WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.—Bibles International is committed to reaching the world by making the Bible available in every language, and Glen Baptist Church has caught that vision. Gary Walton, director of the stewardship division of Bibles International, visited Glen Baptist Church, and the congregation gave him a check for $5,000 to kick off the church’s “2020 Literacy Project.”
Donated funds will enable Bibles International to develop six primers that will teach reading skills to the Rawang people of Myanmar in preparation for a forthcoming translation of Scripture. The Rawang (or Rvwang) people live in isolated areas, mainly in the northern-most part of Myanmar near the China border. BI reports that currently the literacy rate among the Rawangese is less than 20 percent.
“Literacy is a fundamental part of our society,” says Bibles International’s April 2014 issue of Briefings. “What if the language you spoke every day was not written down so you never saw it in print? For many people groups involved in Bible translation, this is an everyday reality. Thus, it is essential that literacy materials be developed for use before a New Testament is printed.”
Carla Franklin, an adjunct literacy consultant for Bibles International, says in this same issue, “For such illiterate people groups, Bibles International turns squiggly lines into letters which make up words and sentences and paragraphs, ultimately enabling people to read the Word of God in their own language.”
Pastor Mathur Bhai in India testifies of the importance of literacy. “Previously some people said that they have the Bible and came to know that it is the religion of the lower caste. Now I am able to read/memorize and understand what they said is not true.”
Convinced of the importance of the ability for people to read the Bible in their own language, Glen Baptist Church has committed to donate $20,000 to Bibles International by 2020. Eight families have pledged to give $10 a week toward raising $4,000 in 2015. Pastor Teddy Herron says that Glen Baptist Church “is looking for a sister church to provide BI with an additional $20,000 to fully fund BI’s Rawang literacy project.”
“Reading is intertwined with Bible translating,” says Dr. P. Hantz Bernard, director of Bibles International. “We are thankful to those churches that partner with us in this important endeavor.”