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What If ?





Walking on Water






Boats may make a difference for future young Bible translators

Imagining how an audio-text Bible translation might work via Internet

The End of the Story Showing how tools and technology could bring hope and success to a translation project

Rev. 7 Every Nation People Language is a quarterly publication of JAARS Inc., which supports appropriate technologies and services in transportation, information technology, and language media for SIL International, the Wycliffe Global Alliance, and other partners in the global Bible translation movement. The magazine’s name points to Revelation 7:9–10—the time and place where people of every language group will one day worship together before the throne of God.

Sr. VP Marketing and Communications David Witmer Editor Carol Brinneman Managing Editor Sarah Baer Graphic Designer Jennifer Burtnett View this issue online:



How smart phones can help transmit the truth of the Word



Visual Romans A vision in the works for animated Scriptures that help readers grasp and retain deep spiritual concepts

On Wings Like Eagles Future unmanned aerial vehicles may one day come to the rescue in remote locations


The front cover shows da Vinci’s design for an “aerial screw,” imagining vertical flight in the 1480s. The back cover quote is taken from “When God Doesn’t Speak Your Language,” Charisma, January 2011, p. 63. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New International Version.

Contact Us JAARS PO Box 248 Waxhaw NC 28173-0248 General 800-890-0628


President’s Column


Kids’ Page

18 NewsworthySunday school teachers and homeschooling parents, we hope the Kids’ Page, based on

Subscription Services 888-773-1178 Fax 704-843-6385 E-mail



Carol Brinneman, Editor

Science fiction. The term easily conjures up the sleek space ships, futuristic gizmos, and weird aliens of science fantasy. But according to writer Robert A. Heinlien, science fiction actually addresses many downto-earth scenarios. He defines it as “realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on … the scientific method.” Science fiction is literature that deals with ideas. Could sci-fi possibly serve Bible translation as we travel toward tomorrow? Ecclesiastes 8:7 says, “Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?” So should we even wonder, let alone write, about life in the years ahead? The truth is, our information technology staff, Scripture media specialists, transportation-focused teams, and others need to make important choices today, ones that will affect the future of Bible translation. How will they find answers? How can they foresee the future of technology? One way is to ask questions. Over the centuries, sci-fi authors, scientists, and entrepreneurs alike have asked themselves one short, power-packed question: “What if?”

In this edition of Rev. 7 we ask that question, exploring what the future of Bible translation might look like if the technologies and logistics we now have, as well as new ones yet to be created, are employed widely and efficiently. Through composing stories with a slight sci-fi slant, we explore the possibilities, all the while depending on God’s guidance as we make decisions today. Discussing the invention of the printing press, author John Man says, “[I]deas seldom jump into the mind from nowhere. If they do, like Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch for a helicopter, they remain science fictions until technological advance makes them seem prescient. Ideas are seeded in frameworks of previous growths and need those same frameworks— in this case, punch-making, casting, metallurgical skills, wine and oilpressing, paper-making—to flourish.” For us in Bible translation those seed-ideas are often planted by God himself. Join us in asking our Creator, “What if?”

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Spring 2011





“All your life, right in your pocket!” the glamorous woman exclaimed. Then her image and background music faded to black. Hamid frowned. Why wasn’t this demo vid more appealing? Why weren’t there more new features? The new SuperPhone2 had twice the speed and capacity of his present SuperPhone. Was he disappointed it wasn’t three times better? He’d probably upgrade, but where was the excitement? Hamid was ten when Mr. Martin, an aid worker, had come to his village to dig wells. Martin’s young son had shown him cartoons on an iPad. “A tv you can hold!” Hamid had shouted excitedly to his sister Mariama. Angry Birds had really caught his attention—he could control birds on the screen with his finger. Technology was magic that responded to your touch. How primitive an iPad would look today, he thought. A fixed-size screen, no direct retinal display. It didn’t do voice or gesture commands, send video e-mails, or let you dictate a document. The SuperPhone2 slogan was right—it had his entire life in his pocket. His grandfather had been dead twenty years, but he still lived in the video library. Hamid paged down to the much-viewed video: “I was ten when my father gave me a stick and told me to take care of two goats,” Grandpa had said. How many formats had he transferred this file into over the years?


