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All the Word’s News and Prayer Requests for September 2017

Our Ministry in the Philippines 

Our work in the Philippines is progressing well.  Tod Allman and Ephraim Rey have completed the Tagalog phone apps for Ruth, Esther, and Daniel 1-6, and they’re now available on our new web site at www.alltheword.org (still under construction).  They’ll build the phone apps for Genesis after the checking process has been completed.  For each book there’s an illustrated version and a text version.  These apps will also be available in Google Play Store soon.  The video for our Tagalog translation of Ruth has been completed, and the missionary who is making those videos will distribute them to churches throughout Manila and the rest of the country.
Early this month Ephraim started a prison ministry in the Manila area, and he’ll be using our translations of Genesis and Luke to lead Bible studies.  The jails and prisons are filled beyond their capacities with men who have been arrested for drug related crimes.  It’s difficult to imagine a field riper for harvest than the prisons in the Philippines.  So Ephraim will visit several prisons weekly, and will eventually start leading Bible studies with our translations in simple, contemporary Tagalog.  Please pray that God will bring many of these men into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

A Prison in Manila

Preparations for Vanuatu 

Steve Beale is preparing materials for the workshop he’ll be hosting on Tanna Island in Vanuatu next summer. This workshop is being coordinated with Greg Carlson, who is the Director for SIL Vanuatu.  They’re hoping that speakers from all five languages will participate: North Tanna (approximately 5,000 speakers), White Sands (approximately 7,500 speakers), Lenakel (approximately 11,500 speakers), Kwamera (approximately 3,500 speakers), and Southwest Tanna (approximately 4,500 speakers).  Several speakers of Lenakel translated the sentences in our Grammar Introduction questionnaire, so Steve is using their data and two published grammars to begin building a computational lexicon and grammar for Lenakel.  Please pray for the participants, and for the pre-workshop tasks that will be ongoing for the next 9 months. We would also appreciate your prayers that God will supply the finances for the workshop. We estimate that we’ll need to raise about $20,000 for airfare and for food, lodging and materials for the workshop participants. The goal of this workshop will be to complete the lexicons and grammars for these languages, which will then enable us to produce first draft translations of all of our analyzed texts. Eventually, God-willing, we will complete the analysis for most of the Bible, a series of Bible stories, and other Christian literature and community health documents.

Richard Denton presented the Ministry of All the Word at the ASA Conference

On the weekend of July 28-31, 2017, Richard Denton attended the annual meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), an organization of Christian scientists eager to examine issues of faith and science. Richard was able to talk to about 15 to 20 people about the ministry of All the Word. On July 29th, Richard presented a poster entitled, “Eradicating Bible Poverty around the Globe.” The poster talked about our goal to bring the entire Bible to all people, especially those that do not yet have any part of it. In addition to describing our translation system, the poster mentioned our new use of smart phone apps which allow free mass distribution.

Richard Denton presents the Ministry of All the Word at the American Scientific Affiliation conference

Jeremiah Chung published a paper in the Chinese edition of Wycliffe Bible Translators’ “In Other Words”

Jeremiah Chung wrote a paper entitled “Technology for Missions,” and it was published in the Chinese edition of Wycliffe’s journal “In Other Words.” The article discusses innovative methodologies for improving the Bible translation process, including All the Word’s approach, and also discusses the challenges and opportunities for engaging the Chinese diaspora through several of Jeremiah’s other projects such as Gosp4el.  You can read Jeremiah’s article here. 

Jeremiah’s Paper

Additional Praise and Prayer Requests:
1) Please pray for Richard Denton as he continues developing semantic representations for the Bible stories.  He has finished the Old Testament stories, and is now working on the New Testament stories.  He hopes to have all 66 stories completed by the end of this year.  The semantic representations of the biblical books and these stories are the foundation of this project, and are crucial for producing accurate translations in a wide variety of languages.

2) Please pray for Stephen Beale as he continues preparing for the workshop in Vanuatu next year.  He’s hoping to gather the necessary linguistic data in order to produce initial draft translations of several Old Testament books in the five languages spoken on Tanna Island. He’s also working on the semantic representations for 1&2 Samuel.
3) Jeremiah Chung completed his fifth half marathon on September 11th.  He’s running to help raise support for Stephen Beale’s upcoming workshop in Vanuatu next summer.
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 and phone apps as the Tagalog translations.

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We’re Changing our Name – but our Mission Remains the Same

TBTA’s board of directors met in May and voted to change our organization’s name to “All the Word.” We wanted a new name that makes it very clear that our mission is to translate the entire Bible into as many languages as possible. We’ll soon have a new website at www.AllTheWord.org, and future newsletters will be sent from that site. Please pray that God will guide us through the many challenges and obstacles that must be overcome. The potential for impacting this world for Jesus Christ through computer assisted Bible translation is enormous.

