GOfest 2015 – What an event!

June 30th, 2015 by Nick

We are only just coming down off a high from Gofest 15, which happened last weekend (19th-21st June) in Bulstrode. It. was. fantastic! Two and a bit days were spent focusing on how God is moving both locally and globally and how the church can celebrate and get involved. The main meetings were led by three great main speakers: Rosalee Velloso Ewell, James Hudson Taylor IV and Dr Joseph D’Souza, each of whom covered one of the different areas of GOfest 15’s focus – Whole Life, Whole Church and Whole World.

From worship to teaching, throughout the weekend we were joined by some amazing people with a wealth of experience. Pete James headed up worship in the main tent and seminars were held by over 17 speakers who shared their experiences and insights into the different fields of mission throughout the world around us.

If you weren’t there, definitely check out the GOfest YouTube channel for videos from the event, some of the main meeting talks have already been uploaded!

From toilet cleaners to speakers, a huge thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible.

What’s next for GOfest? GOfest will be returning next year, but changes in the details and venue are yet to be worked out. Visit the Gofest Facebook page and follow @go_festival on Twitter for any and all future updates.

Everyone needs a helping hand

June 26th, 2015 by Jo Johnson

I recently had a conversation with a friend and colleague who is at the start of her home leave after four years working in a difficult environment in Africa. Weary and a little frustrated she described to me the situation she had left. Her passion for Bible translation is still strong but some of challenges she faced had left her discouraged.

A YWAM Bangui staff member, who is from Cameroon, walks with his toddler son.

A YWAM Bangui staff member, who is from Cameroon, walks with his toddler son.

The branch she works with is understaffed. She told me that for the entire four years that she was overseas, there had been no one in their personnel department. This means that there were no trained personnel on the ground available to care for workers. As a result, she told me, at least two families had returned home or left earlier than they would have had they had better support.

Everyone in their branch is doing more than one job and so feels pulled in many directions. Consequently they have less time to give to their primary work. It doesn’t matter how well trained, dynamic or capable we are, at times everyone needs a helping hand.

It may not be immediately obvious but the Bible translation team needs many support workers. Like the personnel staff that my colleague mentioned, they are a vital part of the team and without them the rest of the team cannot function as it should.

Please pray:

  • That God would provide people to fill all the empty human resources positions around the world. There are particular needs in Africa.
  • Praise God for itinerant personnel staff who travel between several countries to support staff, run workshops and offer help. This work can be draining; please pray for their physical strength and spiritual vitality.

‘He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”‘ Luke 10:2 NIV

Check out specific vacancies you can ask God to fill. Find out how you could serve.

Finally! An alphabet!

June 22nd, 2015 by Nick

Life without an alphabet is almost impossible to imagine. What would that even look like? Until recently, this was still the case for a community in a remote mountainous location. A couple of years ago, two field workers visited this community and partnered with local academic leaders to develop an alphabet. During this time they also collected children’s folktales to create the first ever book in the community’s language.

This is a great story from the two workers of how the remote community received the first book ever to be written using their new alphabet:

‘After our arrival we didn’t have long to wait. The moment we entered the home of the family we were staying with, the little girl, aged about eight, ran up to us with the book and with shining eyes started to read fluently from it.

Our landlady then told us how much the girl had wanted the book as a birthday present. When she got it, it was her treasure; she didn’t even want to share it with her younger brother, she was so afraid that the book would get damaged. We had a stock of books with us, and so we solved this situation quickly and gave a copy to her younger brother, which made everybody happy.’

Read the full story.
Find out how you can be part of impacting lives in this way.

Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours

June 19th, 2015 by Jo Johnson

GOfest, running this weekend (19-21 June), is an annual mission-focused conference led by a variety of missions including Wycliffe Bible Translators in the UK.

DSC-167GO is about giving you the opportunity to hear more about God’s heart for the nations. It aims to inspire global vision by giving you opportunities to explore and celebrate what God is doing worldwide. We want you to see where you can play your part and offer you possible pathways to help you on your journey of following Jesus.

GO is always an inspiring event but, this year, we are looking to experience God’s love and passion for the nations even more than before.

Please join us as we pray for the weekend:

  • that God brings many people
  • for hearts to be touched by Christ’s love for a broken world
  • for people to respond to the call to bring Christ’s good news and healing to the nations

Please also pray for those participating:

  • For the keynote and seminar speakers as they bring God’s word and practical application to us
  • For the event to run smoothly and the many volunteers to serve joyfully
  • For those who will be serving the youth and children, that the Lord would use them to inspire and mobilise young people to care about a broken world

GOfest is free to day visitors and it is being held this year at WEC International, Bulstrode, Oxford Road, Gerrards Cross, Bucks, SL9 8SZ. Why not come along and say hello to the staff on the Wycliffe stand in the GOconnect exhibition area?  We’d love to see you!

