Transforming lives through God’s Word
All About the BIBLE Issue 21 • 2013 Biblica.com
…So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11, NIV
IN THIS ISSUE Doug Lockhart CEO, Biblica Scott Bolinder Executive Vice President Bob Dinolfo Global CFO Lyndel Pettibone Global Technology Officer Somporn Sirikolkarn Area Executive Director Asia Pacific Munengi Mulandi Area Executive Director Africa Stephen Cave Area Executive Director Europe Esteban Fernandez Area Executive Director Latin America Middle East kept confidential for security purposes
WE ARE ALL ABOUT THE BIBLE Biblica
BIBLE ENGAGEMENT Scott Bolinder
COMMUNITY BIBLE EXPERIENCE Taking it to the next level
Transforming lives through God’s Word
CORE MINISTRY STRATEGIES BIBLE TRANSLATION & PUBLISHING Major Language Translations Print, Audio & Digital Publishing BIBLE ENGAGEMENT Children & Youth Ministry Community Bible Experience Equipping Leaders Scripture Outreach
WORD 10 GOD’S in a war-weary land
Africa Asia Pacific Europe Latin America Middle East/North Africa North America South Asia
The world’s leading contemporary English translation. The New International Version® Bible is easier to understand, engaging you with the rich meaning of the original text. Most read. Most trusted.
FOCUSED ON CHRIST Harold & Ruth Sipek Bob & Linda Swales
200 YEARS CELEBRATING
BRINGING THE BIBLE TO PEOPLE SINCE 1809
Celebrating more than 200 years in ministry, Biblica provides God’s Word to people through Bible translation and publishing, and Bible engagement so lives are transformed through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
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DOGS 14 DEVIL and the Christmas story
15 BIBLICA Around the World & YOUTH 18 CHILDREN ministry
Dear friends, Maybe you are new to Biblica. Or perhaps you’ve been partnering with us for years. No matter how familiar you are with this ministry, I’d like to take a few moments to share with you who Biblica is and where we are headed in 2013.
Biblica is all about the Bible. You may have heard or read that phrase before. But what does it mean? To me, it means the Bible frames what we do as a ministry. A lot of ministry needs to be done. People are suffering—they need water, food, clothing.... But at Biblica, we ask ourselves: What is our role? Being all about the Bible defines our ministry. If it’s about the Bible, we will most likely do it. If it’s not, we probably won’t do it. It’s that simple.
Doug Lockhart CEO, Biblica Doug with teens participating in Reach4Life in Bangkok, Thailand.
OUR FOCUS IS THE BIBLE
Specifically, being “all about the Bible” means we translate the Bible for major language groups, with an emphasis on accuracy, faithfulness to the original Greek and Hebrew texts, and clarity to readers. We publish Bible translations in print, audio, and digital formats to give people worldwide access to God’s Word. But translation and publishing are just the start. We have to find ways to encourage people to engage with the Bible. This is critically important because the Bible is God’s Word. It has the power to transform lives. The writer of Hebrews describes God’s Word as alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates, dividing soul and spirit, and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
was tempted, He quoted God’s Word. If the Bible was that important to Christ, it should be important to us. A Center for Bible Engagement study (Cole & Ovwigho 2009) found that the Bible can have a measurable impact on people’s behavior. Christians who read the Bible at least four times a week, the study said, are 228% more likely to share their faith, 231% more likely to disciple others, and 416% more likely to donate to their church. They are 57% less likely to get drunk, 68% less likely to have sex outside of marriage, and 74% less likely to gamble. Our time in God’s Word clearly makes a difference.
ENCOURAGING BIBLE ENGAGEMENT
What concerns me is the decline in the time people are spending in God’s Word. At Biblica, we want to provide the solution to this problem of declining Bible readership.