 

Our Work in The Philippines

We’re very pleased to have two new methods of distributing our Tagalog translations of Old Testament Bible books and Bible stories.  In order to reach more people and also avoid the costs associated with printing, we’re now putting our Tagalog translations with pictures into Android phone apps that can be downloaded for free from Google Play.  The app for the book of Ruth is available now, and the apps for Genesis, Esther, and Daniel will be available later this summer.  We’re excited that Tagalog speakers all around the world will be able to download these easily understandable books of the Bible to their phones for free.  We’ll still continue printing these books for use in schools, orphanages, and other places where people don’t have phones, but we’re hoping that these apps will be our primary method of distributing these translations.  In the Philippines there are still many places where the internet is not available, so our second method of distributing these books will be on DVDs that contain videos of a woman reading these books with pictures in the background.  A small sample showing the first three verses of Ruth can be seen below.  These videos will also be available on Youtube and our website. 

 

New Techniques for Applying Technology to Missions
Jeremiah Chung recently attended a missions conference in Europe. The purpose of the conference was to explore new techniques for applying technology to missions. More than 400 participants representing over 100 mission organizations attended the conference. Each organization was invited to do a one minute presentation describing their mission, and Jeremiah’s presentation won first place. You can see a video of his presentation below.

Our Work in Vanuatu:
Steve Beale has begun working on the Vanuatu project. He will be holding a workshop in 2018 for 5 languages on Tanna island in the southern part of Vanuatu. He has started working via email with two of the languages, and plans to make as much progress as possible with all 5 languages prior to the actual workshop. He is currently building the computational grammars and dictionaries that our software requires during the translation process. His initial focus for the Tanna languages will be to translate the Old Testament stories for which Richard Denton is currently developing semantic representations. After the grammars and dictionaries have been built for these languages, every text for which we have semantic representations will be translated into the Tanna languages. Prayerfully these texts will eventually include all of the Old Testament and New Testament books, theological training materials, Christian classics, literacy materials, and other community development texts. Please pray for the ongoing work, the translators who will be participating, and for funding for Steve’s travel and food/lodging expenses for the conference participants.

 

Additional Praise and Prayer Requests:
1) Please pray for Richard Denton as he continues developing semantic representations for the Bible stories.  He hopes to have all 66 stories completed by the end of this year.  The semantic representations of the biblical books and these stories are the foundation of this project, and are crucial for producing accurate translations in a wide variety of languages.

2) Please pray for Stephen Beale as he continues to prepare for a workshop in Vanuatu in 2018.  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) Jeremiah Chung is thankful that he has recently made many global and local connections with people who want to use technology to make the Bible translation process more efficient.  He also successfully completed teaching three courses about Bible translation in Chinese.  Please pray for his upcoming trips, consultations, and conferences.
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 and Android apps as the Tagalog translations.

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  Psalms 33:4-5  (NIV)
For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. 

The Philippines

We have many reasons to be praising God for the work He is doing through TBTA in the Philippines.  We’re excited to share four recent developments:
1) We’ve been distributing our Tagalog translation of Ruth to churches, schools, and orphanages, and the responses have been very good.  Pictures and comments from several of the pastors, missionaries, teachers, and students who are using these books are shown below.
2) In mid February Tod Allman met a Korean missionary who develops Tagalog Sunday school materials for churches throughout Manila and the rest of the country.  That man and his team make videos of people reading the Bible, performing dramas, building crafts, telling stories, etc.  Whenever they wanted to make a video of someone reading a passage from the Bible, they spent hours simplifying the language of the most popular Tagalog translation ‘Magandang Balita Biblia’ so that children could understand it.  But when they saw our book of Ruth and the Tagalog texts produced by our software, they immediately said they want to use our texts in their future videos.  We are thrilled that our Tagalog translations of Old Testament books will be used in churches and Sunday school programs throughout Manila and the rest of the country.
3) Tod and Ephraim Rey have finished translating Genesis into Tagalog, and they’re now in the process of putting the text into the Free Illustrated Bible pictures to make the books and videos more appealing to young people.  In order to edit the computer generated draft of Genesis into a presentable first draft, Ephraim spent approximately one hour per chapter.  Now that the Tagalog lexicon and grammar are well developed, our software can quickly produce initial draft translations of many biblical books, and Ephraim can edit those texts into publishable form in a  fraction of the time required by manual translation.
4) Tod and a missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators recently finished translating the book of Ruth into Ayta Mag-Indi, and have started working through Esther.  The process of modifying the Tagalog lexicon and grammar to accommodate Ayta Mag-Indi is going very quickly.

