“. . . I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.” (2 Tim. 2:9, NIV)
When the Apostle Paul wrote these words he was in prison, suffering for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. But he was willing to endure such hardships so that others could receive salvation. He was chained, but he knew the Word of God which he proclaimed could never be restricted.
Like Paul, Laka is another example of one man’s sacrifice bringing the light of God’s Word—in this case, into dark mountain valleys in South Asia. By the time the translated New Testament was published in his language, Laka had worked on it for 16 long years. For his effort, he was locked away in prison for more than two of those years. For four of them, he was leading believers through much persecution.
During the many stages of draft translating, checking and reviewing the Scriptures, he walked a total of 9,600 km in and out of the mountains. For the New Testament in his language—a book of 1,000 pages—that’s 9.6 km per page! For every three pages, he spent one night out in the open, kilometres from anywhere.
On top of these hardships, Laka had to witness the killings of both his son and nephew due to persecution for their beliefs. Both of them were executed by rifle shots—a dozen times at point blank range. Four other Christians were also martyred the same way.
But because of Laka’s sacrifice, there are now hundreds of believers in those valleys, drawn by the truth of God’s Word to become Christ’s disciples.
No matter where Bible translators may face persecution or even death, God’s Word is not chained. The suffering they endure is worth the results of bringing many into the Lord’s kingdom, with eternal glory.