This extraordinary activity only happens when we engage with All of our ministry programs are aimed at the Bible. If it sits on the shelf, it getting people to read, learn, understand, and apply the Bible to their lives. won’t influence our lives. When Christ was tempted, how did He respond? Each of the three times He
Community Bible Experience is a great example. This innovative program helps
Glenn Paauw, Bible Publisher
BIBLE TRANSLATION & PUBLISHING • BIBLE ENGA
people understand the big picture of God’s Word. As people read the complete Bible, in context, and in community, they re-engage with God and His Word. Equipping Leaders is a Bible engagement program that provides Bible training for poor, unskilled pastors and church leaders. As they learn to study and teach God’s Word, their congregations benefit and the Church is strengthened. These are just two programs that encourage adults to engage with the Bible. We also have programs for children such as Reach4Life (teens and young adults) and Children for Christ (ages 3-13).
THE BIBLE IS OUR THEME
I hope you’re sensing a theme: the Bible.
While this involves new technology, it is actually just a continuation of our focus to be all about the Bible.
Our goal is to elevate God’s Word. We want to restore the relevance of the Bible in the modern world. And we want you to be part of that. By partnering with Biblica, you can help translate and print the Bible so that everyone has access to God’s Word. You can also support our ministry programs and encourage people to engage with the Bible. I hope that as you read this issue, you will prayerfully consider your role in this ministry. This is a team effort.
Only together can we effectively share God’s Word and see lives One of our major new initiatives is transformed. providing digital Bible translations. People around the world use their cell phones to pay bills, buy groceries, even listen to audio Bibles. What an opportunity for evangelism and spiritual growth!
To make the most of this opportunity, we will accelerate the process of digitizing Bible translations for use on mobile phones, tablets, and other Internetfriendly devices.
Sincerely in Christ,
Doug Lockhart CEO, Biblica
Equipping Leaders – Ecuador – 2013
12 translation projects will provide God’s Word for over 76 million people
95,000 children in Eastern Europe will discover God’s love through Children for Christ programs
Equipping Leaders seminars will train 900 church leaders to study and teach God’s Word 5 Reach4Life Bible-based programs will help nearly 65,000 teens avoid HIV infection 3 Children for Christ programs will share God’s love with 77,000 children
A customized New Testament will communicate freedom in Christ to 6,000 female inmates 9 Bible revision projects have a potential to reach nearly 425 million Europeans
Over 300,000 children will hear about God’s love through Children for Christ
The Portuguese Bible revision give God’s Word in clear, accurate language to the 163 million Portuguese speakers in Brazil
3 Equipping Leaders programs will equip 18,500 church leaders to learn and share God’s Word effectively
Community Bible Experience will launch in Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, and Guatemala
About 90,000 Chinese tourists will hear the gospel and receive the Chinese Contemporary Bible
5 Equipping Leaders seminars will equip 2,700 church leaders to study and share the Bible
6 translation and printing projects will provide contemporary, accurate Bibles for 840 million people in their own language
Reach4Life will bring a message of spiritual transformation to 33,700 at-risk youth
SEE HOW GOD IS USING YOUR GIFTS TO REACH THE
MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Biblica’s innovative Teens for Christ Discipleship program will disciple 100,000 teens
Reach4Life will bring the saving power of God’s Word to 50,000 teens at risk for HIV/AIDS
Children for Christ Discipleship will share God’s love with 200,000 children in four nations Audio Bibles will be provided for those who are illiterate or members of oral societies Sorani Kurd Old Testament translation work will continue. When complete, it will provide God’s Word to 5 million Sorani Kurdish speakers.
NORTH AMERICA Community Bible Experience will encourage over 75,000 Christians to engage deeply in God’s Word Prison Outreach will provide 10,000 customized Bibles for prison inmates Military Ministry will partner with the U.S. Military Chaplaincy to equip 46,250 troops for spiritual battle by providing customized Bibles
6 Bible translation projects will provide over 685 million people with God’s Word in clear, contemporary, accurate language in their own languages
GLOBAL The Justice Bible will help believers discover God’s heart for justice and mercy The Children’s Bible will open God’s Word to children in language they understand Biblica will render Bibles in digital format to make them available to a wide audience.
Be part of God’s transformative work in the lives of people around the world. Send your gift today.