Pastor Paul at Sampaloc Deep Rooted Church of the Nazarene in Manila wrote: “Thank you very much TBTA.  Our students are so happy to read these picture books.  We have 150 students, and most of them lack basic Bible knowledge.  So these books are a great opportunity for them.  I tried to find simple Bible story books in Tagalog, but could not.  There are many books in English, but the children from poor families cannot speak English, only Tagalog.  By reading these books in Tagalog, they will learn, and the Holy Spirit will be working and touching their lives.  We will be praying for your ministry.  God bless you.”

 

Students at Sampoloc Deep Rooted Church of the Nazarene in Manila

A teacher at Lyncrest Christian Academy in Manila wrote: “The students were captivated by the books and couldn’t wait to read them. I requested they read the first chapter before I collected them, but many of the students finished reading to the end! The principal is interested in using the books in the Christian Living class.  Kids love comic books, and this is a great way to teach them truth from God’s Word! Thank you for sharing these books with our students.”

 

Students at Lyncrest Christian Academy in Manila

A teacher at Shining Stars wrote, “Thank you TBTA! The students enjoyed the story; it was easy to read and easy to understand.  They’d like the entire Bible study series to use the same format as this book.  We would certainly be interested in getting copies of Genesis when it is ready!  God bless!” 

 

Students at Shining Stars in Manila

We have additional Old Testament books translated into Tagalog and ready to print, but lack the funds for the printing costs.  Would you please consider making a donation to help cover the costs of printing additional picture Bible books for the students and young people in the Philippines.  All of these books include a clear and simple presentation of the gospel so that everyone who receives one of these books may potentially commit their life to Christ.  It costs approximately $2 for each copy of Esther, and $2 for the first half of Daniel.  Genesis has been divided into five sections, and each section will cost approximately $2 to print.  All of these books will be printed with color covers and black and white pages on coated, durable paper. If you’d like to make a donation, please click the Donation button below, and include a note indicating which books you would like to have printed.  We appreciate your generosity.  All donations are tax deductible. 

Translating Bible stories:
There are certain situations in which it is either impossible or impractical to translate large portions of the Bible.  In those situations, missionaries may try to translate a series of simple Bible stories.  Some missionaries even recommend starting with Bible stories as a preliminary to translating the Bible in order to gauge the people’s response. We at TBTA want to assist missionaries who are translating Bible stories, so Richard Denton is preparing semantic representations for “A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories,” by Arthur Gross. Richard has completed the analysis for several stories, and the English translation produced by our software for one of those stories is shown below.

“This story is about the first family. The first man who lived on the earth was Adam. God wanted Adam to have a good place so that he could live there. So God planted a beautiful garden for Adam at a place named Eden. All kinds of trees grew in that garden. Some of those trees were beautiful. And some of those trees had good fruit. Animals played on the hills. Flowers grew from the ground. Rivers flowed through the fields. God told Adam to live in that garden. God wanted Adam to take care of that garden. And God wanted Adam to eat the fruit that grew in that garden. All of the things that were in that garden were very beautiful. But Adam was alone. God said, “It is not good that this man is alone. I’ll create a person who will always be with this man. And that person will help this man.” So God caused Adam to sleep. Then God took a bone from Adam’s body. He created a woman from that bone. That woman’s name was Eve. Then God brought Eve to Adam. And Eve became Adam’s wife. Adam was happy because he wasn’t alone. Adam and Eve were good people. They were holy. Adam was with Eve. And Adam and Eve were very happy. God loved Adam and Eve. God visited Adam and Eve in the garden often. Adam and Eve liked seeing God. God was Adam and Eve’s true friend.”

Soon our software will be able to quickly translate all of these stories into other languages, just like it translates the biblical books.

Additional Praise and Prayer Requests:
1) Please pray for Stephen Beale as he continues to prepare for a workshop in Vanuatu in early 2018.  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.  Soon he’ll begin working by email with some of the mother-tongue speakers on that island.
2) Please pray for Richard Denton as he continues to develop semantic representations for several Old Testament books and the Bible stories.  The semantic representations are the foundation of this project, and are crucial for producing accurate translations in a wide variety of languages.
3) Jeremiah is thankful that he was able to complete his fourth half marathon in Hong Kong and raise money for the Vanuatu workshop.  He’s also thankful that his Merei grammar has been translated into Chinese, and will be published later this year.  Please pray for him as he continues networking with various Christian organizations that are interested in using new techniques for Bible translation.  This month he’ll be teaching a Bible translation course in Asia, and next month he’ll be attending several workshops and conferences related to Bible translation in Europe.
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.

