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Dear Prayer Partner,

Welcome to the April Extra Insight!

As Easter approaches and things are still so uncertain, we encourage you to meditate on God's great love in what happened for us on the cross.

This month we have an update on our Bible-a-Month project in Peru, projects in Lebanon and Sri Lanka, as well as a look at the current translation statistics.

Thank you for joining us as we pray for our brothers and sisters around the world.
Northern Ireland

This month we are hosting "Bible Engagement in a COVID World" on the 28th April, an online training session to help you and your church to adjust to the "new normal".

We have special guest speakers such as Rick Hill (PCI Discipleship Officer), Dina Katanacho (Arab Israeli Bible Society) and others from across Northern Ireland, and we'd love to hear from you too; how you and your church have found engaging with the Bible during Coronavirus!
Although we are all still mostly working from home, we have been working on some exciting resources for you, your family and your church. If you'd like to see what's available, visit our website here!

Prayer Requests from Bible Society NI

  • Pray for our upcoming "Bible Engagement in a COVID World" event, that it would be beneficial to all who attend.

  • Pray for the staff team as we being to look at easing back to the office. Ask God to encourage and strengthen us as we continue to work from home.
The Bread of Life Project - Peru
The Bread of Life programme in Peru provides disadvantaged children with a nutritional breakfast and a Bible lesson every day. For many of these children this can be the only food that they will receive that day. Most importantly the children who participate in this programme are taught Bible stories and about Jesus Christ. They sing songs, learn Bible verses and listen to Bible stories, before going on to receive a nutritious breakfast.

2020 was a particularly hard year for this project, as it was unable to operate it as they normally would due to restrictions. However, the Bible Society staff were able to obtain special permits to be able to travel the country and distribute food packages to those families who rely heavily on the Bread of Life project. Many parents were incredibly grateful for the support, as the pandemic put an additional strain on their finances and many were struggling to feed their families. Inside each of these care packages was included Scripture and Bible activities for the children and their families.

Thankfully, as of November 2020, the Bible classes were able to be restarted and children were able to gather together again to learn about God. In order to continue protecting the children against the spread of the virus, safety guidelines are being followed and gloves and masks are used when preparing the food. 
Pray for this Project:

  • Pray for the children who participate in this programme. Pray that they would accept Christ as their Saviour and that they would grow in their faiths.

  • Pray for the parents of the children who are impacted by this project. Ask God to speak into their lives and that they would come to faith in Christ.

  • Pray that God would continue to protect the staff and volunteers as they host the Bread of Life project. Pray that he would keep them healthy.
This project is our Bible-a-Month project for April. By becoming a Bible-a-Month partner you will help to provide Scripture to people all over the world every month. You will receive a free calendar with information about this and 11 other Bible Society projects. Commit to giving just £5 each month and you will ensure that the Word of God is shared across the world. Sign up here.
704 Bible Translations Completed
Although 2020 was a tough year, Bible Societies around the world still managed to complete Scripture translations in 66 languages, used by 707 million people. As of the start of 2021, the full Bible is now available in 704 languages and is used by 5.7 billion people!

Alongside complete translations, the New Testament has been translated into the languages of 825 million people, whilst 450 million people have some portions of Scripture in their language, allowing for God to speak to them through the parts of His word that they have access to.

The impact this has on people’s lives is clear. John, a speaker of Ogbia, a translation recently completed in Nigeria, explains that translations will “aid literacy and encourage our youth and others to understand the Word of God”.

Currently, more than half of the world’s 7,359 languages have no Scripture at all, maintaining that 1.5 billion people still do not have the full Bible in their language. Therefore, the $30 million that is required each year to make the aims of the roadmap realistic, is vital. As well as considering languages without a translation of any of the Bible, translation work also goes into languages that have changed over time. When a language has altered drastically, this can mean that younger generations are unable to benefit from the original translation in their language. Last year, new or revised translations in 21 languages used by 694 million people, including nine full Bibles, were published by Bible Societies.

The infographic below is useful for quickly grasping an overview of the current Bible translation statistics:
Pray for Bible translation around the world:

  • Praise God for all of the work done already on so many translations of His Word. Praise God for the impact that His Word has had on people’s hearts all over the world.

  • Pray for Bible translators all over the world as they work on making the Bible available. Pray for wisdom in their work and for safety wherever they are.

  • Pray for those who are yet to have Scripture in their own language. Pray that God would speed the availability of their translation and that they would soon be able to read the Bible for themselves. 

On 4th August 2020, a massive explosion erupted in Beirut, Lebanon. Over 210 people died in the blast and the damage to the city was extensive. Thankfully, no Bible Society staff were killed in the incident, but their office building was left uninhabitable.

Since August, the reconstruction and repair of the Bible Society building has been completed and their damaged equipment has been replaced.

In response to the disaster, the Bible Society worked hard to distribute Bibles to all those who have been impacted. They wanted to share hope in a time where many were feeling hopeless.
Pray for this Project:

  • Pray that the distribution of Scriptures would impact those who receive them.

  • Praise God for the safety of our colleagues. Continue to pray for the team serving with the Bible Society in Lebanon as they reach out to their community.

  • Pray for all people in Beirut who are injured or who have family and loved ones who died in the explosion. Pray that God would bring healing in this situation and in all things He would be glorified.
Sri Lanka

This year we're supporting several projects in Sri Lanka, including Trauma Healing programmes, a Braille Bible translation and the Sri Lankan Sign Language translation.

Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic country, with Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism being the majority religions. It is often hard to share God's Word among the people, but the Ceylon Bible Society are working hard to share their faith with others.

We hope to bring you more on these projects later in the year.
Pray for this Project:

  • Pray for those participating in Trauma Healing programmes, that they would find comfort in God's love for them.

  • Pray for the work among people with visual and hearing disabilities. Ask God that they would be blessed by reading the Bible for themselves.

  • Pray for the staff and volunteers as they reach out to their community. Pray for safety, but also boldness to advocate for the Bible.
More from Bible Society NI:
27 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6NB
028 9032 6577 Charity Reg. No. NIC102557

Header image shows care packages being distributed in Peru through the Bread of Life programme.
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