NIV and NIrV revisions will help 700 million English speakers better understand and be transformed by the Bible
Translation & Publishing and Bible ENGAGEMENT
“Bible engagement” is one of Biblica’s core ministry strategies. But what is Bible engagement and why is it so important? Scott Bolinder, Biblica Executive Vice President, says Bible engagement is the necessary next step after Bible translation and publishing. “For 200 years we were really good at putting Bibles in people’s hands,” Bolinder says. “But we didn’t take as much responsibility for what happened once it was in their hands.” “Our stewardship begins with careful translation—rigorous attention to the original biblical languages and to the receiving language. That’s the philosophy that drove the CBT (Committee on Bible Translation) to develop the New International Version. We are using that worldwide.” The second part of Biblica’s stewardship is great publishing. We publish the Bible in print, audio, and digital formats to give people in any life situation access to God’s Word. “After access, how do we ensure [God’s Word] gets deeply absorbed into a person’s life,” Bolinder asks. In the Middle East, Children for Christ programs help children develop a lifelong love for God’s Word. In Africa, teens engage with Scripture through Reach4Life. Resource-poor church leaders engage through Equipping Leaders. In North and South America, Community Bible Experience (CBE) helps churches to engage people with the Bible. “CBE is a major example of taking responsibility for not just access but deep engagement,” Bolinder points out. “Our belief is that deep engagement will lead to the ultimate transformation.” The pioneering, front edge of Biblica’s ministry in the third century, Bolinder says, is to foster Bible engagement to create lifelong transformation.
Join us in transforming lives through God’s Word. Support Biblica’s Bible engagement programs with your donation today.
They received the message with great eagerness
8 and examined the Scriptures every day. Acts 17:11, NIV
TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL Chip Anderson and TNL Church in Denver are taking their faith in Christ to the next level (which is what TNL stands for). Part of that process involves Biblica’s Community Bible Experience (CBE). Anderson was preparing to teach an Old Testament series when Covenant History, part of Biblica’s Books of the Bible series, caught his attention. “Instead of me teaching a class,” Anderson says, “we thought, we’ll create discussion groups.” CBE helps churches engage people in reading the Bible together—completely, in context, and in community. It uses a revolutionary new Scripture presentation that removes artificial formatting and re-orders books of the Bible chronologically. “It’s been great for people to engage in Scripture,” Anderson says.
“The work [Biblica does] gets these Bibles to people that need them the most. And that includes me. When we get the Bible into the hands of people, it begins to mold and transform their lives. “The work you have put into this is doing exactly what you intended: engaging people.” To learn more about CBE, go to www.biblica.com/cbe
Chip Anderson, Teaching Core Pastor at the Next Level Church
“As I was reading through Covenant History, I [thought], ‘I never saw that before, I never understood that before.’ I was caught up in the story,” Anderson says.
Photo courtesy of Cameron Washburn
TNL Church plans to go through the Books of the Bible New Testament. They will also repeat Biblica’s Covenant History. Anderson loves that CBE uses the New International Version Bible. “For our community, we need something that’s simple, accessible, is really going to get into their hearts and their minds and begin that work of transformation.
COMMUNITY BIBLE EXPERIENCE
GOD’S WORD in a War-Weary Land You can see the pain and fear in their eyes. From children to the elderly, the people of northern Uganda have experienced severe trauma—the ongoing repercussions of guerrilla warfare.
“Humanitarian and government interventions have been put in place for the region’s recovery,” says Christopher Yikii, Biblica Uganda National Coordinator. “Very little has been done on the spiritual front.”
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has plagued this region for over 25 years. What began as a religious and political cult evolved into a terrorist group bent on murder and destruction.
As the Church deals with ongoing ethnic and tribal conflicts, it is also plagued by heresies and a culture steeped in witchcraft. Yikii says a flood of false teachers preach everything but the Bible. Because people are poor and barely educated, they cannot discern between truth and falsehood.
