The Seed Company Seminar

Last month I had the privilege of attending a Bible translation seminar in Texas run by the Seed Company.  Over the past twenty years the Seed Company has developed a number of innovative approaches to translation that are allowing unreached people groups to access the Scriptures in a much shorter time frame than was previously possible. One of the Seed Company's newer initiatives involves pairing indigenous translation teams with bible scholars in the US who can serve as exegetical checkers, using their knowledge of Greek and Hebrew to give guidance to the translation team and raise questions that will help them produce a more accurate text. Last winter I served as an exegetical checker for an Old Testament translation project being completed by Ika language speakers in Nigeria, and I was invited to this conference to meet other potential exegetical checkers and receive further training.

Just being able to attend the conference and interacting with men and women who have devoted their entire lives to understanding and applying the Scriptures was a huge blessing in and of itself! But I was especially excited to learn that the work I did last winter was beneficial to the Ika team and that I will be able to continue working with them in the future.  Not only that, but the Seed Company is also eager to send me to Nigeria for a three week field visit to meet the Ika team face to face and help with one of their translation workshops. Seeing as I am about to have a baby, I'm not sure there is any extensive international travel in my near future ;) but it certainly is fun to think about!

The Ika are a people group of about 240,000 individuals centered around the city of Agbor in southern Nigeria. They first heard the good news of the gospel about 100 years ago, and many of them attend church regularly, but the growth of the Ika church and the discipleship of believers has been limited by the fact that no Scriptures existed in their own heart language. In 2010 an Ika translation team completed the New Testament, and now they are eagerly working their way through the Old Testament as well. You can read more about the Ika people and their progress with the Seed Company here.

 One of the most moving parts of the seminar was hearing translators and consultants tell stories of how various people groups and churches have been totally transformed when they are finally able to hear the Scriptures read and preached in their own language. This video was my favorite one of many we saw that illustrates just how meaningful it is to hear God's word in a way that speaks to your heart!


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