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TBTA’s First Fruit

Tod Allman and Ephraim Rey have been developing a Tagalog lexicon and grammar for approximately two years now.  They began by working through the book of Ruth, then Esther, five chapters of Luke, the first half of Daniel, and they hope to finish Genesis by the end of this year.  Ephraim edited the computer generated draft of Ruth in order to make it publishable, and then they put the text into the pictures provided by Free Illustrated Bible.  Several of you recently made generous donations so that we could print 500 copies of our Tagalog translation of Ruth.  We received those books this week, and we’re excited to begin distributing them at orphanages, special schools, churches, and prisons.  We know that Ruth is a small book and will probably not lead anyone to Christ directly, but this is just the beginning.  Please pray that God will use these books to reach the young people in Manila, and that we’ll be able to produce many more books of the Bible in Tagalog and the other languages spoken in the Philippines.

Tod Allman and Ephraim Rey with 500 Copies of Ruth

Would you please consider making a donation to help cover the costs of printing the other picture Bible books for the students and young people in the Philippines.  It costs approximately $2 for each copy 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 early next year.  If you’d like to make a donation, you can click the Donation button below, 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.  All donations are tax deductible. 

Translating Bible stories:
There are certain situations in which it is either impossible or impractical to translate large portions of the Bible.  In those situations, missionaries may try to translate a series of simple Bible stories.  Some missionaries even recommend starting with Bible stories as a preliminary to translating the Bible in order to gauge the people’s response. We at TBTA want to assist missionaries who are translating Bible stories, so Richard Denton has begun preparing semantic representations for “A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories,” by Arthur Gross. These stories are extremely easy for us to translate into our software’s semantic representational system because the vocabulary and sentence structures of these stores are very simple. There are 60 stories in the book, and we have completed our first stage of semantic analysis for 7 of them. So our software will soon be able to quickly translate these stories into other languages, just like it translates the Biblical books.

The Lord’s Prayer in Chinese: Jeremiah Chung and Tod Allman worked together to develop a partial lexicon and grammar for Chinese sufficient to generate the Luke version of the Lord’s Prayer.  For those of you who can read Chinese, the results are shown below.

Luke 11:2 耶稣 說, “当 你们 祷告, 要 說, “父亲, 你 的 名 是 圣的. 愿 你 的 国 降临 这 地上.

Luke 11:3 每一 日 请 賜 咱们 需要 的 食物.

Luke 11:4 请 饶恕 咱们 如同 咱们 饶恕 那些 对待 咱们 不好 的 人. 请 不要 让 咱们 被 试探.””

The same prayer generated by our software in English is as follows:

Luke 11:2 Jesus said, “When you pray, say, “Father, your name is holy. We want your kingdom to come here.

Luke 11:3 Each day give us the food that we need.  

Luke 11:4 Forgive us like we forgive those people who treat us badly. And don’t allow us to be tempted.””

Year End Donations:
As the end of 2016 approaches, would you please consider making a tax deductible donation to The Bible Translator’s Assistant.  All donations are greatly appreciated and go directly to the ministry of computer assisted Bible translation.

Amazon Smile:
As you shop for the holidays online, one way to donate to TBTA is through Amazon Smile.  TBTA is registered with Amazon Smile, so Amazon will donate .5% of all your online purchases to TBTA.  To shop through Amazon Smile, please go to the donations page of our website, and click the “Get Started” button in the Amazon Smile section. If you search for us in Amazon Smile, you should search for “The Bible Translators Assistant” (no apostrophe in “Translator’s”).Thank you from all of us at TBTA, and we hope you have a great holiday season.

Additional Praise and Prayer Requests:
1) Please pray for Stephen Beale as he continues to prepare for a workshop in Vanuatu in early 2018.  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.
2) Please pray for Richard Denton as he continues to develop semantic representations for several Old Testament books and the Bible stories.  The semantic representations are the foundation of this project, and are crucial for producing accurate translations in a wide variety of languages.
3) 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.
4) Please pray for Jeremiah Chung as he prepares to run another half marathon.  He’s donating the proceeds from this half marathon to Stephen Beale’s upcoming Vanuatu workshop.  If you’d like to donate, please click the button below.  Please also pray for Jeremiah as he continues networking with other Christians who are interested in using their technical skills for ministry. 

“The war for souls, minds and lives rages.
Many people who have virtually no access to God’s Truth fall victim to
Satan’s lies because they don’t understand the Bible.
Through partnering in Bible translation, you can put Swords at their fingertips.”
Julie Andersen
Wycliffe Bible Translators
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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.

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Reaching Young People in Manila: Our software has produced Tagalog translations of Ruth, Esther, and Daniel, and we’re working through Genesis.  The translations of Ruth, Esther, and Daniel have been edited and put into the illustrations provided by the Free Illustrated Bible.  We’re now preparing to have these books published by a comic book company.  Young people in Manila read comic books, and comic book versions of Bible books have been used with tremendous success in other countries.  So we’ll be producing biblical books that look and feel just like comic books, but they will contain God’s Word, verse by verse.  Please pray that God will reach many young people in Manila through these books.

