Linking the Canadian Church with the world's minority language groups, to see community transformation through Bible translation, use of translated Scriptures, mother-tongue literacy and education.

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From B.C. to Peru

Langley’s Christian Life Assembly begins a partnership through Wycliffe Canada among the Quechua people.

By Nathan Frank

Written on the lobby wall of Christian Life Assembly (CLA) in Langley, B.C. is: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” Acts 1:8 (ESV).

The verse represents the nearly 80-year-old church’s goal of ministering across the globe and in its own community. CLA is involved in a variety of ministries in more than 40 countries, including, Russia, Guatemala and Haiti.

“We love coming alongside existing ministries to fuel them with people and funds, and to train pastors and lay leaders,” says Steve Nicholson, the director of missions at CLA. “We believe in caring for widows and orphans in their distress and we care about the Word of God. We care about Bibles at home for our people and we care about assisting those who are [involved] in Bible translation and Bible distribution around the world.”

Looking for a way to contribute to Bible translation ministries, CLA saw an opportunity to develop a Kingdom Friendship through Wycliffe Canada. The partnership would be a more personal, long-term way for CLA to link with a minority language group that needs Bible translation and related ministries.

Moving to See

This past March, Nicholson joined a Kingdom Friendship exploration trip to southern Peru, where he visited AIDIA, a local partner organization of Wycliffe Canada that translates the Bible, and organizes literacy and Bible classes for the Eastern Apurímac Quechua people (for more on AIDIA see Word Alive, Summer 2014).

During his nine-day visit to several mountainous villages, Nicholson saw the importance of the Bible in the people’s heart language of Quechua. He noticed that it allows the villagers to understand that God loves them and speaks their language.

“To hike up the mountains and see them reading the New Testament in the Quechua language, it was very moving to see,” he says. “Reading the Bible in your own language—there’s nothing more powerful than that.”

Nicholson says that the Quechua people treated their Bibles like they were precious gold.

“You didn’t see them on the floor. They were holding them and hugging their Bible and when the pastor started reading, they were marking and reading and digesting the Word of God.”

Seeing God’s Kingdom Grow

Shortly after the trip, CLA agreed to support AIDIA’s translation of the Old Testament, which is expected to be completed in the next six years. The church also plans to send teams to assist AIDIA with training and ministry in the coming years. He expects this will help CLA ministry teams see that God’s Kingdom is growing around the world.

“Jesus is alive everywhere and I would want them [a group from CLA] to experience that,” he says. “When they sing their choruses at the top of their lungs in their Quechua language, you will be moved.”

CLA’s partnership with Wycliffe and AIDIA has created a Kingdom Friendship where followers of Christ in Langley, B.C. are essential team members in the Bible translation task.

“We can’t just send people somewhere and translate the Bible. They’re already doing it,” Nicholson says of AIDIA. “By assisting them, they reach their goals and we’re reaching our goal, which is to reach people for Christ.”

 

To learn more about AIDIA, visit aidia.wycliffe.ca.

Related story: Learn how Canadians Bud and Kala Thompson facilitate Kingdom Friendships in Sold Out

 

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