Regional Prayer Focus: Translation for Asia Pacific

God longs to speak to every person in the language of their heart

Nasir* was born to a poor family in the small village of Chittagong Hill Tracts in southeastern Bangladesh. He belonged to a minority ethnic group of around 250,000 people and spoke a language related to the Lolo-Burmese languages.

Unable to feed a family of seven children, Nasir’s father sent him to live in a Buddhist temple to be raised and educated. Little did he know, the 10 years he’d spend living with monks would prepare him to become a Bible translator.

In the Buddhist temple, Nasir learned to read and write Buddhist Scriptures in his own language. Sometime after he left the Buddhist temple, he reconnected with a distant uncle who was a Christian. Nasir gave his life to Jesus!

Today, Nasir works with Bangladesh Bible Society to translate the Bible into 45 minority languages.

“I am thankful to God for leading during all these years, and for giving me the intelligence and opportunity to learn and to translate the Bible into the language of my people.”

Translating God’s Word

Nasir’s story is just one of many translators who give their lives to translate the Bible. They desire to see people in their nation connect with God in the language they speak.

There are many people in the Asia Pacific region still waiting for God’s Word in their native language. In 2019, together with local Bible societies, we are supporting 94 translations including:

  • The Mongolian Sign Language project for 10,000 to 12,000 deaf people.
  • The Old Testament for 67,000 White Yi Speakers living in the mountainous Chinese province of Yunnan.
  • The New Testament for 20,000 Sonaha speakers over Nepal.
  • A black Hmong Bible for Tay, Nung, Muong, and Black Hmong speakers living in northeastern Vietnam.

We thank God for Nasir and all those working to translate the Bible. Will you join us in praying for their work?

3 Ways to pray for Asia Pacific:

  • Pray that people all across Asia Pacific will learn of God’s love for them in their heart language.
  • Pray for Bible translation teams to be strengthened for this work that can take many years to complete.
  • Pray for the resources and tools needed to complete translation projects which include funds, technology, facilities and, transportation.

*Name changed to protect identity. 

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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