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He’d lost count. But in this video the African village he dimly remembered still lived. The Martins had helped him and Mariama go to college, so he’d moved to the US. Mariama had come to believe in Mr. Martin’s Jesus. She was now translating the Bible into their language. Hamid didn’t oppose that; he had helped her buy a SuperPhone and access plan so she could share her work with others on the team. Why not help her? He believed in the power of technology. In fact, if he had a god, technology was probably it. What else was there? he asked himself. Grandpa’s gods looked after you if, and only if, you sacrificed animals often enough to appease them. The religion of their homeland said, do the right prayers in the right language and God would be with you. Wasn’t Christianity the same? He’d seen the videvangelists. “Give your money, God will bless you in return.” Now Mariama’s face popped into his inbox, he nodded, and watched her as she spoke. “Hamid, we just finished this psalm. I think you ought to read it.” He waved to open the text in his language: “God, God! Why abandon me?” he read. Hamid looked up, puzzled. That wasn’t religious language. You never complained to God … even he knew that much. You only dared say how wonderful your life was, and here’s another goat, or another hundred dollars, so it stays that way.


Was Mariama trying to trick him? Had she gotten this wrong? He found the text in the English Bible: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mariama had the words right. He’d read this before; he even knew this was one of Jesus’ last words on the cross. But in his own language, he realized how shocking it was. Someone had dared complain to God, and yet that sentence made it into the holy book! Maybe Christianity really was different. Was this Jesus willing to listen to you, instead of just asking you to pretend to be happy? He waved, “Reply.” Mariama answered, “Did you read it?” “Yes. I don’t get it, though. Can you explain why…” —Steve White

THE FACTS Our information technology department has given technical help to several projects where national translators use low-power laptops and satellite Internet connections, often in remote locations. Learn about one such project in Papua New Guinea by reading the fall 2010 issue of Rev. 7: In many countries, cell phone service is much more widespread than Internet service, and the features of modern smart phones are almost equal to what computers offer. We imagine future cell phones will be more powerful than today’s computers, and that such phones will be used by translators.

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Walking Jerua couldn’t believe it. She was almost walking on water. Not quite like Jesus had, but she was on the water, and she was walking, without holding on to anything. This forty-passenger boat was solid—not like a canoe at all. Jerua still had nightmares of the disaster. Father had borrowed the biggest canoe in the village to bring her home after finishing high school, and he had even painted it to celebrate. A man could never say so in words, but hadn’t he shown her he was proud she’d graduated? That was her last good memory, her graduation day. Then they’d set out for home. When night came and they were still out at sea, Jerua just wanted to get out of the canoe into a stable bed. Then a gale moved in that capsized the canoe. She clung to a seat inside the upside-down canoe, waves dunking her underwater then smashing her head against the hull. She cried out for her father but heard nothing. Why had Father drowned when she had survived? He’d canoed all his life; he knew how to swim. Had the mast knocked him out when the canoe tipped? Had he drowned trying to find her? Just after his death, Jerua’s brother Anak had said, “Father wanted to see God’s Word available in our language. He helped create forty Bible stories, but there’s much more to do.”


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Later when two foreigners had come to the island to record the stories, Anak asked them, “Can my sister learn how to translate?” “Sure,” the woman had said. “Can she come to the mainland next month? We’re having a workshop.” That ended the dream. Jerua couldn’t face another canoe trip across the sea. In her place, Anak became a translator, crossing the sea a dozen times. He kept suggesting that she help, too. She wanted to, if only there was another way to get to the city. Eventually Anak bought two SuperPhones, and gave her one. “You can use this to translate without leaving home,” he said. Not entirely true. She still needed to take a trip to the mainland for the initial workshop. On the SuperPhone she’d seen the face of their consultant, an African who lived at the edge of the desert. He’d shown her camels walking past his house, then marveled in turn at the ocean view from her front door. Now Jerua was finally going back to the mainland. The boat made it possible. She regretted that it hadn’t been available four years earlier. She’d had the offer to attend university and had seen her future in the city’s bright, twinkling lights, but she’d said no, because she couldn’t face getting in a canoe again. Maybe that hadn’t been God’s plan, and this was: to train as a Bible translator.