Assisting other Ministries in Manila: We’ve offered our comic book versions of Ruth, Esther, and Daniel to several other ministries in Manila, and those books are touching people’s lives.  One ministry is called The Rock, and it 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.  You can see people at The Rock reading the comic book version of Ruth in one of the pictures below.  Please pray for the leaders at The Rock as they help meet the spiritual and physical needs of many people.

The Ayta Mag-Indi Project: Approximately 5,000 people who live on the northern side of Manila Bay speak a language called Ayta Mag-Indi.  A missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators has been working with a team of these people, and they’re close to completing the New Testament.  That missionary is now meeting online with Tod Allman, and they are modifying the Tagalog lexicon and grammar to produce translations of several Old Testament books in Ayta Mag-Indi.  The two languages are structurally very similar, so the work is progressing much more quickly than the original Tagalog project.  For example, what took Tod and Pastor Ephraim Rey thirty three meetings to accomplish in Tagalog has taken only four meetings to accomplish in Ayta Mag-Indi. Please pray that our software will be able to quickly produce translations of numerous Old Testament books for the Ayta Mag-Indi people.

Vanuatu Language Workshop: Stephen Beale served as the translation consultant for the Motalava New Testament project in Vanuatu in the early 2000s.  He’s now preparing to return to Vanuatu and host a three month workshop on Tanna Island.  There are five languages spoken on that island, and he’s hoping that several representatives from each language will participate in the workshop.  The goal of the workshop is to build lexicons and grammars for the represented languages, and then produce initial draft translations of several narrative books in the Old Testament.  Please pray that Steve will be able to finish the preparations, raise the necessary funds, and host the workshop effectively.  Please also pray that the participants will be enthusiastically involved in the translation process.

Producing Diglots for Language Learners: A ‘diglot’ is a book that contains the same text in two languages, and the translations are presented side by side so that people can read the text in both languages.  We’ve recently produced Korean-English and Tagalog-English diglots for the book of Ruth.  The Tagalog-English diglot is being used by missionaries in Manila who are learning Tagalog.  The Korean-English diglot is intended for Korean students who are studying English.  There are many Bible diglots, but the two translations in the diglots produced by TBTA are conveying the exact same information because they both came from the same semantic representations, and both were translated by our software.  We pray that these diglots will not only help people learn these other languages, but that they’ll also help God’s message become deeply rooted in people’s lives.

Sunshine Zone approves Endowment Fund Application: We at TBTA wish to convey our appreciation again 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, the Philippines, and for semantic representation development.  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 in early April they voted again to support the Bible translation work that is being done by TBTA.  We sincerely appreciate their contribution.  We also appreciate Dr. Christina Sargenti, who is Stephen Beale’s sister, for presenting our ministry to the members of the Sunshine Zone.

Social Media: TBTA Inc. is now using social media to share our news, progress, and prayer requests.  Stephen Beale has set up our Twitter account, and you can follow us at https://twitter.com/tbta42.  He has also created a new blog at https://tbta42.wordpress.com.  We’ve also started using our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/The-Bible-Translators-Assistant-TBTA-207764342586580/.  You can access all of these social media accounts from our website at www.TheBibleTranslatorsAssistant.org.  Jeremiah Chung has also started a Facebook group called Chinese Christian Translators Fellowship; you can connect with him at https://www.facebook.com/paidion.zhong.  Jeremiah also hosts a wiki called GOSP4EL which stands for Global Open Source Projects for Evangelical laities at https://github.com/GOSP4EL/Volunteer-Projects/wiki.  We hope that our presence on social media will attract prayer partners, people interested in working with TBTA, language groups interested in using TBTA’s software, and fundraising partners. 

Additional Prayer Requests:
1) Matthew Rodatus is preparing a promotional video describing our ministry, explaining how our software works, and inviting people to become involved. Please pray that God will guide him through the entire video making process.

2) David Stringham is raising financial support so that he can work full time on our semantic representations.  Please pray that God will open the necessary doors so that David can be fully funded.

3) Jeremiah Chung will be traveling extensively during the next several months to attend conferences, do translation consultant work, and train others to become translation consultants.  Please pray for safe trips and productive meetings.

4) Tod Allman is looking for qualified people who are interested in working with him to translate portions of the Old Testament into other languages spoken in the Philippines.  A translation project requires a team of people – one person that meets with Tod regularly and provides the lexical and grammatical data, other people to check the initial draft translations produced by our software, and many people who are interested in using the new translations.  Please pray that God will provide the necessary teams for many languages in the Philippines.

 

Sample of TBTA’s Tagalog                               People at The Rock reading Ruth

 Translation of Ruth in the

   Picture Bible Format

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.

