Let me bring you up to date on the Philippine bible project. First the history:
A couple of years ago it was my concern to obtain a quality bible for the local native people in their native tongue here on Mindanao Island. Since I have no way of personally evaluating the bible language and translation quality myself, I have to rely on the word of others. A quick survey of the book stores indicate that the bibles sold here are translations of such versions as the Good News Bible and the NIV, which I cannot in good conscience make available to the people any more than I could preach another gospel. So in my research I looked for the Wycliffe Translators and finally located the organization, or the new name that they had spawned, and was finally referred to The Bible League. I managed to talk with the man who said that he had personally translated this version into Cebuano/Visia. He assured me that he used the utmost care in bringing this version as close as possible to the original text (although he said it could not be called a King James Version, since there is only one and that is English). He got me to their Manila representative who finally sent us to the Butuan representative, Brother Eric. We were able to order a number of bibles and have them distributed locally, with a few kept in stock for future use.
Now it is Mid March 2013. I was at a meeting of the local fellowship which meets here at the Kingdom Message School and noticed that very few of the adult attendees had bibles. I asked if there were any of these bibles left; they were found and the remnant distributed. So I asked if I could make contact with Brother Eric so we could order more bibles. Merlinda’s driver remembered how to find the man on a sparsely populated back road west of the city. We found this poor broken little man lying on his bed in his tiny shack, suffering from a hip socket fracture from a motorcycle accident. He said that treatment at the hospital would cost 50,000 pesos and they would not touch him until all was paid up front. He was laying in extreme pain, could hardly move or care for himself. He lives alone, about 40, is single and said he has faithfully preached the gospel to the poor and the tribal people in the mountains. He said the accident was the fault of the car driver, but they have a brother-in-law on the police force and had the accident report written to show that he was the fault. Another case of perverted justice for the poor and helpless. Seeing no other help for him, I prayed for him and asked him to stand, which he did in great pain. He said he didn’t know what had become of the bible program and has heard nothing recently from his contacts in Manila. I left telling him I would get him some crutches.
March 28, 2013. A set of nice adjustable aluminum crutches just landed at the airport with Sister Addie and I immediately took them to see Eric. He said that the open sore on the lower leg had healed, the swelling had completely gone down and he was now able to stand with support on the good leg without so much pain. He was delighted with the crutches and now he can be mobile again. Now he gave us information on the bible project. There are no more of these bibles in stock or print. Apparently the American sponsors (probably some council of organized churches) have withdrawn their support and they are waiting for a group in Australia to step up and support it. If and when that happens, bibles will be printed again. Our part will be to make a certain deposit into their bank account as we pre-order the number of bibles we will want. Then we wait for the printing and distributing process. It seems that there is such a spiritual battle against getting the true word out to the people. We walked down from the hotel and found a local “Christian Book Store” and asked them what bibles were available. As expected, they had only GNB, NIV and such in the native tongue, and only two small English KJVs (very small print cost $7.50 and $10). Brethren, there are enough people here now learning to read English that I would also like to see some English KJVs sent in here for some of the people, especially for the Bible School students who understand English very well. Does anyone have some quality English KJVs they’d like to send?
Please pray with us about this,
Mark and Rita Jantzi
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