Water She walked over to the wheel to talk with her cousin Berya, who had been trained to pilot it. “On the last trip, I made a good profit,” he said, “with a load of fish going to the mainland and tourists coming back. You translators can now buy another SuperPhone.” Other people in lands she didn’t know had given money so her island could profit from this boat. Who but God could have brought this about? She wiped sudden tears from her eyes. Not tears of sadness but tears of joy, realizing what Father must be thinking if he were watching from heaven—his daughter and son translating God’s Word, and people from all over the world part of the team.


—Phil Baer, Jr., with Steve White

THE FACTS The vision for safe, reliable water travel was born when a teacher drowned off the coast of a Pacific island as a commercial, interisland canoe she took turned over. Our maritime services seeks ways to lessen the dangers of travel by water in many parts of the world—a hindrance to Bible translation efforts by local translators and expatriate workers alike. Doing translation work on cell phones may one day lessen the need for risky voyages. Presently, capable local people are being trained worldwide to do Bible translation for their own people, working independently or in larger teams with experienced consultants. Ferry Boat for the Bijagos Partner with JAARS in providing a ferry for Guinea-Bissau, so its national church can promote Bible translation, evangelism, church planting, literacy classes, medical outreach, well-digging, grain storage, and more on the Bijago Archipelago. The dream is to eventually train local ferry operators to run a sustainable and profitable service. See www.jaars. org/S5400 or the response page in this Rev. 7. Rev. 7

Spring 2011


SUNDAY, JUNE 6, 2010, 5:33 am GHANA, AFRICA Kwasi stood amidst the mango trees laden with fruit so ripe that it fell right into his basket below. The great harvest excited him until he lifted the basket and discovered the fruit had fallen through and was rotting on the ground. Waking up suddenly, Kwasi wondered what the disturbing dream could mean. Could the fruit represent his people? Many had believed the gospel but had not grown in their faith. They had access to the New Testament in their country’s official language, but few could read it. Even fewer wanted to read it. They were listeners, who learned through stories or observation. How could the new believers grow? How could he mend his basket?

SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 2010, 11:02 pm NORTH CAROLINA Bible translator Bill Smith yawned. Time for bed. He clicked “Save” on plans for a new way to translate Scriptures that had been developing in his mind for some time, and closed his laptop. Months before, God had given him a dream. Bill had seen masses of people, speaking two thousand different languages but without a single sentence of written Scripture available. And most would never read in any language. Then he saw language speakers translating the Scriptures orally, recording them, and distributing the files for others to hear. Harnessing twenty-first-century equipment and technology, they were publishing highquality audio recordings of Scripture that were accurate, natural, and clear— recordings that people would accept and enjoy. This alternative approach to translating the Scriptures would be doable for any language group.


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As Bill closed his eyes, he prayed the Lord would give others similar dreams to help make audio-text translation a reality.

SEPTEMBER 2016, 9:20 am ASIA From inside his shirt pocket, Yun heard his name called. He pulled out his phone. “Hey, man,” Ali exclaimed, “check out the new video.” Ali lightly touched the pad on his phone, and Yun was immediately transported visually to a fascinating explanation of how to do translation. The screen was alight with sights and sounds. The most surprising thing, though, was the sound of a language he rarely heard, the one in which his mother used to sing to him as a child— the language of his dreams. He checked to see how many others had visited the site. Millions. Okay, maybe he’d better watch the rest of the video. There must be something special about it besides his language. Comments, suggestions, and links to related Web pages scrolled across the top of the screen. Apparently a fellow language speaker, enthusiastic about an oral translation program, was asking for others to join a Web language group, making this a collaborative project.



