Bible translation has never been easy.
Linguistics and biblical studies are tough enough in the classroom. Try working in a remote village—where you’ll really learn to depend on God. For your health. For supplies. For a working computer and internet. For a safe way to get in and out of the village. For everything.
Whether you’ve traveled around the world, or stepped up to serve your own village, it can feel like God called you to do the impossible.
That’s why JAARS exists.
For 72 years we’ve worked to make Bible translation possible, even in the most unlikely of places. It never gets old. Every day, we see the grit and commitment of our colleagues on the ground, and we work to lighten their load.
Take ACATBA, our partner in the Central African Republic. They’ve seen unspeakable sorrows in recent years as their country has been torn apart by civil war. Roads are a muddy nightmare. Their office gets only eight hours of city power a week. But right now, they’re translating God’s Word into nine languages—because they know how badly people need it.
It’s our honor to help these heroes of the faith. Thanks to your support over the years, we’ve sent them solar power, WiFi upgrades, funds for generator repair, and a 4WD vehicle. At the height of the civil war, we covered food and living expenses for their Bible translators.
Earlier this year, we visited ACATBA to encourage their team and explore how else we can help. They have a long road ahead: Bible translation still needs to start in more than 50 languages. And with all the turmoil, children have missed years of school, communities are internally displaced, and many have experienced severe trauma.
Many of our other partners face their own version of impossible. Take our friends in the Philippines. They share God’s Word on remote islands—in an area where that’s punishable by death. To get there, they travel for hours on the treacherous waters of the Sulu Sea. Many didn’t know how to swim, or what to do if their boat capsized.
So they called JAARS. We went and trained 42 people, starting in a pool and ending in water over 1,000 feet deep. One trainer put it this way: “I came away feeling guilty that my life as a believer is so easy in comparison to the constant challenges these servants of the Lord face!”
That barely scratches the surface. To see more stories of our work in transportation, technology, media, and training, check out our blog.