As the pastor of a local church in Brewster, New York, Travis Mitchell has a huge heart for people in need. That’s why he focuses his church around two causes: human trafficking and Bible translation.
While Pastor Travis has involved his church in Bible translation projects before, this past year he wanted to expand their involvement. He wanted to find a people group in need of the Scriptures and connect the people in his congregation to them, not only to help meet the people group’s needs, but also to address his church’s needs.
Heading into a fall sermon series about why the Bible matters and how it is central to our faith, Pastor Travis couldn’t fathom how in today’s world there can be churches without Scripture in their heart language. His thoughts quickly jumped to how transformational Bible translation is for evangelism, the growth of local churches, discipleship and whole community impact. Then, Pastor Travis found the right opportunity — the people of First Baptist Church of Brewster, New York, would partner with the Babanki people of northwest Cameroon, sponsoring the entire book of Galatians.
What a partnership it turned out to be — a church of about 100 people sponsored all 149 verses of Galatians! While they did this, the congregation was encouraged to revisit Galatians and rediscover how impactful this portion of Scripture in their own language has been and continues to be for them. They also prayed for all the Babanki translators and Babanki churches by name!
Today when you visit First Baptist Church, rather than having a sense that this is about a church sending a check to some unknown people in a far-away land, instead, it’s more like a beautiful part of the Babanki people has come to the town of Brewster, New York, and dwells with them. When you walk into the church, there is an entire area filled with pictures of the Babanki people, their village and maps as well as the book of Galatians printed on large boards.
Pastor Travis and First Baptist Church of Brewster now prayerfully join the entire Babanki people group awaiting the arrival of the Babanki Bible, currently projected for 2017. You can join with the Babanki, too, through prayer, as God brings this translation of his Word across the finish line.
- The Babanki people of Cameroon have had some tough challenges in the translation process over the years, including the deaths of three Babanki people on the translation team. Praise God, the Babanki are now well on their way to completing the translation of their New Testament.
- Praise God for a team of well-trained translators that is delivering good quality translation drafts for use in the churches. Pray for the availability of a consultant to check the remaining books that have been drafted.
- Give thanks for church leaders and members who are welcoming the provision of Scripture in print and non-print media in Babanki and using it in their daily lives. More than 350 people are attending at least 28 literacy classes in the Babanki community. Scripture listening groups are also becoming more popular. Recently, local pastors were introduced to the audio recording of Luke and learned ways to use it in sermons and Bible studies.
- Pray that churches would rally around the work and continue to engage the Babanki people in the Scriptures being translated. Pray that the gospel of Jesus Christ would transform the Babanki and impact lives across Cameroon and greater West Africa.
Make a Prayer Connection: Pray for more churches to engage with Bibleless people groups. Perhaps you might feel led to introduce these church resources to your pastor or group leader.