Yun paused a moment and then hit “Reply.” He just might check this out. Hmm, translating the Word of God… Maybe he would finally find the truth he had longed to know. Audio and video he could understand. Just don’t ask him to read a book.

MAY 3, 2019, 8 pm THE WORLD WIDE WEB

Yun probably never knew about the dream fruit that had fallen through Kwasi’s basket. But he did know he had found the truth of the gospel, and that those who believed among his own people through listening to Scripture could now grow and mature in their faith. —Willis Ott and Margaret Doll

A live celebration streamed over the Web. The audio-text translation group that Yun had decided to join rejoiced to finish their translation in only a few years! Many others had recorded a translation and added improvements and suggestions. The project could not have been successful without these collaborators or the translation consultants from afar who regularly interacted with their group.


THE FACTS Vernacular Media Services is helping develop a series of workshops that train people to translate God’s Word orally and then record it digitally, producing high-quality audio Scriptures— a useful tool both at the beginning of a Scripture translation program as well as later, at publication time. The dream is that once the technique is refined in workshops, it would be videotaped and made available on the Internet so other language groups could duplicate the process. Available online consultants would complete the dream. Hundreds of thousands would be able to listen to the Word in their own language on an MP3, iPod, MegaVoice, Saber, Pathfinder, or even over the Internet.

eams Rev. 7

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Ibrahim sat hunched forward on the massive black rock, chin in hand, and gazed across the roaring river. He had recently joined a few other local men working in a Bible translation project in his language. But this had made enemies among his relatives and others in his village, and persecution threatened the little band of believers. He had to be careful. Besides that, numerous frustrations hindered the team’s progress. They had no Internet connectivity. No cellular connections. They used electricity only on occasion—whenever the chief allowed them access to his generator. No consultants lived nearby. He and his teammates often needed to meet with them by traveling downriver on a local boat with an unpredictable schedule—a long, tedious, and risky journey.


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Ibrahim wondered how long it would take them to finish translating God’s Word, struggling with such overwhelming obstacles. Sitting along the riverside, he had no idea what the future would hold. He turned to read Luke 18:27 one more time: “Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.’ ” And he prayed it would be so for his people.


Now ten years later, Ibrahim looks back on that gloomy scenario and smiles, with praise to the Almighty in his heart at how the story ended. Soon after, the team received a solar and battery system that powered lights and equipment in their small office. The energy-efficient equipment worked even when clouds hindered charging the cells. Communications gear also enabled them to keep in touch with needed experts. The long, dangerous trips downriver to get support no longer took up their time. A sturdy, safe, reliable boat also made it easier to travel, when needed. Because the team could stay in the village, others came to appreciate the translation project, and even offered to help with various needs. As years passed, the church came to take on the responsibility for promoting literacy. They recorded gospel stories in the local language and copied them onto mobile phones and tablets. They


of the

Story taught people how to copy audio and video recordings from one mobile phone to another. Gradually, the worship songs and Bible stories became widely known, and the church grew and multiplied. As people embraced the truth of the gospel, Sunday worship became more and more exciting. Persecution also grew. But believers found strength to stand firm. Ibrahim’s cousin and brother-in-law gave their lives to the Savior and started businesses. Their successes encouraged the whole church, as well as provided funds for the ongoing translation and literacy programs. Eventually, the New Testament was ready for final checking. The consultant made one of his rare appearances in the village to assist the team. He had done most of the Scripture checking over an Internet application, which actually allowed him to help several teams simultaneously. As the New Testament was prepared for typesetting, copies were already available on villagers’ mobile phones and tablets. The Scriptures finally arrived for the huge celebration, which included Bible study training. Ibrahim had expressed gratitude to God for his Word and for the extended team that had enabled the local church to successfully complete this significant project. The growing congregation was excited and made plans for Old Testament translation, as the local team had taken on more capable people to expand and accelerate the program. Persecution kept coming, but the


