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Lost without translations

 

LifeWay is in the process of translating some of its most popular material into 50 different languages – and then planning to give it all away.

Currently two evangelism training and discipleship pieces are being translated into the 50 most popular languages spoken in the United Sates – “Share Jesus Without Fear” and “The Call to Follow Christ.”

“This is extremely encouraging because of the major shifts that LifeWay did to make this happen,” said Jerry Baker, GBC language missions specialist who has been involved in the multi-ethnic project from the beginning.

“This project is in response to a request two years ago. We saw growth in African American and ethnic churches and realized we needed materials and they needed to be affordable,” he said.

LifeWay simplified the internal process to create the newly translated materials and then agreed to provide free downloads and permission to print as many copies as needed. Printed copies are available at LifeWay’s cost – just $4.90 each.

Currently about 15 translations are available at www.Lifeway.com, said Phil Adams, LifeWay manager of multi-ethnic church support.

“Our immediate goal is to get all 50 languages in both products,” Adams said. “Our overall goal is to provide discipleship materials to people groups who have had no materials in their own languages.”

Baker and his GBC staff currently are working on 10 of the translations, including a basic English translation of “The Call to Follow Christ” that he is writing. They have also contracted with translators who are paid a minimal stipend for their work in translating, proofing, or editing.

There is no budget for the project, but in December 2007 GBC Executive Director J. Robert White allocated Cooperative Program funds from discipleship, evangelism, Empowering Kingdom Growth, and language missions budgets to help with the project. Misty Mathis, Language Missions administrative secretary, manages the contracts of the translations that Georgia Baptists oversee.

“The staff and budget commitment in Georgia for this project is greater than any other state convention,” Baker said. “It’s that important to us. Not only is this an important step in sharing the gospel with everyone, but it is also a gateway that will measure response for other materials in the future.”

 

To find the newly-translated products, go to www.Lifeway.com and click “shop,” then “online catalogue,” then search for either “Share Jesus Without Fear” or “The Call to Follow Christ.” There are two options available for each translation – a free PDF that can be downloaded to your computer or a printed copy that costs $4.90 each. Even if you choose the free download, you will have to go through the check-out process. For more information about GBC Language Missions resources, call (770) 936-5217 or (800) RING GBC.

You and your church may send Cooperative Program Offerings to:

Dr. J. Robert White, Exec. Director, GBC
6405 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097