No comments exist

A Strategic Shift:  Our ultimate goal here at The Bible Translator’s Assistant is to help translate the entire Bible and other Christian literature into as many languages as possible using the software we’ve developed.  However, for the near future, we’ve decided to focus on the Old Testament for two reasons: 1) While a number of other Christian organizations are working on New Testament translations, no other organization is making a large-scale effort to translate the Old Testament into minority languages.  2) Many of the missionary translators we’re in contact with don’t need or want computational help with their New Testaments, but they welcome it for their Old Testaments.  Therefore Richard Denton has shifted his work from the Pauline Epistles to Psalms, and Stephen Beale is developing semantic representations for the Old Testament historical narratives.  We’ve also invited an Old Testament specialist named David Stringham to join this ministry.  Please pray that we’ll be able to develop accurate semantic representations for the entire Old Testament, and that we’ll be able to help translate the Old Testament into many languages.

A New Consultant: We at TBTA are very pleased to introduce David Stringham as a new consultant who will be helping with the development of our Old Testament semantic representations.  David has Masters degrees in both Hebrew and Linguistics, and has taught Hebrew courses at the University of Texas at Austin.  He worked for 31 years at the World Bible Translation Center where he was their Director of Old Testament Translations, and he managed the translation of the Old Testament for 18 of their Bible projects.  David will be joining us part-time to provide his Hebrew and Aramaic expertise as we focus on building semantic representations for the Old Testament.  You can read more about him on the ‘About Us’ page of our website (http://www.thebibletranslatorsassistant.org/AboutUs.aspx).  We are very thankful to God that David is joining this ministry.

The Tagalog and Ayta Mag-Indi projects in the Philippines: The Tagalog project in the Philippines continues to progress well.  After Tod Allman and Ephraim Rey entered the required vocabulary for the book of Esther, our software produced an initial translation, and Ephraim spent just 5 hours editing that text to make it a presentable first draft.  The Tagalog lexicon and grammar are now well developed, so only minor modifications are being made.  The Tagalog grammar will soon be modified to accommodate another language called Ayta Mag-Indi.  A preliminary experiment indicated that what took Tod and Ephraim months to do in Tagalog is taking just hours in Ayta Mag-Indi because the two languages are structurally very similar. Please pray that both of these projects will proceed unhindered.
 
Another Partnership: TBTA is in the process of partnering with the Free Illustrated Bible organization (www.FreeIllustratedBible.com).  They provide free illustrations for the entire Bible, and have given TBTA permission to use those illustrations in our translations in the Philippines.  So Ephraim Rey is putting our computer generated Tagalog translations into their picture Bible format which is very appealing to the young people in Manila.  Two sample pages of this project are shown below.  The Tagalog translation of Ruth in the picture Bible format is available on our website: http://www.thebibletranslatorsassistant.org/pdf/Ruth%20-%20Edited%20and%20Illustrated%20-%20Tagalog.pdf.  The books of Esther and Daniel will be available soon, and then we’ll work through Genesis.

Richard Denton’s “In Plain English”:  Recently we’ve started working in the Psalms.  In our last newsletter we mentioned that we’ve been avoiding metaphor in the New Testament letters.  However, in order to convey the poetry of the Psalms, we’ve decided to judiciously allow some metaphor.  We’ll consider how obvious the intended meaning is, and keep only those metaphors for which the meaning can reasonably be determined from the context.  Our semantic representations don’t include any semantically complex concepts such as “shepherd,” but linguists using our software are able to indicate whether their target languages have lexical equivalents for certain complex concepts that are useful in the Bible.  When a language has a lexical equivalent for a semantically complex concept such as “shepherd,” our software will automatically adjust the semantic representations accordingly.  For example, if a language has a word for “shepherd,” our software will automatically adjust the semantic representations for Psalm 23:1-3, and the resulting translation will be:
  Title: The Lord is like a shepherd. David wrote this song.
  1. The Lord is my shepherd.  I have all the things that I need.
  2. The Lord causes me to lie down in fields that have green grass. He leads me to streams that have good water.
  3. The Lord causes me to be strong.  He leads me on the good paths that He chooses.
If a target language doesn’t have a lexical equivalent for “shepherd,” the title and first verse will be translated differently as:
  Title: The Lord is like a person who takes care of sheep. David wrote this song.
  1. The Lord is like a person who takes care of sheep.  He takes care of me.  I have all the things that I need.
So our software automatically adjusts the semantic representations to accommodate languages that have lexical equivalents for semantically complex concepts that are useful throughout the Bible.