Church kept growing spiritually, too, able now to face the future confidently with a mature understanding of God’s Word. —Bill Mayes with Steve White

THE FACTS This story may not sound particularly futuristic; however, for many translation projects in Africa, it is. Their “stories” are not yet complete, as they pray and wait on God for provision of essential tools needed to work efficiently. You can help write the end of the story for many translators by praying and giving to projects. Read more about them at

Internet Upgrades for Regional Centers Fifty-three translation centers are operating throughout Africa, and due to a lack of funds and equipment, many struggle with unreliable power and Internet connections. By partnering with JAARS, you can help provide satellite dishes, network installation, funds for expensive Internet fees, and reliable power systems, such as generators and solar power. Read more and give at or see the response page in this Rev. 7. Rev. 7

Spring 2011


Visual “Praise to God Most High and peace to you!” Bagduan exclaimed as he burst into the translation room, bringing the hot, dry day’s dust with him. Minguao shut the laptop on his Galatians translation and rose in eager welcome. Bagduan could hardly contain himself. “It is as we prayed! God’s words from Romans are penetrating hearts, and the people understand his truth like never before. They are longing for more!” What a change from last season’s trip to the Daolengi region, thought Minguao. At that time Bagduan had returned frustrated at his inability to explain Romans clearly to the Daolengi people. And the defeated expression on his face had matched his sodden appearance, dripping from the monsoon rains. “What I taught from Romans is good,” he had bemoaned, “it is truth, but it does not seem to speak to their hearts and transform them. When I shared the Luke video, it cut through to their hearts as they saw and heard the truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. When I taught about God’s creation and the sin problem, the visuals of the Bible story templates and the Genesis video opened their eyes and helped them see and internalize the truths they heard. “But Luke and Genesis are not enough. To grow, they need the meat of Romans and Paul’s other epistles, of Hebrews, James, and even the prophets. The Daolengi are hungry for more, but words on paper and my own words do not seem to feed them well enough. It is as if they cannot hold on to the teaching of Romans because they cannot see it. It’s too abstract and quickly disappears like the morning mist.” Bagduan remembered how he and Minguao had then fallen to their knees in prayer, “Almighty Father, your Word says that your thoughts are not like our thoughts. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are your ways higher than our ways. You say that your Word will not return empty, but that it will accomplish what you desire. The Daolengi people need to not only hear but also see the truth of all your Word. We know you love them and will provide. In Jesus’ name, amen.” A month later their prayer was answered with the arrival of this e-mail:



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Romans Vernacular Media Services presents:

Visual Romans

A translation and teaching tool that expresses non-narrative portions of Scripture in visual form • Accelerate Bible translation • Transform lives by teaching with visuals Picture books and videos abound that tell Bible stories, such as Creation, Noah’s Ark, and the life of Jesus. But none illustrates the epistles, such as Romans or Galatians. Oral cultures tend to communicate with stories and visuals rather than through abstract, logical structures, which New Testament epistle writers employ. Visual Romans provides simple images and animations for nonnarrative Scripture. Translators often wrestle with a passage until a mental image is formed that will help them pen the verses clearly. Visual Romans will help translators grasp abstract concepts more quickly and accelerate the translation process. Evangelists and teachers are often discouraged by the lack of visual resources that explain salvation by faith and other spiritual concepts. Visual Romans will help listeners remember and internalize biblical truths. Learn more about Visual Romans:


Coming soon: Visual Galatians and Visual Blog: An online forum to share ideas for improving visuals —Greg and Sherry Lorei

THE FACTS Visual Romans is presently at proposal stage. The technology is available but requires the availability of a team of three to five people to begin a pilot project. Such a project will be challenging, but those interested look forward to testing passages and seeing what God enables them to create. Greg Lorei has already created a few simple animations in an attempt to show how abstract biblical truths might be displayed in visual form; view them at And learn more about Visual Romans at www.visualwisdom. org/romans.

