The Power of God’s Word

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Welcome to St Albans, where we seek to support one another in our living for Jesus and engaging in his mission in our world.  A very warm welcome home to our longest serving mission partners, Murray and Ruth Salisbury, who are based in England.  St Albans has supported them since 1990.

Murray is a Bible translation consultant who works with Wycliffe Bible Translators and travels the world training other Bible translators and teaching courses on the poetry of the Bible, advanced Hebrew and tools for understanding the Bible.  Murray and Ruth also lead retreats with Bible teaching and prayer ministry for the refreshment of church leaders and missionaries throughout the world.  They have three adult children and two grandchildren in the United Kingdom.

On this home assignment, Murray writes, “We live in exciting times!  What God is doing now in some of the world’s hardest mission fields has never actually happened before!  We share real-life stories, pictures and moving video clips that will paint an unforgettable picture of how Jesus Christ is building His church in many ‘difficult’ and unexpected places. Despite persecution and opposition, the translated Word of God is having a powerful and seemingly unstoppable impact on individuals, whole people groups and even whole nations!”

The Mission Statement of Wycliffe Bible Translators is:  “To train, motivate, mobilize and assist Christians for the task of making scripture available through Bible Translation to all peoples in the language they know best.”

There are more than 7,100 languages in the world and at May 2014 only 511 have the complete Bible in their language!  There are another 1,295 languages that have the New Testament and approx. 844 that have some Bible portion.  That leaves 4,455 languages without any part of the Bible!  Wycliffe’s goal is that by the year 2025 all the remaining languages will have at least been started.  Laptop computers and the internet have greatly reduced the time involved in this translation work.

Some years ago Murray wrote, “I read a recent academic paper which reported on how Muslims come to faith in Christ.  The most frequent way by far, was through reading or hearing the Scriptures in their own language.  This includes missionary radio, Bible on audio and video, the written Word and the Internet.  After outlining some testimonies, the report concluded that the most successful strategy for reaching Muslims in our generation would likely be:

1. To point Muslims to the Scriptures, which convince them of the truth.

2. To ensure that the Scriptures are in their own heart language.

3. To make accurate translations of the original text, but also use the right words from their language to aid their understanding.

Prayer is also vital but these strategies depend on the work of Bible translation.”

We are very pleased to support such a gifted and faithful linguist as Murray who, with Ruth, have devoted their lives for nearly 30 years to translating the Bible and training others to do so, trusting in God’s provision for their needs and family.  Please remember them in your prayers.