The LRA abducts and mutilates children, forcing them into sexual slavery and military service. Since the LRA’s inception, it has “recruited” between 60,000 and 100,000 child soldiers. An estimated 2 million people have been displaced by LRA raids.
“The people who attend [Biblica’s Equipping Leaders] live in rural areas where most make less than a dollar a day,” explains Yikii.
As church leaders are trained, they return to their churches to train their people. These people, in turn, grow in the Lord and are equipped to share the truth of God’s Word with their families and friends. As a result, the psychological and spiritual wounds inflicted by the LRA are slowly being healed. False doctrines are being exposed. Conflicts are being resolved. Nominalism is being replaced by a passion for the Bible.
God is doing something remarkable in Uganda. You can be part of it. Your support of Equipping Leaders seminars will help transform entire communities through God’s Word. Send your gift today.
AFRICA Pastors and church leaders – NW Uganda – Equpping Leaders
“The communities depend on subsistence agriculture.” “Many church leaders lack the training and skills to engage and preach the gospel of Christ. [As a result] the Church in northern Uganda has many nominal Christians,” Yikii says. “They attend church with no serious faith commitment.” The situation was bleak until Biblica began training church leaders through its Equipping Leaders program. Equipping Leaders helps pastors read, study, and teach the Bible to others. It provides them with a study Bible and biblical resource materials. Leaders are equipped to more accurately proclaim God’s Word.
Training African pastors and church leaders is no easy task. In western and central Uganda, where Equipping Leaders seminars were slated, an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus forced staff to cancel the seminars. Lack of funding is also a challenge. “We planned to reach at least 200 pastors, with each receiving an NIV study Bible and a manual,” says Yikii. But inadequate funding, along with outbreaks of disease, resulted in just 40 pastors in this part of Uganda being trained. “This is a drop in the ocean,” Yikii says. “Especially in a country with 34 million people and a budding Christian presence.”
The need is great, but the resources are few. You can equip leaders in Africa with essential training and Scripture resources.
Fight the good fight of faith. 1 Timothy 6:12, NIV
ORDINARY People— Extraordinary
Linda Swales grew up in a Christian home. Her parents didn’t make a profession of faith until she was 6 years old, but when they did, they became totally focused on Jesus.
Linda’s parents, Ruth and Harold Sipek, met at the University of Arizona in 1938. Her father joined the Marines, served in World War II, then finished his degree and became a physical education teacher and coach. In 1950, one of Harold’s students invited him to church. Harold brought the entire Sipek family to the Sunday morning service. He was so intrigued that he returned that evening. As he listened to the guest speaker, Harold decided to follow Jesus. Later that week, Ruth made the same decision.
Harold and Ruth Sipek
“My father became a serious follower of Christ,” Linda recalls. For years he would come home from work and go to a small, spare bedroom to study the Bible. During that time, he accumulated a large library of “heavy-duty” theological books. “He focused his whole life on Christ,” Linda says.
Harold and Ruth lived very frugally. They drove the same car for 20 years, and the family often shopped at Goodwill. However, they had big hearts where family and missions work were concerned. The year they were saved Ruth gave birth to their third daughter, Barbara. Because of oxygen deprivation, Barbara had severe mental disabilities. The Sipeks set up a trust to ensure Barbara would be well cared for throughout her life. The fund was largely intact when Barbara passed away. Harold and Ruth then designated the money to be dispersed to four ministries after their own deaths.
God’s Kingdom advance. Harold and Ruth Sipek took seriously the admonition in Hebrews to focus their eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith: Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV).
Bob and Linda Swales
One of the ministries the Sipeks chose to bless was Biblica. Linda says her parents highly valued the ministry of Biblica as they experienced it through her husband, Bob, who is Biblica’s Director of National Specialty Sales. Looking at the size of the gift the Sipeks made to Biblica, one would think they were very wealthy. Linda says that wasn’t the case. “They really were ordinary people.” Ordinary in some respects, perhaps. But extraordinary in terms of their desire to see
Bob Swales has been with Biblica for 24 years. He is the Director of National Specialty Sales. Bob was instrumental in the development of Biblica’s camouflage Bibles, as well as custom Bibles for churches and ministries.