Media Training and Equipment Without culturally appropriate media, thousands of Papua New Guineans have yet to experience God’s Word in their own language. By partnering with JAARS, you can help provide training and equipment for Papua New Guineans, equipping them to create media such as Christian music in local languages, radio programs, dramatized Scripture recordings, and translated versions of the JESUS film or Luke video. To give, visit S100511 or see the response page in this Rev. 7. Rev. 7

Spring 2011


Every strand of the nanotech, carbonfiber structure of Flying Radio Antenna (fra) #23 strained to keep the craft intact. Already suffering from a long night without solar power, its batteries low, the machine was climbing to its “on station” altitude of 65,000 feet. Suddenly it entered the jet stream, a rushing river of air traversing the atmosphere. Its wind shear flipped 23, forcing it to stand on its wingtip at 56,000 feet. The electronic pilot, working beyond its designed limits, did everything in its power to right the plane, and slowly, very slowly, the machine leveled off.


Now this Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (uav) could resume its duties as a gobetween for all radio transmissions in a 2,500-square-mile area, and the rest of Earth. The high ground that 23 held was Dong Park’s lifeline, allowing him and his family and team to communicate with the outside world. They lived deep in a narrow valley that only radio waves originating from almost directly above could penetrate. Dong and his wife, Min-Je, had arrived in the village of Montanti seven years before. Three years later Sun was born. Bonding with the local people and the team of Montanti translators, she picked up their language many times faster than her Bible translator parents. She often moved around the translation office as they worked, but today she had wandered off to play with friends. A scream and the sudden stoppage of all village noises sent chills


Wings Like

Pilatus PC-6 for Indonesia Since 2002, YAJASI, our partner in Indonesia, has been trusting the Lord to replace its aging fleet with six new, turbine-powered aircraft. By late 2011 they will be forced to retire the last of the old fleet, which will then make it impossible to adequately serve the hundreds of different villages with only their four aircraft. By partnering with JAARS, you can help provide a Pilatus PC-6, allowing YAJASI to better serve Indonesia’s most remote communities. Read more at and give, or see the response page in this Rev. 7. 12

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down Dong’s back. He jumped up from his desk and launched himself out the door. As he ran toward the scream, he heard the heart-rending cries of his hurting little girl. When he got to Sun, he saw that an older boy had already killed the snake that had bitten her. The snake killer was sobbing, along with others, because he knew Sun would be dead in two hours. Nobody lived longer than that with this kind of snakebite. As Dong gathered up Sun, Min-Je arrived at his side. Phone in hand, she dialed to their in-country aviation base. Though only three valleys (or forty miles) away, Min-Je might as well have inhabited a different world, cut off by the earth’s rugged contours


between her and the base. A walk to their village in good weather would normally take a minimum of four days. And the only place a helicopter could land was a small, bald spot on the side of the mountain, a twenty-minute walk away. Twenty-three’s receiver locked on to Min-Je’s phone, just like a land-based cell tower. Kaysan, the dispatcher, answered the call. “Mist, thick mist,” Min-Je replied to Kaysan’s first question about Montanti’s weather. “We can’t fly into Montanti with the antivenom if we can’t see,” he said, “so we’ll have to use a uav. I’ll get the crew on it immediately.”


