This year is a momentous year for me. I finished my Masters in May, my first child was born shortly thereafter, and I’m turning 30 in just over a week. I will also be running my first half-marathon on December 14. My quest to run the half started almost by chance. I was at church on the first Sunday of July and a friend asked me if I wanted to run a half marathon with him someday, to which I quickly said no. That prompted me, however, to realize how out of shape I was, so I went out the next day, bought a pair of running shoes, and went out the door to try to run a mile. Let me tell you, that was one of the most exhausting experiences I’ve had in a long time. Frankly, it was embarrassing.
You see, I used to be in great shape. Growing up I played baseball, soccer, basketball, and a host of other sports that my friends and I would make up then play in the front yard. Those days had long since vanished, so this day of running was a wake up call for me. I ran at least three times a week for the next few weeks then decided to take the plunge and register for the White Rock Half Marathon to take place on December 14. It was then official, I was going to run 13.1 miles.
It’s been a very rewarding experience since then for me to train for this race. I’ve lost over 15 pounds, have more energy during the day, and I’ve gained confidence in what I’m physically capable of doing. But those benefits are not enough for me because they’re all selfish, at least to a degree. I want my race to go to something bigger than myself.
After doing some research I’ve decided to raise support and awareness for a project sponsored by Pioneer Bible Translators, specifically for their translation project in Tanzania. Here’s some info about what they’re doing there:
In the last 3 years the East Africa Branch of Pioneer Bible Translators has started 10 translation projects in Tanzania, and believe God is moving them to begin another 10 projects over the next 2 years. Training programs are held for native speakers recruited from the various language groups. National translators are being trained to do more of the work that was traditionally done by overseas missionaries in the past, and the local (Tanzanian) churches are providing much of the office space, furniture and utilities for many of the translation projects.
Translation projects are beginning even now and thru early 2009, as funding permits. As of August, 2008, 6 of the proposed language groups had no nationals lined up for training to work in translation. Funding will also help to bring in more people to train for that work.
The current translators and national workers are underfunded, but continue working in spite of severe financial strain on their families – current salaries are about $75/month but this really needs to be raised to about $125/month. $50 per person, per month is needed to supplement the National translators. Currently they are working with 30 National translators.
You’ll notice above that they’re needing only $50 more per month, per person. I know that I can go through $50 easily on a weekend. Can you find expenses you currently have that you could go without, even if only briefly, to help advance the Gospel throughout the world?
From a Christian perspective, we’re all called to take care of each other. In terms of a tangible thing that Americans can do is give money to the cause. Paul told Timothy about this type of thing. He wrote: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
If you’re ready to help, here’s what you can do. To donate online go to PBT’s website, click the “Click here to make a Donation…” button and you’ll be taken to a PayPal page, where you can donate either by credit card or checking account. From there, fill in the amount you would wish to donate, log in with your PayPal account (or create a new one), and in the box marked “For Ministry Of:” enter “Tanzania Translators (Rossen Run).” If you’d prefer to donate by check make it payable to Pioneer Bible Translators, and “Tanzania Translators (Rossen Run)” to the memo section, and either mail it to PBT or you can hand-deliver to me and I will make the delivery.
May God bless our brothers and sisters throughout the world.