For God, nothing is impossible
By Belinda Fox, Papuan Malay Team Leader | Wycliffe Today Autumn Edition 2021 |
‘For God, nothing is impossible.’ That is the Papuan Malay translation of Luke 1:37 inscribed on the back wall of our translation office in blue decal stickers. They are words often quoted by our team because God is often doing impossible things in our midst!
But how about keeping a Bible translation project going during a global pandemic? What about translators not being able to travel freely to the office due to COVID restrictions? Or expat facilitators getting stuck in their home countries indefinitely? Or project funding being unexpectedly cut? Or the churches and groups we normally approach being shut for months?
‘For God, nothing is impossible.’ In fact, he didn’t just overcome these particular challenges to enable the translation to run smoothly in a year that many would rather forget. He went one step further and did ‘immeasurably more than all we [could] ask or imagine’. Ephesians 3:20 (NIV).
For years, we have been praying that our translation team, along with the local church and community, would take ownership of the Papuan Malay Bible translation. It’s one of our main priorities as we look towards publishing the New Testament in the next few years.
But you can’t force ownership. No amount of team discussions, devotionals or meetings with church leaders will have any real effect unless God aligns hearts with a vision for Scripture in a language that speaks to their hearts and a longing to invest in seeing that vision accomplished.
And it seems that in 2020 he has been doing just that. Our team members demonstrated greater passion, initiative, ownership and reliance on God than ever before. Doors opened to partnerships that had always been shut tight. Key leaders approached us asking how they can support our translation and distribution efforts.
Trying to reach an area larger than New Zealand with God’s Word to prepare people for the New Testament in their language has always felt like an important but impossible dream. But, ‘For God, nothing is impossible’! Of all years, he chose 2020 to accelerate the work and soften hard soil.
So we rejoice in his goodness and faithfulness! And we wait. With expectant hearts. Ready to see what impossible things God does next and join him as he prepares the ground for harvest. Knowing that, no matter what circumstances we may face, ‘for God, nothing is impossible.’