In less than 24 hours our team will board a KLM Flight from Toronto to Kigali via Amsterdam. What will we see? What will we experience? What will the food be like? These and a thousand other questions fly through our minds as we prepare for what we hope will be the adventure of a lifetime. We are traveling to the country of 1000 hills and home of mountain gorillas.
We will also visit a country where 1,000,000 people were slaughtered in a short 100-day period. We will visit the Genocide Memorial where it is believed that the remains of 250,000 people have been buried. My hometown, the city of Saskatoon, has a population of almost ¼ million people. That’s how many people are buried there. How do you wrap your mind around numbers such as these?
Lisa Ramer has been cycling with Bike for Bibles for many years but this year, she decided to do a different event to raise funds for Bible distribution work in Rwanda (She’s My Sister). This event called Monkman Madness, which she herself organized, involved another activity that she loves: running. Along with a couple of friends, she trained this summer to prepare herself to run 50 kilometres across the wilderness of Monkman Provincial Park in British Columbia. Lisa successfully completed the run on August 24, 2013.
This month, we're featuring updates and stories about how God is working in and around Canada. We rejoice that through your generosity we continue on in the work of Bible translation, distribution and engagement. Below are the featured items this month.
We recently received a letter from a teacher in Akulivik, QC. Young Marie-Claire Lemieux has a teaching post in this remote Innuit community and as she began her career, she felt an overwhelming sense that she needed to start a Bible Study group with the young teenage girls in her school. She says: “I thank you all for your prayers. I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness as thirteen girls gathered in my house on Monday for the second week to study the Bible. Even in this short amount of time, it has been such a blessing to see these teenagers so eager to learn and talk about God. It is difficult to believe that the Inuit population has only recently been able to read the Old Testament in their own language. It was in May 2012, after working on it for 34 years, that the Canadian Bible Society finished translating the Bible to syllabics, the Inuktitut written language. “
In the Body of Christ, Bible Translations have always been very important. From the days when Scribes transcribed copies of letters and sections of the Bibles, to the invention of Gutenberg's printing press, and to the modern-day translation work done at the Institute for Computer Assisted Publishing (ICAP), Christians from abroad have contributed to the work in making God's Word accessible in many languages.
For millions of people, the good news about Jesus remains a closed book. They have no access to the Bible’s life-changing message in their language. Instead, they struggle to understand God’s Word in a language not their own.
And that must feel something like this:
‘For God louede so the world, that he yaf his ‘oon bigetun sone, that ech man that bileueth in his perische not, but haue euerlastynge lijf.’
John 3.16, John Wycliffe Bible 1395
Tomorrow morning we will begin our final day of the journey and by the grace of God we will arrive at and conquer Signal Hill. It has something of an ominous ring to it. Some of you are much more accomplished cyclists and you are looking forward to the challenge. I am approaching the end of my 6th decade of life and I don’t want to embarrass myself. Okay, I don’t want to embarrass myself any more than I already have.
It doesn't have the newsworthy quality of sequestration, or the appeal of the NHL lockout, but the world has been changing. Really? I didn't notice anything. But not all world changing events are immediately recognizable. You may have some memory of this old nursery rhyme:
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
For want of a horse, the rider was lost.
For want of a rider, the message was lost.
For want of a message, the battle was lost.
For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Usually we make resolutions that have to do with self-improvement, things like losing weight, lowering blood pressure, or spending more time in prayer or studying the Bible. All good resolutions, but mine is actually so big that if God doesn’t get involved I’m going to end up feeling like Peter taking a step on the water – “What in the world am I doing here? If Jesus doesn’t come through I’m going to end up looking pretty silly and awfully dead.” So, are you ready for my resolution – I want to change the world, this year.