Eagles Rev. 7

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The twelve-foot wingspan of this uav always reminded Kaysan of an oversized model airplane. But in the past month since they had procured it, it had tested out far better than they dreamed, so much so that it had earned the nickname “Eagle.” Sun’s life was now dependent on this amazing “bird.” Kaysan hit the starter and taxied Eagle directly to the runway, then to full power. It accelerated smoothly and quickly, establishing a gentle climb that would allow it to clear the first and second mountain ranges in its path. To gain the altitude needed to clear the third range, Eagle would have to make three 360-degree climbing turns. Then descending into Montanti’s valley, it would head to just above their house in the village—a keyhole in the dense forest. If it released the parachute too early or too late, the lifesaving antivenom would disappear into the same dense forest that had been home to the offending snake. Everyone prayed and waited to hear the drone of an engine from the murky sky. Dong finally heard an engine off in the distance, sounding like a mad chainsaw—the sweetest sound he could now imagine. The village’s center wasn’t big enough to land a helicopter, but it was a clearing nonetheless. As he stood and listened, the vehicle seemed to be following the river that divided the valley. Now it was almost overhead, enveloped in thick mist. It flew right over Dong, and yet he never saw it. The chainsaw’s buzzing diminished as it continued its journey home. Still looking up, Dong cried out, “God, what about the parachute? We can’t wait, Lord, please, I have to get the parachute.” As if by magic, a round form appeared in the ethereal fog. Below it swung a small container, like the pendulum in a grandfather clock. “Thank you, God. Thank you, God. You are the awesome God you claim to be.” 14

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Eagle had proven that uavs could have an important place in mission aviation. They would never replace the human touch of real pilots in their planes and helicopters serving translators and others living in remote places. But they would, however, serve as indispensable tools. Not far behind Eagle, Flying Radio Antenna #23 was returning to base, too—in time for its monthly check, with replacement fra #27 already on station. With the check completed, the technician dated his entry in the logbook: December 15, 2025. In the morning, visitors from a language group two valleys south, showed up at the translation office. They were ready to join the cluster project translating God’s Word into various related languages. Little did they know the significance of their plan that day. The work on the last language waiting for God’s Word had just begun. —Terry Heffield

THE FACTS The story concept for fra #23 is based on current innovative technology, such as the Global Observer. Made by AeroVironment, Inc., this uav works at 65,000 feet and serves as a flying cell tower and a camera platform that can see more than a million square miles. It can stay up eight days, using liquid hydrogen for fuel. uavs like “Eagle” do missions similar to the one in the story. Advances in solar power, batteries, and motors may one day allow it to use electric motors. Nanotechnology will eventually reduce the weight of both aircraft and boost efficiency in the batteries and solar cells.


Eldon “Butch” Barkman, Interim JAARS President and CEO

In an interview, novelist and “missionary kid” Ted Dekker said, “Fiction is truer than nonfiction. The characters are going to test that truth in their lives. I think that’s why Jesus used stories a lot.” In this Rev. 7 you have read stories about what some aspects of Bible translation might look like in a few years. This is not the kind of fiction that provides an escape from reality! To the contrary, we hope you will join us in imagining future developments that might facilitate this movement. And … we hope you will also ref lect on what part you might play in it. We seek breakthroughs, solutions, and creative staff, which only God can provide. Years ago, one politician would often end his speeches with this inspiring line: “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’” The world watches the news and asks, hopeless, “Why?” But for those of us who hope for God’s kingdom on earth, shouldn’t we be asking, “Why not?”

In the Bible translation movement, we expect, by faith, a future when every language group will have access to God’s Word. When they do, they will read and hear Jesus’ stories and teachings about accomplishing great things for his kingdom. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt. 17:20). God already inhabits our future. Won’t you travel with us boldly into the unknown?

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How many satellites orbit Earth? A few hundred Name a natural satellite. Earth’s moon When was the first satellite depicted in a story? The first fictional depiction of a satellite being launched into orbit is found in a short story by Edward Everett Hale, The Brick Moon, in 1869. The idea surfaces again in Jules Verne's The Begum’s Fortune, in 1879. Name five functions of satellites. Satellites, which include military and civilian ones, are used for Earth observation, communications, navigation, weather, and research.


