I am in the midst of a planning retreat, so I am sharing an article with you today from Christianity Today. It is a wonderful reminder just how vital women are to the advancement of the kingdom of God–and specifically about how single women have been such a powerful force in missions. According to the article by Kate Shellnutt, well-known pastor/author John Piper claimed that 85 percent of single missionaries in the world are women. Among Wycliffe’s Bible translators around the world, 85 percent of them are women. Wycliffe’s leaders claim that more than half of the current Bible translations in existence would not have been completed without the work of women! Did you know that there are still 1600 languages that don’t have a Bible?
Just think how many different English translations we have and try to imagine that there were none! (The Bibles in the photo are in Armenian, Romanian, and German.) I hope you will be challenged and inspired by this article about the impact of single women on Bible translation (just copy this address in your browser if the link doesn’t work: http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2017/april/how-single-women-became-unstoppable-force-in-bible-translat.html).
If you are unfamiliar with Wycliffe Bible Translators and their work, please visit Wycliffe’s website. Many of the translators who go into remote villages first have to create an alphabet for an illiterate people group, then translate the Bible (from its Hebrew and Greek–not English) into this newly created written language, then have to teach the people how to read their own language. A lifetime’s work! Then, consider the deaf communities who need a Bible in their sign language! Check out the website. You’ll be amazed!
Oh, and if you’re fascinated by this topic about women’s work throughout history in the advancement of the kingdom, you might want to read these books:
- Daughters of the Church: Women and Ministry from New Testament Times to the Present by Ruth Tucker and Walter Liefeld, published by Zondervan, 1987.
- Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters edited by Marion Ann Taylor and Agnes Choi, published by Baker Academic, 2012.
- The Westminster Handbook to Women in American Religious History edited by Susan Hill Lindley and Eleanor J. Stebner, published by Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.
Blessings on your week. I’ll be back next week to begin a new series for women leaders. I would love to read your story in the comments about a woman who has influenced your spiritual growth.