We are grateful to Harold and Ruth for coming alongside Biblica to ensure people around the world can have God’s Word in their own language. This “ordinary” couple gave countless individuals the opportunity to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. For information on how you can partner with Biblica as the Sipeks did, contact Jonathan Call, Senior Director, Foundation Advancement & Planned Giving, at 1-800-448-0456 or visit biblicaplannedgiving.com. Fixing our eyes on Jesus Hebrews 12:2, NIV
DEVIL DOGS and the Christmas Story The following report (condensed for space) came from a U.S. military chaplain: “I just got off the phone with a Marine Master Sergeant in Afghanistan. He had just participated in a reading of the Christmas story.
The fact that folks at Portageville, as well as Biblica, contributed to bringing a small part of home to a Marine unit…can’t be expressed with mere words.
“His company commander, a young Captain, offered to read the Christmas story to Marines in his “hooch” that evening. About 100 young Devil Dogs attended.
“The loneliness of being deployed during the holidays can have a crushing effect on troop morale, especially when bad guys are shooting at you.
“This Marine unit is in a remote area of Afghanistan. The Captain noted the Bible he was reading from had been provided by the Steve Harmon Memorial Bible Project of First Baptist Church, Portageville, Missouri. He further noted Biblica was responsible for providing the Bible.
“These young folks may forget many things about their deployment during December 2012, but they will remember they heard the Christmas story read by a young Captain from a Bible sent them by the good folks from First Baptist Church, Portageville, Missouri, and Biblica. That’s pretty special, and the folks in Portageville and at Biblica should understand that makes them pretty special, too.”
“For those of us who have served in remote, hostile places, gathering to hear the words of Christ’s birth, and to remember Christmas and know that our folks haven’t forgotten us, is special beyond words.
Thank you for your support of Military Ministry!
SCRIPTURE OUTREACH MINISTRY
AROUND THE WORLD
FOCUS ON THE BIBLE Recently, the entire Focus on the Family staff participated in Biblica’s eight-week Community Bible Experience (CBE). The response was overwhelmingly positive. “Community Bible Experience gave me an opportunity to see entire stories in the Bible,” one staff member said. “Not just a single chapter, but the story in context. It was eyeopening to learn there’s more to the story than just a chapter and verse.”
RESPONDING TO SANDY HOOK Following the December shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Biblica partnered with Walnut Hill Community Church to minister to those affected by the tragedy. The church became a refuge for grieving parents, traumatized students, and their families. Biblica provided 200 Bibles for the church to use in counseling and ministry. Please ask the Lord to use His Word to bring healing and peace.
REACHING FOR LIFE IN AFRICA In Kenya, more than 1,000 teens went through Biblica’s Reach4Life HIV-prevention program recently. Nearly 30 teens gave their lives to Christ and many more rededicated their lives to God. One youth leader said, “I was surprised to see youth who do not carry a Bible to church were carrying their Reach4Life Bibles. They are excited and happy about it—they feel it is addressing their needs.”
CHILDREN FOR CHRIST IN MINDANAO Last year, Biblica’s Children for Christ program was held in 327 public schools in the Philippines. As a result, 300,000 children learned about God’s love and 144,514 prayed to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Generally, these children are Catholics and Muslims from poor communities. School staff and parents also respond to the gospel through Children for Christ.
BENGALI BIBLE REVIEW More than 200 years after helping to fund William Carey’s Bengali Bible translation, Biblica is revising the outdated, difficult-to-understand translation. Biblica’s translation team completed the New Testament and is working on the Old Testament. Please pray for translators as they conduct this deeply needed update of the Bengali Bible. The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31, NIV
AROUND THE WORLD
EQUIPPING LEADERS IN GUATEMALA How important is Biblica’s Equipping Leaders program in Guatemala? For 238 pastors and church leaders who attended in 2012, it was vitally important. Most of the pastors and leaders lack formal training and cannot afford to attend Bible schools.