“The war for souls, minds and lives rages.
Many people who have virtually no access to God’s Truth fall victim to Satan’s lies
because they don’t understand the Bible.
Through partnering in Bible translation, you can put Swords at their fingertips.”
Julie Andersen
Wycliffe Bible Translators
                 Sample Page from Ruth                                            Sample Page from Daniel
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.
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We at TBTA are very thankful to God for all the doors He has opened this past year.  2015 was a very productive year for this ministry, and we’re hoping to see even more fruit next year.  Please pray with us as we seek God’s guidance for the coming year.  We will be working on portions of the Old Testament for several languages in the Philippines, and we hope to see the ministry there grow significantly in the next few years.  We also hope to be producing portions of the Old Testament for several languages in Vanuatu in the next couple of years.  Several missionaries in other countries have also expressed an interest in using our software to help produce initial drafts of parts of the Old and New Testaments in the near future, so this ministry is definitely growing.  Please pray that God will guide us through the best doors, and that we will bear much fruit for His kingdom.

Code for the Kingdom Hackathon: In early November, Matthew Rodatus represented TBTA at a “hackathon” hosted by Code for the Kingdom. This is an event where computer scientists gather to develop computer programs designed for advancing God’s kingdom.  It is called a “hackathon” because the participants work almost non-stop for the entire weekend.  At the beginning of the conference, project members are given an opportunity to present their work proposals, and then unaffiliated programmers select a particular team and help develop their project.  TBTA attracted several top-notch programmers and designers.  They developed a new, up-to-date interface for building our semantic representations – the unambiguous representations of the Bible’s message that our software uses as the starting point to accurately translate the Bible  At the end of the conference, each team had a few minutes to present their project and the work they did during the  hackathon weekend.  Then a panel of judges evaluated the projects and awards were given out.  TBTA’s team won the best overall project started at the hackathon.  As a result of this conference, we have made several very helpful contacts.  The founder and CEO of the Code for the Kingdom organization was impressed with our project and is now working with us to prepare a publicity video for TBTA.  He will then personally present the video to his many corporate contacts as well as several Bible societies.  So we are very thankful to God for all these developments! You can read more about the Hackathon at their website: http://codeforthekingdom.org/denver-hackathon-2015.html.

The Bible Translator’s Assistant – Philippines: The Tagalog project in the Philippines continues to make good progress.  These days Tod Allman and Ephraim Rey routinely draft approximately 30 to 35 verses in a two hour meeting.  Just a few months ago they were only able to work through a single verse in a two hour session.  So the pace of their translation work continues to accelerate.
TBTA-Philippines had its first board of directors meeting on November 26th, and there were several interesting proposals. In January Tod will begin working with a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators who is finishing the New Testament for the Ayta Mag-Indi people.  There are approximately 5,000 speakers of Ayta Mag-Indi, and they have been very receptive to their New Testament.  They are located in the province of Pampanga, just north-west of Manila Bay.  Another member of Wycliffe Bible Translators is also considering using TBTA’s software to help with the Old Testament in another language.  Please pray that these projects will proceed unhindered, and that these people groups will receive God’s entire Word.

Networking with other Bible translation organizations:  Please pray for Jeremiah Chung as he continues to travel and meet with a variety of people, particularly Chinese laity, to encourage them to become involved in Bible translation.  He participates in many meetings, conferences, and presentations, and he wants to use his limited time wisely.
Jeremiah will be running a half marathon in Hong Kong on January 17th, 2016. Jeremiah is 50 years old, so this will be a significant accomplishment. He will donate the proceeds raised by this event to The Bible Translator’s Assistant. We’ll use these funds to hire someone in the Philippines to put our Tagalog texts for Daniel, Ruth, and Luke chapters 1 through 5 into a picture book format (see www.FreeIllustratedBible.com). Then we’ll print and distribute these texts to as many high school students as possible. Would you please consider supporting Jeremiah for this event? All donations are tax deductible.  A link to Jeremiah’s marathon event is on our donations page (http://www.thebibletranslatorsassistant.org/Donations.aspx).

Richard Denton’s “In Plain English”: Recently we finished the first draft of our TBTAese version of Galatians. Galatians 6:2 in the NIV reads “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” We translated that verse as “Help people who have problems.  If a certain person must carry a heavy thing, other people should help that person carry that heavy thing.  Similarly you should help people who have problems.  When you help those people, you will be obeying the command that Christ gave to us.”  This verse includes a metaphor which is a figure of speech that highlights the similarities between two different items or actions.  Although the writers and speakers in the Bible used metaphors frequently, we do not include them in our TBTAese because they are not literally true.  We don’t literally carry other people’s burdens.  Instead we help people be able to deal with their burdens, or persevere through them.  To preserve the idea illustrated by this metaphor, we stated in the TBTAese version that people should help other people carry heavy things.  Then we used the conjunction “similarly” to connect the ideas of “carrying” and “helping.”  This indicates that there is some similarity between these two very different actions.  The TBTAese version captures the idea expressed in the original text, and it can be easily translated into a wide variety of languages.