Organic Translators

June 15th, 2015 by Nick

Mother tongue translators, members from within a local community involved in bringing Scripture into their language, are vital to the work of Bible translation. They have an immediate understanding and insight into their own language, positively impacting the efforts of bringing God’s word to their community’s heart language.  But, how are members in local communities trained in translation skills?

Fancy some insight? The PNG Experience have released this insightful video which pulls back the curtains allowing you to have look through the window into mother tongue translator training in Papua New Guinea.

When you are having someone in the village doing Bible translation, he or she know their language well. Culturally they know the way of relating to each other and know how to say it well. – Steven Ttopoqogo, Instructer on the TTC PNG (Translators Training Course)

Enjoy the video

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Interested in what is happening in the world of Bible translation? Find out how you can be involved.

 

30 Days of Prayer: loving the world

June 12th, 2015 by Jo Johnson

 

The world has been horrified by violent fundamentalist Muslim activities recently, and for many it’s provoked hostility toward Muslims generally. However it’s important for us Christians to remember that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Knowing how to express God’s love to the world can be difficult, especially to followers of other religions. A good place to start is to pray for them. Did you know that in the last 50 years more Muslims have come to Christ than ever before in history? Some attribute this to a growing momentum of prayer for the Muslim world, especially the 30 Days prayer movement:

30days‘In 1992, a handful of Christians meeting in the Middle East were challenged to pray for the Muslim world. They were moved by the revelation of God’s love for Muslim people and challenged to have a greater understanding of how to participate in God’s purposes for the Muslim world.

They prayed and fasted for 30 days. Today, millions of Christians around the world join them every year during the Islamic month of Ramadan. As Muslims pray and fast during this time, so do Christians, following the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World prayer guide which offers new information, statistics, stories and photographs from all over the Muslim world to help them pray more effectively.’ (More from the website.)

This year 30 Days of Prayer runs from 18th June to 17th July. How are you going to get involved?

Want to find out more about what God is doing in the Muslim world? Come to GOfest – a mission-focused conference (19-21 June) where you’ll be able to hear from experts, including Dr David Garrison, sharing what God is doing in the Muslim world and receive teaching on how to pray more effectively for them.

Journey With Us – GOfest 19-21 June 2015

June 8th, 2015 by Nick

It’s not long now, in fact 10 days 14 hours, until GOfest starts later this month! These will be an amazing few days of exploring God’s heart for the world, what he is currently doing and how you can be a part of it. To say we’re excited is an understatement! There’s a packed programme of speakers, seminars, worship, exhibition space and youth and children’s programmes with plenty of opportunities for you to engage, reflect and relax.

To get a taster for what it’s like Paul, an IT specialist exploring a sense that God may be calling him to mission, shares his family’s experience of GOfest [14] [last year:]

Coming to GOfest was very helpful for us. There is a real advantage to looking into someone’s eyes when they are talking to you and knowing what feels right

…We had two organisations we wanted to talk to. When I look back at the conversations I had with the people on the WEC* stand I know that God was at the center of it all – he simply anointed those conversations. The first person we spoke to was not at all pushy, just very relaxed. She then introduced us to someone who was in a very similar role to the one I was looking for. We had a great chat but what was truly amazing was that he literally answered all the questions that we needed answering without us needing to ask them! It is times like that, you realise that God has his hand on the situation.

Added to which the whole environment of GOfest was excellent for seeking God’s calling, from the honesty of the speakers to the feeling that you are in a place with people who are in the same position as you – all looking, praying and seeking God’s calling for them. There is a real sense of unity to the festival.

Read the rest of Paul’s story.

This year we have an amazing line up of speakers: James Hudson Taylor IV, Rosalee Velloso-Ewell and Dr Joseph D’Souza to name a few, as well as Pete James who will be returning from last year to lead the main meetings in worship.

GO2015logoSo pack your camping bags, prep your Sat Navs (or cast your finger to the wind), pick up your Bibles and come journey with us from 19-21st June at GOfest 15.

For all the information you need, including how to register, visit gofestival.info. We look forward to seeing you there!

*wecinternational.org.uk

No longer ‘enslaved to sin’

June 5th, 2015 by Jo Johnson

The word of God is powerful and transforms lives. For that reason, we believe everyone should be able to access the word of God in their heart language. Sometimes, even a very small amount of God’s word can bring about big transformation.

