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Dear Prayer Partner,

Welcome to the June Extra Insight!

It has been a joy over the last year to hear of encouraging stories of people coming to faith through God's Word, despite all that has gone on.

This month we have an update on our Bible-a-Month project in Uganda, as well as projects in Togo and Austria.

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

We have continued to receive requests for deputations through video and Zoom and are so thankful to share the good work of Bible Societies around the world.

We were able to be in the office as a staff team in May. It was an encouragement to see everyone in person, even though we were socially distanced! We hope that we will continue to be able to be a presence in the office.

Just last week we sadly said good-bye to our intern, Lucy. Lucy has been working with us since September as part of a module of her degree at Queen’s University. She has been a great help to all on our team, often working to help produce resources, our Word at Work magazine and Extra Insight emails. Excitingly, she has been accepted for a position at the Christian Institute in England, beginning in the Autumn. We want to thank her for the fantastic help and encouragement she has been and pray that God will bless her in her new role at the Christian Institute.
As usual, we have plenty of exciting resources for you, your family and your church, visit our website here to find out more!

Prayer Requests from Bible Society NI:

  • Pray that God would continue to bless the work we do, and praise Him for His continued faithfulness to us.

  • Please pray that we would be a support to our brothers and sisters around the world who are struggling at the minute. It is often hard to hear of the situations our colleagues face day to day, but we trust God will watch over them. 

We meet to pray each month on the last Wednesday of the month at 1pm. Do join us at 1pm on the 30th June via Zoom using this link:

Meeting ID: 868 1086 7970
Passcode: 258028
Braille Bibles for those with Visual Impairments - Uganda
One of the goals of Bible Societies around the world is to make the Bible accessible to everyone. The Bible Society of Uganda is no different, working to make Braille Bibles available to those who have visual impairments.

Although those with visual disabilities can hear the Bible when read to them, they will always need someone else to help them interact with the Bible. Since 2011, the Bible Society of Uganda has been working to enable those with visual disabilities to read God’s Word for themselves through producing Braille Bible translations.

There is a great effort to provide Braille Bibles in as many of the native languages as possible. Recently they celebrated the completion and launch of the Runyankore-Rukiga Braille Bible. Following on from the launch of the Luganda Braille Bible in 2018, the new Runyankore-Rukiga Braille Bible is yet another important step in ensuring that people with visual disabilities can access and engage with Scripture for themselves.

At the launch COVID-19 safety measures were in place and face masks worn by all attendees. It was obvious that COVID-19 has impacted daily life in the country, but that could not prevent the expression of great joy and thankfulness amongst the 180 people in attendance.

One of the most recent translations that Bible Society of Uganda has undertaken is the translation of the Bible into Acholi Bible in Braille. This translation is currently underway and will be a great blessing to those who will receive it. The Bible Society of Uganda is also continuing to advocate for inclusivity in the church activities and teaching those with visual impairments to read Braille.

The money raised this month by our Bible-a-Month calendar will go towards providing Braille Scripture portions to visually impaired people across Uganda.
Pray for this Project:

  • Pray for those who are working on the translations of the Bible into Braille, both those who record the Braille and those who read the Scriptures to them.

  • Pray that those with visual impairments would be blessed by these translations. Ask that the Holy Spirit would strengthen them and give them patience as they wait to have a Bible they can read for themselves.

  • Pray that through this project and others like it, that the church in Uganda would become more inclusive and accessible to all people, no matter their ability. 
This project is our Bible-a-Month project for June. 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.
In February’s Extra Insight we shared a bit about the Faith Comes By Hearing project in Togo. This project aims to make the Bible accessible to those who are illiterate or who have a visual disability through “Proclaimers”, a form of audio Bible. Each week over 1,000 groups meet all over Togo, in churches, small groups and some even hosted in prisons.

The beginning of 2021 was similar to the start of 2020, with activities once again restricted by COVID-19. Churches and other places of worship remained closed, with many groups unable to meet.

Thankfully, restrictions allowed small gatherings in homes, so a number of groups were still able to meet in smaller numbers. These meetings are held strictly in line with COVID- guidelines, with social distancing, masks and frequent hand sanitisation. As a result of the lull in activities, small group leaders have also come forward and asked for training to help them better lead their groups. 

The Bible Society of Togo has asked us to continue to pray for them as they hold further training for these leaders, and for those who cannot attend the programme at the minute due to the virus.
Pray for this project:

  • Pray for those who are still able to attend these meetings. Ask God to bless the meetings and that through hearing His Word many would deepen their relationship with Him.

  • Pray for the leaders of these groups as they seek to shepherd the people. Pray that the new training would be greatly benefit them, both personally in their own faith and for the people they lead.

  • Pray for the new groups seeking to start up. Pray that the Proclaimers would be available and safely delivered around the country. Ask God to bless any new groups starting up. 
Lots of people flee to Austria as refugees, hoping to escape persecution in their home country. Sadly, due to incorrect papers or criminal activity, many are put into prisons or detention centres. Some of the people in these centres are Christian, but many are not.

The Austrian Bible Society is hoping to speak into these situations by distributing free Bibles and Scripture portions to those who are detained. They play a key part in this ministry as they are able to source the Scriptures in whatever language is needed. The materials distributed include Children’s Bibles, audio Scriptures and Gospel tracts. The material comes in over 7 different languages, ensuring as many people as possible can engage with God's Word in their own language.

The Bible Society works with local churches and prison chaplains to reach out to those in need with the Gospel. One chaplain, Daniela, who works in a prison in Vienna, explained to the Bible Society why this ministry is so important.

“In prison people ask themselves the questions of life in a different more fundamental way.” Daniela says, “With the help of the Bible Society we can offer the inmates a Bible, where they also can search for something, which will help them to cope with the situation and also make them see their life after prison.”

A letter received by the Bible Society from a prisoner in Vienna read:
“I am in prison at the moment, and I will stay here a long time. But like the Proverb says: All bad also has something good in it. Here I have the time to think about the meaning of life and to re-evaluate my values…If it is possible for you, please send me a Bible and other literature about Jesus. I don’t have anyone else to ask.”
Please join us as we pray for this vital ministry in Austria.
Pray for this Project:

  • Pray that the Bible Society would continue to have good connections with detention centres and prisons. Ask God to speak to these people through His Word being distributed.

  • Pray for those who find faith in detention centres, that they would be able to connect with a church when they leave the centres and that they would be supported by the Christian community.

  • Pray that Austrians will show compassion to those fleeing their own countries and that they would be able to help them in their difficult situations.
More from Bible Society NI:
27 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6NB
028 9032 6577 Charity Reg. No. NIC102557

Header image shows a boy reading a Braille Bible in Uganda.
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