Mimi ni mwanadamu aliyechanganyikiwa.
Je suis un humain confus.
Esmu apmulsis cilvēks.
Soy una humana confundida.
How did you feel just now when your brain tried to read those words? Confused? Dumb? If you’re like 43% of the world who are bilingual and one of the languages you speak happens to be Swahili, French, Spanish, or Latvian, maybe you didn’t feel too bad. If you’re a rare tri-lingual, then you probably felt pretty smart. If you’re a polyglot (someone who is fluent in several languages) and you were able to translate the above sentence—“I’m a confused human”—from all four languages, then congratulations. You’re a unicorn.
But if you don’t fall into any of those categories, you now know how approximately six billion people on the planet feel when they try to read English.
We’ve published in 40 different languages. And the impact is powerful.
To date, Light Bearers has published and distributed over three-quarters of a billion pieces of gospel literature. Our mission is to vindicate the beauty of God’s character in the hearts and minds of people all over the world. But in order to do this effectively, we need to meet people where they are, not only geographically but also linguistically. So, over the years, we’ve made translating a priority. We’ve published in 40 different languages. And the impact is powerful. When people hold in their hands the glorious truth of the gospel in their own language, not only can they understand it, they feel respected and dignified, which has the effect of opening their hearts to receive the message.
Doctrine saturated in God’s love
Early in 2021 we did something new: we sent two containers filled with our Truth Link Bible study guides, as well as Ty’s book The Sonship of Christ, to Riverside Farm Institute in Zambia. Along with being a farm, Riverside is an evangelistic training center and long-time partner with Light Bearers. They usually receive two containers of literature per year. Their team of Bible workers (about 40 people) then goes out to the bush and uses the literature to win souls for Christ and plant churches. Riverside staff also distribute the books and tracts to conferences and local church leadership, equipping them for their evangelistic efforts.
The books and study guides were delivered in February and April. Riverside Farm’s team has been working hard to distribute the material.
Typically, each container holds about one million Bible study guides. That’s a lot of literature. It usually takes Riverside six to nine months to distribute all the literature to the Bible workers and church leaders. However, as of this writing, the Riverside team has distributed nearly all of the Truth Link study guides in about three months—half the normal time. Half of The Sonship of Christ has already been distributed as well. Between the Midlands and Copperbelt Conferences in Zambia, 400 people have already studied through the entire Truth Link series and received their graduation certificates. Other conferences are planning to distribute the literature at their fall evangelistic meetings.
So what made the difference? Why is the material being distributed so rapidly?
Here’s the short answer: sheer enthusiasm!
The Truth Link studies were intentionally written for the purpose of combining sharp theological integrity with beautiful insights into God’s amazing love. This gives Truth Link the unique power to reach both the mind and the heart. The goal is not to merely convince the intellect with factual correctness but also to draw out the emotions to God with love in response to His great love for us. As Paul says, “The goodness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4). Or as John says, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). So Truth Link deliberately aims to magnify the goodness and love of God as sound doctrinal teaching is unfolded. And that is why people can’t wait to get their hands on these Bible lessons and share them with others.
…the anti-Trinitarian movement is exerting an influence that is dividing churches and causing unnecessary confusion.
The Sonship of Christ follows the same pattern: robust theology immersed in God’s love. The book began as an email correspondence between Ty and church leaders on the growing debate over the doctrine of the Trinity. The clarity that arose in that correspondence led to requests for the material to be printed in book form. The Sonship of Christ answers the most controversial questions regarding the doctrine of the Trinity by mapping out the big story of Scripture. It is an exposition of the covenantal love of God as manifested through God’s “only begotten Son,” Jesus Christ. The book is a vital contribution to the church in Africa because the anti-Trinitarian movement is exerting an influence that is dividing churches and causing unnecessary confusion.
To every nation, tongue, and people
As thrilled as we are with the distribution results reported above, we want to do more. The Truth Link study guides and the copies of The Sonship of Christ we sent to Zambia are in English. While English is an official language of Zambia (and many other African countries), only 1.7% of the population speaks it as a first language. English is most commonly used by those in the cities and those from educated, affluent backgrounds. Over half of Zambia’s population has not been urbanized. So, with the exception of children, the vast majority of the people in Zambia’s remote villages do not speak or read English.
Translating and publishing truth-filled literature is the most cost-effective way to reach the world for Christ. Because of your support, the people of Zambia and countries across the globe have been able to read the gospel in their own language. Truth Link and The Sonship of Christ have been so well received, we’ve set a goal of raising $25,000 specifically for their translation. Will you consider giving to this project? Even if it’s just a dollar, every gift will help someone encounter Jesus’ love in their native tongue. Thank you!
Allie is a 2012 ARISE graduate and on-staff writer and communications assistant for Light Bearers. She is fascinated by the intersection of faith and the creative process and enjoys poetry. When she’s not watching a good movie with her friends, she enjoys narrating life with mediocre accents.