IMGP9629A Lutos man from Central African Republic (CAR), was forced to move temporarily to Bangui, where the Lutos translation team were working at that time. The man was present while the Lutos team translated a pamphlet called ‘The heart of man is enslaved to sin’. He was very touched by what they discussed, and this is his account of how God changed his life:

‘One day at around 5:00 am, when I was still in bed, I was awakened to people banging on my door. I got up and called out, “What is it?” One of them responded to me, “If you don’t get out here quickly  you’re going to find a grenade in bed with you.”

I immediately began calling out protection spells to keep these people out. However, they were still able to break in. They took me to the place that mobs go to administer vigilante justice. They tied me up so I couldn’t move. I realized that I was in serious trouble, so I began to call out to the God I didn’t believe in, to forgive me for all the wrong that I’ve done.

I was accused by the mob of bewitching a young pregnant woman. Now I knew that I had nothing to do with that but I knew that it was because of all the witchcraft that I was involved in that I was being blamed for it.

I was eventually released. After reflecting on all that happened and on what the Lutos pamphlet said, I realized that I was far from God and truly my heart was enslaved to sin. Today I live in Bangui. I certainly would love to be home but Bangui is the only safe place for me and my family. I have abandoned all my traditional practices so that I can truly follow Him.’

CAR is a country that has been crippled by civil war, ethnic and religious strife. It is still unstable.

Praise God for the power of his word especially in this man’s life. Please pray:

  • that scripture that has already been translated would impact many lives in CAR and many would encounter the power of God through it.
  • that God continues to enable translation projects in CAR to move forward despite all the challenges that they face.
  • for peace in CAR and peaceful elections later this year.

 

Love to pray for the world? Follow @wycliffeuk_pray on twitter for daily prayer needs and more.

Caring for our Neighbours

June 1st, 2015 by Nick

This week marks the beginning of the Hope for Muslims tour. From June 5th to June 21st events are being held throughout the UK with the aim of learning how to pray for and reach out to our Muslim neighbours. The events are being headed up by Dr David Garrison, author of A Wind in the House of Islam. Dr Garrison will also be speaking at this year’s GoFestival event!

Dr David Garrison, author of the acclaimed book A Wind in the House of Islam will be taking part in a speaking tour of the UK in June. The ‘Hope for Muslims’ tour aims to be a catalyst for more prayer and more action on reaching out to our Muslim neighbours.

In his book, Dr David Garrison concludes that never in the history of Muslim/Christian interaction have we seen the response to the Gospel we are seeing today. It is a story of how, in answer to prayer and in response to a religion that is becoming increasingly divided, thousands of Muslims are choosing to become followers of Jesus.

Dr Garrison will speak at venues in Scotland, Northern Ireland, moving down through England, finishing in the London area on 21st June. The tour will end as the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World begins, coinciding as always with the Muslim fast of Ramadan. This prayer movement, which began in 1993, has been one of the keys to the move of God we are seeing. We want to see the wind of God’s Spirit continue to blow right across the Muslim world, including right here in the UK. (More information on the website.)

Interested? Find out more, including event dates and how to register, by visiting the Hope for Muslims website, hopeformuslims.org.

The Hope for Muslims tour is sponsored by a number of UK organisations, including Global Connections and Wycliffe Bible Translators UK.

How should I get involved?

May 29th, 2015 by Jo Johnson

The Next Step, a weekend event exploring how you could be involved in bringing God’s word to those without it, starts today in Manchester and runs until Sunday afternoon.

This is a key opportunity for those who are asking these questions:

‘Is Wycliffe a good fit for me?’ and ‘Is now the time to step up to the plate?’

Each person attending is in a different place in their journey to find answers to these questions. For some this will be a key moment to hear from God.

Please pray for:

  • The six team members who will be sharing their stories about how God has used them in Wycliffe. Ask God to give them wisdom in what to share and sensitivity to God’s Holy Spirit as they seek to answer questions and give guidance.
  • The nine participants, some attending for the whole time and some for just part. Ask God to speak into their lives and move them forward in their understanding of his plans for their lives. Pray that they will benefit from time spent at the event and see clearly what the next step is for them.
  • For everyone involved pray for good health, energy and safe travel.

Don’t worry if you’re interested in finding out how you could get involved but have missed the opportunity to go along to the Next Step. The Two Week Stint  held in the south of France would answer many of your questions.  Alternatively, you could go along to ‘First Steps‘ events which will be held around country through the winter.