness in the Philippines, we’ve decided to form TBTA-Philippines.  We’ve begun the legal process of incorporating in the Philippines so that our organization will be recognized by the Philippine government.  Developing this organization will help us establish relationships with Filipinos who are interested in Bible translation.  Our five board members have been selected, and you can read about them on the ‘About Us’ page of our web site (  We’re very thankful to God to be working with these highly qualified people.  Please pray that God will guide this new organization as it strives to make His entire Word available to the speakers of many languages in the Philippines.

Networking with other Bible Translation Organizations: Jeremiah Chung, a consultant for TBTA, has been networking with a variety of different organizations. On July 18th he had an opportunity to share TBTA’s ministry with representatives from 10 churches in Hong Kong. Please pray that he’ll have wisdom as he shares with a number of potential Chinese partners who might be interested in helping plan, recruit, manage, train, and implement TBTA projects.  If you’re interested in participating, please send your CV to Jeremiah at  In early November he’ll participate in a conference at Macau University entitled Cognitive Research on Translation and Interpreting. Please pray for Jeremiah’s ministry, safe traveling, and a healthy balance between family, ministry, and personal spiritual growth.
Spanish Project: Stephen Beale has made significant progress developing a Spanish lexicon and grammar. Steve is pursuing this Spanish project in order to: 1) document a standard approach to describing a language – a sort of “user’s manual” for the benefit of others who are interested in using TBTA’s software, 2) be used as a basis for translations in many languages that are somewhat related to Spanish, and 3) be the basis for upcoming academic papers, which are part of the process for generating interest in and approval for using TBTA around the world.


Anonymous Language Project in Asia: A missionary who wishes to remain anonymous is working with TBTA on a language project in Asia.  The mother tongue speakers are trying to complete an online dictionary before they begin the actual translation work. Please pray that God will provide many enthusiastic volunteers for this dictionary project. Having a complete and thorough dictionary will significantly improve the quality of the translation work in this language.  More than three million people speak this language, but they don’t yet have any part of the Bible.

Semantic Representations: Richard Denton and Stephen Beale are making good progress developing semantic representations.  The statistical approaches that we tried to develop recently did not work well, so we’re back to developing the semantic representations manually.  This is an enormous task, so we’re seeking funding so that we can hire qualified people to develop the semantic representations.  Please pray that God will provide the necessary funding and qualified personnel.

The People of the Philippines: There are a little over 100 million people living in the Philippines, and that number is growing rapidly at a rate of more than 20,000 people per day.  The country consists of more than 7,100 islands, and is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and spectacular mountain views.  At the time of World War II, the Filipino economy was the second largest in Asia, behind only Japan.  However, during the past six decades, the country’s economy has gradually deteriorated for a variety of reasons.  The Philippines’ poverty line is set at an annual per capita income of just $378 (about $1 per day), but more than one fourth of the country’s population is living below the poverty line.  Severe poverty is a significant social issue throughout the country, but no one has any viable solutions.  Numerous organizations from other countries are pouring their resources into the Philippines with a hope for a brighter future.  Please pray that God will somehow help the millions and millions of people here who are living in severe poverty.