For Sindar,* the journey to church each Sunday is a greater challenge than most teenagers face. To get to church, Sindar swims across a river, carrying a pack with him so that once he arrives he can change into dry clothes. But the hardest part of his journey initially was what awaited him when he returned home. “I’m from a Hindu family,” he says. “When I returned home in the afternoon, my mother would take a cane sick and beat me because I’ve gone to a Christian Church and accepted the Lord.”
The next Sunday, same routine. Finally, his parents disowned him and kicked him out of the house, leaving him to move in with the livestock. “I had no more standing in my family because I was a Christian.”
In the midst of his suffering at the hands of his birth family, however, Sindar is joyful in the family of God. His life is a testimony of indestructible joy in Christ.
Sindar lives in Manipuri, India where Truth78’s He Established a Testimony curriculum was translated last year. This is the first printed copy of any curriculum in the Manipuri language—coming 124 years after the Bible was translated for the Manipuri language.
The Manipuri people’s long years without Sunday school material illustrates the massive global need for God-centered, Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting resources to reach the next generation.
For more than two decades, Truth78 has been committed to developing English resources and supporting the translation and distribution of those resources for the discipleship of the next generation.
We praise God for the significant ways He has expanded our efforts toward meeting the global need over the past year, through bringing to Truth78 an international director of resource development, through a special training opportunity in Mexico, through the labors of strategic translation partners, and through a new outlet for translated resources.
Looking toward 2020, we’re excited about the opportunities God is graciously giving us.
International Resource Development
This past September, Gary Brewer joined Truth78 as International Director of Resource Development after serving more than 35 years in missions-focused ministry. His desire to translate resources for children began in 2003 when two young pastors in Bangalore, India asked him to help them get good Sunday school resources in their respective languages. “I couldn’t help them at the time,” he says, “because our mission’s ministry was Bible translation only.” In 2008, he resigned from the mission he had served for 24 years and started Partners in Discipleship International (PDI) to focus on the great global need for children’s discipleship materials, partnering with Children Desiring God (now Truth 78) to translate and publish curriculum and booklets in languages spoken in Myanmar, India, and Thailand.
As Director of International Resource Development for Truth78, Gary now oversees all translation work and international printing and distribution contracts. He is also taking responsibility to establish international training programs that inspire a biblical vision of ministry to the next generations, as well as effective and practical implementation of children’s discipleship resources.
Ministry in Mexico
This past July, David and Sally Michael joined with Latin American believers who share a zeal for the discipleship of the next generations. Speaking at the "Asombrados por Dios" (Astonished by God) conference at Horizonte Church in Querétaro, México, they ministered to online and local-participants from 22 different churches and 16 Latin American countries. Horizonte’s pastor, Kike Torres, opened the conference powerfully with “The Harvest is Large and Small: A Call to See the Task of Reaching and Equipping the Next Generation.” David and Sally delivered “A God-Centered Vision for the Faith of the Next Generation.”
On Saturday, Sally joined with Pastor Hector Santana, Truth78's primary voice for Latin America, to speak on raising a Bible-saturated generation and inspiring them to set their hope in God. Between sessions were opportunities to experience lively, God-centered worship and receive practical training through a variety of workshops. At the conclusion of the conference, more than 1,000 people from Horizonte gathered across four services on Saturday evening and Sunday morning for worship and David Michael's message, “For the Joy of the Next Generation” from Psalm 1.
“We praise God for the impact Truth78 is having on Latin America, and for the resources we have in Spanish that are making their way throughout this region,” says David Michael. “And yet, the hunger for more of this teaching, and the opportunities to do more, seem almost limitless. May God be pleased to take the seeds that were planted this summer in Querétaro, México and use them to reach millions for His glory and the everlasting joy of the next generations in the Spanish-speaking world.”
New Distribution for Translated Resources
The Truth78 strategy is to publish resources in English and Spanish and provide them at no cost to translation partners, and then to distribute all translated resources as free PDFs. This past March, our new website launched and provided a languages section (truth78.org/languages) featuring free translated resources in 12 languages: Burmese, Chinese, Dutch, Falam Chin, Hindi, Kannada, Manipuri, Paite, Russian, Telugu, Tamil, and Ukrainian.
In addition to the resources that have already been translated, we worked with partners on additional resources for Burmese, Hakha Chin, Falam Chin, Zaiwa, Jingpho, Manipuri, Kok Borok, Rongmei, Ukranian, Russian, Dutch, and Chinese, as well as beginning new translation work for Albanian, Portuguese, Korean, French, Romanian, and Haitian Creole.
VBS in India
Over the past couple of years, Patrick and Kimberly Shannon from College Park Church in Indianapolis, have partnered with Truth78 for resources to help in their mission to better equip local churches in India to spread the gospel.
This past June, Patrick Shannon led a team from Indianapolis to India. They met with churches using Truth 78 VBS curriculum, translated in Telugu, to reach many areas that previously had no VBS program. “Over 10,000 children and volunteers were taught the Word of God through the material. Several people (children, teachers, volunteers) professed Jesus as Lord and Savior and were subsequently baptized,” Patrick reported. “We are planning to translate other Truth 78 materials in the future to help equip the church in order to provide a solid foundation in their faith.”
New Translation Release and Training
“Children are hungry for God's Word,” says Gary Brewer, “and it is our desire to provide hope for the next generations.”
As we approach 2020, Gary is planning to travel to Jirabam, Assam in India, to participate in the Rongmei Children's Festival, January 15-18. While there, Truth78 will release He Established a Testimony and He Has Spoken by His Son as the first two curricula printed in the Rongmei language. Gary expects as many as 1,000 children, 500 parents, and many church leaders to attend.
Following the Children's Festival, Gary's team will travel to Agartala, Tripura in India. The Tripura Baptist Christian Union requested teachers training January 22-23 for He Established a Testimony, which will be released in the Kok Borok language later in January. Following this, the training team will travel to Imphal, Manipur in India, for the Tarung Rongmei Naga Baptist Association Center Church for a Teacher's Orientation to conduct special training for using the new curricula January 27-31. Gary anticipates as many as 350 Rongmei teachers will attend the orientation training sessions.
Truth78's first translation workshop will be held in Imphal, Manipur in India with the Ukrainain translator traveling there to work from January 8-13 with Suresh Singh, Truth78's Chief Translation Consultant. The first curricula will be printed in Myanmar for the Zaiwa and Jingpho languages early in 2020. Several languages are in the research phase including Norwegian, Indonesian, and Nepali. God is beginning to open the door to many language groups around the world.
"The Global Church has a great need for the vision and resources for the instruction of their children and youth in the truth,” says David Michael. “We praise God for how He's equipping Truth78 toward meeting this need. We are praying we can be good stewards of these opportunities for the discipleship of the next generation, so that every tribe and tongue will ‘set their hope in God.’”
*Name changed to protect identity.
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