THE ACCIDENT THAT CHANGED HIS LIFE Biblica’s Teens for Christ Discipleship program in the Middle East is growing in popularity. About 40,000 youth use the print version and 30,000 use the Yalla Bina (Let’s Go!) mobile application. A 20-year-old wrote, “I wasn’t reading my Bible every day. One day I found [Yalla Bina] and installed it on my phone. I [now] read every day. I am on day 105. I gathered my friends and my siblings and we are all reading Yalla Bina together each day. Yalla Bina is the accident that changed my life.”
GOD’S WORD IN LATIN AMERICA Community Bible Experience (CBE) is receiving a tremendous response in Latin America. In Argentina, CBE is a country-wide initiative. Every church is expected to participate! In Brazil, 260 churches will host CBE this year. In Guatemala, the largest church in Latin America will read the Bible together through CBE. In the U.S., the Hispanic Church of God congregations in Florida and Georgia will participate. “It is a blessing to work with Biblica,” says Bishop Angel Marcial of the Church of God, “[a ministry that is] making the Bible a priority in people’s lives.”
A TRANSLATOR’S WORK A Biblica translation team is working on NIV study notes for the Romanian Bible used by people in Romania, Moldova, and Serbia. It is a difficult, time-intensive task. “It takes a lot of thought to consider whether the wording matches the new translation,” a translator says. “There isn’t much variation in this work, which requires the effort, power, and patience to start over again every single day.”
BIBLE TRANSLATION & PUBLISHING • BIBLE ENGAGEMENT
Prisoners in Zimbabwe hear a message of hope from God’s Word
PARTNERING TO REACH PRISONERS Biblica staff partnered with Zimbabwe Prison Services and Prison Fellowship of Zimbabwe to reach prison inmates with God’s Word. “Prisoners were brought together and we spoke to them about hope,” reports Lordwell Manyika, the project coordinator. “They listened attentively to the message. It was evident that they needed the gospel. We gave copies of Tairiro Yavasungwa (Hope For Prisoners) to all the prisoners and all the officers.” Please pray for those who received God’s Word and also please join Biblica in reaching other prisoners by sending your gift today. Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Psalm 119:89, NIV
You, kids, and
GOD’S LOVE Because of your prayers and generous gifts, millions of children and teens are being reached with God¹s Word. In places like Senegal, Guatemala, Romania, Thailand and many other nations around the world, young people are hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ and having their lives transformed.
Children for Christ Discipleship (C4CD)— Biblica Middle East conducts C4CD for over 100,000 children annually. The church-based program includes drama, contests, and Bible reading. During 2012 alone, C4CD helped 128,000 children in three countries grow spiritually. Teens for Christ Discipleship (T4CD)—In 2012, Biblica Middle East launched T4CD, a discipleship program for teens that incorporates social media and mobile phone apps with print materials, small group meetings, and large outreach events. In 2012, about 70,000 young people participated in T4CD, and thousands gave their lives to Jesus.
Children for Christ (C4C)—Biblica staff train church and ministry volunteers to conduct fun, evangelistic, multi-day programs for children in slums, isolated areas, and regions hostile to the gospel. Many C4C programs use Bible Adventures, our colorful monthly magazine that combines Bible stories, games, and activities in a four-year curriculum to help children know Jesus Christ. Millions of children have responded to the gospel through C4C.
Reach 4 Life (R4L)—Homelessness, lack of health education, and early sexual activity put millions of teens at risk for HIV/AIDS. Working with local churches and ministry partners, our Reach4Life Scripture-based HIV prevention program rescues children from an early grave through biblical truth and group support. To date, Reach4Life has rescued more than 1 million teens from death and disease.
CHILDREN & YOUTH MINISTRY
Reach4Life â€“ Africa
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations... Psalm 18:49, NIV
Biblica brings God’s Word to people around the world so they can come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. Biblica works in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East/North Africa, North America, and South Asia, is the translation sponsor and publisher of the NIV, and has translated the Bible in about 100 languages.
BIBLE Translation & Publishing • BIBLE Engagement 20