Place the letter for each invention on the timeline under the year it was first invented or made widely available to the public. A. TV (World’s Fair) B. Radio (Edison) C. Cell Phone (Cooper) & Personal Computer (Hewlett Packard) D. DVD (Toshiba) E. Telephone (Bell)



F. Printing Press (Gutenberg) G. Airplane (Cayley) H. Helicopter (Sikorsky) I. Camera (Zahn) J. Satellite


(Soviet Union)




Sunday school teachers and homeschooling parents, we hope the Kids’ Page, based on 16

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Read “Visual Romans” on page 10, and then try drawing a picture for one of these verses from Romans: 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

At the end of 2010 there were 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide so that 90% of the world's population now has access to a mobile network. In contrast, only about 2 billion people have Internet access. —The World Factbook, 2010, online

You have read FICTION stories in this Rev. 7. Match the types of literature with the correct examples: 1. Science fiction 2. Nonfiction 3. Parable 4. Fable 5. Fantasy novel 6. Novel 7. Fairy tale

a. b. c. d. e. f. g.

The Tortoise and the Hare The Prodigal Son Kit Kittredge Star Wars books Cinderella The Chronicles of Narnia series Dog Training for Kids

Answers: 1– d, 2– g, 3–b, 4– a, 5–f, 6 – c, 7– e

inventions do you think will be made in the next five years?






Answers: A–1939, B –1885, C–1973, D –1996, E–1876, F–1440, G –1799, H –1942, I –1685, J –1957 this issue’s Rev. 7 articles, will serve your teaching needs. Download PDFs from the JAARS website at Rev. 7

Spring 2011



A third Kodiak aircraft will be delivered to the JAARS Center in June. After installation of needed equipment, it will be sent to Papua New Guinea to join two others already in service.

Finishers Project provides Christian adults with information, challenge, and pathways for discovering and processing opportunities in missions—short-term or as a next career. In Seattle, Washington, May 20–21, our staff will interact with attendees as they consider involvement in supporting Bible translation. To register, go to A new internship program at the JAARS Center will launch this summer, in partnership with Wycliffe Bible Translators. College-age adults will serve in a variety of assignments from information technology to youth and family services, exploring possible future service through JAARS. For more info, contact 18

Rev. 7

Spring 2011

The Business as Mission (bam) team will train people and assess businesses in April with staff of the Bible Translation Association of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, and with SIL staff at the Ukarumpa Center. Dennis Steenwyk, bam coordinator, recently carried out a survey, helped an it business, and discussed with businessmen and leaders in Kenya how business can further God’s kingdom. TOTAL It Up! is a one-week course that explores the basics of translation and linguistics and possible future work in Bible translation. It will be held at the JAARS Center June 5–10 and July 24–29, 2011. Learn more at

We look forward to seeing you at: JAARS Day—our next all-day Saturday open house, on May 7; see AirVenture 2011—eaa’s mega fly-in, July 25–31, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin JAARS on Facebook—www.jaars. org/facebook


for praying, giving, and telling others about JAARS and Bible translation. Please send me (check all that apply): Rev. 7 Quarterly magazine highlighting Bible translation worldwide Partner Express Quarterly publication featuring JAARS giving opportunities Prayerline Bimonthly prayer calendar E-Newsletter Monthly e-mails of JAARS news and stories Please contact me with information about: Working or volunteering in the global Bible translation movement Presenting JAARS to my church or group JAARS financial project needs Including JAARS in my estate or will Bibleless People’s Prayer Project. I want to pray for a Bibleless people group. Project ID

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Ferry Boat for the Bijagos


Internet Upgrades for Regional Centers


Media Training and Equipment


Pilatus PC-6 for Indonesia


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Gifts are fully tax-deductible. Gifts that exceed a project’s need are applied to a similar project. JAARS is a non-profit organization—in partnership with SIL International, the Wycliffe Global Alliance, and other agencies—that supports the global Bible translation movement in the areas of transportation, information technology, and media in local languages.

800-890-0628 | PO BOX 248 WAXHAW NC 28173 | WWW.JAARS.ORG

JAARS Inc. PO Box 248 Waxhaw NC 28173-0248

“Today this goal [of completing Bible translations] is unfolding via developments once only dreamed of in science-fiction novels.” —Ken Walker, writer

Rev. 7 Spring 2011 - What If?  

We explore "What If?" through fictional stories about the future of Bible translation.