 

 

         Matthew Rodatus at Hackathon                                 Jeremiah Chung

        Denver, Colorado, Nov. 6-8, 2015                          Half Marathon on Jan. 17th

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.

No comments exist

Introducing a new Software Consultant: We at TBTA are very pleased to introduce Matthew Rodatus as a new software consultant.  He previously worked for Microsoft, and is now working for a software development firm in Maryland.  Matthew will be joining us part-time to enhance and revise our software.  One of his first tasks will be to present TBTA’s mission and software at the upcoming Code for the Kingdom event in Denver, Colorado in early November (http://codeforthekingdom.org/denver-hackathon-2015.html).  The Code for the Kingdom “hackathons” enable many Christian software developers to come together and contribute to a wide variety of projects, all for God’s kingdom.  Matthew will present our organization’s goals and software to these developers, and then guide a team of volunteers on a small weekend project.  Please pray for Matthew as he travels to Denver, and presents TBTA’s mission. You can read more about him on the “About Us” page of our web site (www.thebibletranslatorsassistant.org/AboutUs.aspx).

The Bible Translator’s Assistant – Philippines: The Tagalog project in the Philippines continues to go well; Tod Allman and Ephraim Rey have finished the first five chapters of Luke, and are now working through Genesis.  The pace of their translation work continues to accelerate.  These days Tod is also meeting with three computer science students at a university in Manila.  Those students speak languages that are structurally similar to Tagalog, so their task will be to modify the existing Tagalog lexicon and grammar to accommodate their languages.  This project has tremendous potential because it will show us how much work is involved when modifying an existing TBTA grammar to accommodate a related language.  There are approximately 180 languages in the Philippines, very few of them have any part of the Old Testament, and most of them are structurally similar to Tagalog.  Additionally there are numerous computer science students at universities across the Philippines who speak many of these languages. If these three computer science students are able to easily modify the Tagalog grammar to accommodate their languages, this will be a significant step toward building grammars for the many languages that still need the Old Testament, and possibly the New Testament as well.  Please pray that these students will work diligently, and that this process will go smoothly.

Spanish and Chinese Projects: Stephen Beale has almost finished his Spanish module for TBTA; he should have a TBTA translation of Ruth ready soon, and will proceed to do some comprehension and naturalness testing. He has also started working with Chinese volunteers to produce a Mandarin Chinese TBTA module.  Steve hopes to present some interim results of the Chinese project at the Code for the Kingdom event.  He then plans to produce several academic publications describing the language documentation process and his experiences with Spanish and Chinese. 

Networking with other Bible translation organizations:  Please pray for Jeremiah Chung as he continues to travel and meet with a variety of people, particularly Chinese laity, to encourage them to become involved in Bible translation.  He has started several blogs so that volunteers with technical expertise from around the world may contribute to translation projects that interest them.  His primary blog is called “Global Open Source Projects for Evangelical Laity” (http://gosp4el.blogspot.com/), and his Facebook page also presents numerous opportunities (https://www.facebook.com/paidion.zhong).

Richard Denton’s “In Plain English”: The NIV translates 2 Thessalonians 2:14 as “He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  In TBTA’s English this becomes, “God caused us to tell his good message to you.  And he saved you through that message, and he caused you to become his special people.  Jesus Christ, who is our Lord, is glorious.  And God did those things so that you also would become glorious.”  You can see some of the simplified terms that we use: “God’s good message” for “gospel,” and “caused you to become his special people” for “called.”  By using this simplified vocabulary, it’s more likely that other languages will have lexical equivalents, so our software will be able to easily translate this verse into a wide variety of languages.  Sometimes we keep a semantically complex term, like “glorious.”  “Glorious” carries connotations of startling brightness.  But it’s likely that a number of languages won’t have a term equivalent to “glorious.”  So for a complex word like “glorious,” we have in TBTA a fallback definition, in this case, “wonderful.”  If a language doesn’t have a word for “glorious,” this verse would read “Jesus Christ, who is our Lord, is wonderful.”

Semantic Representations: Richard Denton and Stephen Beale continue to make good progress developing semantic representations.  Richard is working in the Pauline epistles, and Stephen has completed initial drafts for Joshua and Judges, and is now working through 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings.  After he finishes those books, we will have all of the historical books of the Old Testament ready for TBTA translations. Please pray for their perseverance in this work, and guidance in producing accurate semantic representations.

Matthew Rodatus

A Software Consultant for TBTA

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.

No comments exist

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 (www.thebibletranslatorsassistant.org/AboutUs.aspx).  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 JC@TheBibleTranslatorsAssitant.org.  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.