Focus on Asia

Week 3 of The Seed Company’s home school curriculum turns our focus to Bible translation efforts in Asia. The story of Joling begins below:

Joling stared at her grandmother’s bare arm. “Grandmother, why is your skin shiny in those spots? Does it hurt?”

Grandmother smiled softly. “Not anymore, child. My parents didn’t know about Jesus,” she began, hugging Joling a little closer. “So when I was little, they believed that when a person died, that person had to cross a bridge to enter paradise. But crossing that bridge wasn’t safe. An evil spirit stood in the middle of the bridge and tried to push off anyone who tried to cross.

“To protect the children, our parents made burns on our arms. These burns are what made the scars you see. They believed that if we had to cross that bridge, the shiny scars would reflect bright light and blind the evil spirit. Then we’d be able to cross safely.”

“Grandmother, people don’t do that anymore. Do they?”

“No, Joling. Sometime later, a missionary came to tell our people about Jesus. Now we understand that He stands on that bridge connecting earth to heaven. The scars in His hands and feet show how much He loves us. We don’t have to make our own scars now. They could never save us anyway. We are safe because He suffered.

“Just a few years ago, our own Tboli translators completed the entire Bible in our language. And now as I watch you grow, I’m so thankful because you and your friends can truly understand the story Jesus’ great sacrifice in our Tboli Bible.

“Joling, did you know that before we had God’s Word in our language, there were no Christian churches here in our place?”

“Now there are hundreds, Grandmother!”

“Yes, child. And not long ago, hardly anyone could read. Because people wanted to read God’s Word, the translators started literacy classes to teach us to read. And now look: you and all your brothers and sisters can read! Today, many Tboli youth are college educated. And our churches send missionaries to other communities to share the good news.”

Joling rubbed the older woman’s disfigured arm. “I’m sorry for your scars, Grandmother. But I’m glad we have the Bible in Tboli so we don’t have to be afraid anymore.”

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