August 2016

We’re looking for Prayer Warriors

When translating God’s Word into a new language, there are many obstacles that must be overcome – some physical, others spiritual.  We need God’s help and protection to overcome the numerous obstacles that all Bible translators face.  Some of you have the gift of intercessory prayer.  We would like to ask you to pray for our ministry on a regular basis.  If you would like to volunteer to be a prayer warrior for TBTA, please reply to this email with “Prayer Warrior” in the message line.  We will then occasionally send you prayer requests that are more specific and personal than those that we include in our periodic newsletters.  We appreciate you standing on the front lines with us in the battle to translate God’s Word into the many languages that still need it.

Partnering with other Ministries in the Philippines

We’re very excited to see God’s Word being read and understood by many young people in Manila.  Our fundamental ministry at TBTA is computer assisted Bible translation.  As we’re producing translations, we want to make them available to the people who can benefit from them.  We now have Tagalog translations of Ruth, Esther, the first half of Daniel, five chapters of Luke, and we’re working through Genesis.  We’re putting these translations into the pictures provided by the Free Illustrated Bible organization in order to make them more appealing to young people.  And we’re partnering with other ministries in Manila who want to use these picture Bible books as part of their outreach.  Listed below are three ministries that we’re working with in order to provide picture Bible books to young Tagalog speakers. 

1) Shining Stars Alternative Education

Statistics indicate that more than 50% of all Filipino students drop out before completing high school, usually for poverty related reasons. Some of those students want to return to school at a later time, but they can’t because they are too old to return to the grade they left.  Shining Stars is a ministry in Manila specifically for students from families who can’t afford to keep them in school, or those who have already dropped out of school, but want to return and continue their education.  Shining Stars works with these students to help them complete their education and prepare for the accreditation equivalency test.  If students pass that exam, they receive the equivalent of a high school diploma, and are eligible for college or vocational school.  In addition to educating these students, Shining Stars also introduces their students to a life-changing relationship with Jesus, and encourage them in their spiritual growth.  Shining Stars has approximately 20 students each year in their elementary through high school sponsorship program, and another 50 students each year in their alternative learning center which prepares students for the equivalency exam.  The directors of Shining Stars  would like to provide Tagalog picture Bible books for their students, so ATW is raising funds for printing these books.

Students and Teachers at Shining Stars in Manila

2) Project Pag-Asa*

Public education in the Philippines is free, but to attend a public school, students must purchase uniforms and school supplies.  Children who live in orphanages are often unable to purchase these items, so they’re not able to attend a public school. In order to help these children, two missionaries have founded Project Pag-asa, which is a school specifically serving orphanages.  They currently partner with five orphanages in two suburbs of Manila, and are in the third year of their program.  Many children in orphanages have unique educational needs such as learning difficulties, or they are extremely behind their peers.  So the education provided by Project Pag-asa is designed to accelerate their learning, as well as provide them with a high level of English proficiency.  Both of these are important for the students to either be adopted or attend a quality college in the Philippines.  Project Pag-asa currently has 41 students enrolled in grades 1 through 8, ages 6 to 16.
The Education Director at Project Pag-asa recently wrote: “The comic book format of the Bible in contemporary Tagalog is perfect for our students.  I started teaching one class with the book of Ruth that you sent.  They LOVE it.  And understand so much more.  Thank you!”

*The Tagalog word “pag-asa” means “hope.”

Students and the Education Director at Project Pag-asa in Manila

3) The Rock

The Rock is a ministry in Manila that provides homeless people and urban poor with meals, a place to shower and wash their clothes, and a place to rest.  The Rock also provides job training and occasionally offers medical assistance.  But their focus is on sharing the gospel and God’s love, and many people have received Christ through this ministry.  The director of The Rock would like to make the picture Bible books produced by TBTA available to its guests for Bible studies.

Guests at The Rock in Manila

Would you please consider making a donation to help cover the costs of printing these picture Bible books for the students and young people in Manila.  It costs approximately $1 to print the book of Ruth, $2 for the book of Esther, and $2 for the first half of Daniel.  All of these books will be printed in color and bound. We also hope to be printing all of Genesis and the first five chapters of Luke by the end of this year.  If you’d like to make a donation, you can click the Donation button on TBTA’s website, and please include a note indicating which books you would like to have printed, and which ministry you’d like to receive the books.  We appreciate your generosity.

Additional Praise and Prayer Requests:
1) We’re praising God that Jeremiah Chung has agreed to extend his membership with TBTA by an additional two years.  Please pray for Jeremiah as he will be traveling extensively throughout Asia during the next several months.  He’ll be presenting several seminars on computer assisted Bible translation, and working to engage Chinese laity.
2) Please pray for Stephen Beale as he continues to prepare for a workshop in Vanuatu.  He’s hoping to gather the necessary linguistic data in order to produce initial draft translations of several Old Testament books in five languages spoken on Tanna Island.
3) Please pray for Richard Denton as he continues to develop semantic representations for several Old Testament books.  The semantic representations are the foundation of this project, and are crucial for producing accurate translations in a wide variety of languages.
4) Please pray for Tod Allman as he continues to work in both Tagalog and Ayta Mag-Indi.  We hope to put the Ayta Mag-Indi translations into the same picture books as the Tagalog translations.