42 Reasons to Celebrate

By Rachel Greco

In ancient times in the Kingdom of Kongo in Africa, chiefs would sit on an ornate mobile throne, or tipio, as their slaves carried them around—a symbol of honor and power to all who beheld them. Today, a chief trails behind the tipio carrying God’s Word recently translated into his people’s heart language—the true King.

Last week, a procession led by two people carrying a tipio on their shoulders containing 42 Scripture translations commenced the annual JAARS Scripture Celebration. Following them, a line of local pastors marched in displaying signs representing each of the languages in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and South America that had celebrated Scripture translations this last year.

Loren Rothmann, SIL Global Technology Information Systems and Jeff Park, JAARS director of Church and Community Relations carried in the tipio filled with the Scriptures being celebrated.

The journey to possessing the Words of Life has not been a smooth road; many years and many translators, both local and non-local, have labored over these words. One New Testament project in South America faced opposition in the local church via painful gossip. For a while it looked like the dedication of the New Testament would not occur. But God raised up church members to tell their leaders that they wanted the dedication. The Lord changed the leaders’ hearts, and they ended up taking an active role in the dedication of the Scriptures.

Now, the 15,000 speakers of this language “are thrilled to read of God’s love in their heart language. It is not uncommon to now visit the market and see people reading the New Testament and marking God’s promises to them in colored pencils.” This is just one testimony of God’s relentless power and love for his people around the world.

These 42 reasons to celebrate were made possible with the help of JAARS and its partners. In the Americas, JAARS has provided seven pilot mechanics, equipment to eleven languages, prepared five people to serve, and offered rooms here at JAARS for proofing certain texts. In Africa, JAARS helped dub 56 languages into the JESUS film. The Lord, through JAARS, has provided a recording studio in Asia so people can access his Word anytime and anywhere via recording devices. JAARS has also supplied about fifty aviation personnel, two helicopters, multiple planes, an all-terrain vehicle, and water safety training to translation projects in the Pacific so that Bible translation can occur quickly and safely.

Forty-two languages from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and South America celebrated at JAARS on September 20.

Celebrate with us the goodness of the true King who’s making himself known through his Word to every nation!