The Streams of Prayer for 15 January 2024, is a circular from Wycliffe Global Alliance. Wycliffe Caribbean makes this available.
January 14, 2024 – January 20, 2024
Community and Friendship
Our current theme for Streams of Prayer is Community and Friendship.
Community is the basis for the existence of the Alliance. We are not a community only because of our common goals, though Alliance Organizations do share many common goals. … We are a community because we joyfully share a common life in Christ. …We affirm each other for who we are and not for what we contribute or for the quantity of the contribution. Our primary goal is to glorify God together. (From the Wycliffe Global Alliance in Community).
We celebrate being on this mission with God as a community. We recognise that although each Alliance organisation has its own leadership, board, and staff, all seek to work interdependently and value the Alliance community for friendship, partnership, spiritual encouragement, and other practical forms of mutual support.
“Collaboration can be ‘doing together’ or ‘being together’ and also both,” says Dr Paul Kimbi, Alliance Consultant for Bible Translation Programmes. ‘Being precedes doing. It is necessary to spend time building friendship, building togetherness, on the basis of our values before we start doing things together. We should not ever be in a rush to start doing things together when we have not built trustworthy relationships. God calls us primarily to be a community of his people before he expects us to live out our call. Being community by itself is already witnessing to the world.’
Communities affected by the recent earthquake: Philippines
On 2 December, the island of Mindanao was hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. Three deaths were recorded. Several communities that have projects in partnership with Wycliffe Philippines were affected by this catastrophe. Thank God for his protection of these language communities (Dabawenyo Cateel, Manay Central, Manay Upper, Caraga, Cortesanon, Kadi, Tagon-on, Tandaganon, B’laan Fungol: Balut Island and San Jose Glan area). Please pray for cleanup and reconstruction. May God comfort those who are suffering from the loss of a loved one and assets.
Collaboration for training to work with DeafBlind: Burundi, Tanzania
Ecole Ephphatha pour less Sourds (Ephphatha School for the Deaf) in Bujumbura, Burundi has 14 DeafBlindstudents out of 140 students but none of the staff are trained in how to teach and communicate with DeafBlind people. Deaf Action Burundi (DAB), a part of Deaf Ministries International (DMI), asked SIL’s Global Sign Languages Team (GSLT) for help with training school staff, family members and DAB staff in how to teach and relate to DeafBlind children. GSLT, which partners in sign language translation around the world, formed a team of experts to travel to Burundi 7-21 January. This team includes a DeafBlind leader from the USA and her interpreter, a principal of a Christian Deaf school in Colombia and GSLT staff. In addition, BILAT, a Tanzanian Deaf translation organisation is sending two staff – one to help with documenting the visit for funders and the second to learn about serving the DeafBlind community in Tanzania. Ask God for safe travel, good outcomes from this visit and that all financial and training needs will be met both now and in the future. Pray that he will use efforts such as this to improve opportunities for DeafBlind people in this region to encounter God’s Word through communication methods that they can understand.
A renewed space for friendship and regional collaboration: Americas
Historically, directors of Wycliffe Global Alliance and SIL in the Americas have met to maintain a relationship of collaboration and to exchange information. They agreed to take a step to transform this ongoing dialogue into a third space by inviting other organisations into the discussion. On 3-4 October, they held a hybrid (in-person and online) meeting that included area directors of JAARS, Faith Comes by Hearing, COMIBAM, Seed Company, Wycliffe USA-Global Partnership and the United Bible Societies. Together they discussed the goals, culture and facilitation of this third space as well as how to share data, do training and collaborate in other ways. The group also enjoyed a time of community and fellowship. Invitations to participate in future conversations will be extended to leaders of YWAM, Movimiento Tres Olas (The Three Waves Movement), Biblica, Bible League, Ethnos 360 and Jesus Film. Pray for continued collaboration, friendship and unity among this growing group of leaders as they facilitate dialogues and share resources and relevant information to advance the Bible translation movement in the region.
Caring for the parents of mission workers: Hong Kong
Praise the Lord for the friendship between Wycliffe Hong Kong and Paulus Cultural Centre (PCC). PCC is a Christian organisation in Hong Kong that supports cross-cultural workers and their families through training, caring and counselling. On 20 November, PCC held a day tour, especially for the aged parents of Wycliffe Hong Kong’s staff. The tour took 60 participants, including several volunteers, and staff of Wycliffe Hong Kong to visit a suburb area for sightseeing and lunch. On top of having the chance to make new friends, these seniors also received training from an occupational therapist in how to do simple exercises to benefit their physical health. Give thanks for this happy day! May God continue to bless many more ministry workers and their families through the efforts of PCC.
Alliance and SIL meet for better collaboration in mission: Africa
Africa area leaders of SIL and Wycliffe Global Alliance took time recently in Nairobi to reflect together on collaboration in mission. Thank God for this initiative, which brought leaders of SIL and the Alliance organisations in Africa closer and enabled them to find ways of working together more effectively. The three area directors (for Alliance Africa Area, SIL Francophone and SIL English/Lusophone) said they were looking in the same direction for more harmonious work to the glory of God. This emerged from various presentations, panels and table discussion groups. Thank God also for Bible studies based on relationships and collaboration, which have been compasses for refocusing partnerships. Let us pray that these commitments made by the leaders will be well communicated in the various entities and countries and that all collaborators in this mission will support and apply them.
Friendship first, working collaboratively second: Europe
At the October European meeting of Wycliffe Global Alliance organisations in Bucharest, it emerged that the role of the European organisations in the coming years will focus more on facilitating relationships between churches and the language communities without the Bible. This will lead to better collaboration with churches in the work of Bible translation for people groups in Europe and beyond. In the next two meetings, in 2024 and 2025, the Europe area team will try to bring together representatives from the churches and the language communities without the Bible, to better understand the needs of these people groups and to discuss possible ways of working together to start translation work in these languages. Pray for the relationships that will be built between churches and language communities. Pray that through these efforts, the communities will come to know the Lord through Scripture in their languages as soon as possible.
Hebrew for the Nations: Israel
Pray for the Hebrew for the Nations (H4N) ministry team that is a core part of Jerusalem Seminary. Their goal is to inspire and equip believing Israelis, who are native speakers of modern Hebrew, to teach Bible translators and consultants around the world Biblical Hebrew as a living language. Over the past six years, H4N leaders have developed an innovative teacher training programme taught in Hebrew. They taught 69 Israelis to understand the Hebrew Bible better and helped them learn to teach Biblical Hebrew. Over 20 serve with H4N, the Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators and the Whole Word Institute, and some have taught Biblical Hebrew intensive courses in Africa, Asia, and beyond.
The next Teachers Training Course will begin in January, and the team hopes for 15 to 20 Messianic Jewish pastors and others to attend. Pray that the team can help them understand how this course would be a stepping stone to longer-term ministry in Bible translation. Many younger Israelis who are potential teacher trainees have been called up to serve in the military during the current war with Hamas. Pray for the team to have wisdom and discernment as they seek to demonstrate compassion and care for those facing the pressures of war. Pray also for staff and their families who are likewise facing these challenges.
Streams of Prayer is the prayer bulletin of the Wycliffe Global Alliance.
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