As I've said before, one important aspect of our work in accomplishing the task of Bible translation is working in partnership with other like-minded organizations. I received an e-mail today from our partners at The Seed Company that I thought I would pass along as an example of the kind of partnerships we have.
The Seed Company was started as a fundraising entity for Bible translation efforts around the world. They do not fund American workers (such as myself) or American organizations (such as PBT), but they raise funds for paying local expenses on translation projects: things such as national translators' salaries, their meeting and training expenses, and the printing of Biblical materials. This takes a huge burden off of those, like us, who are already busy recruiting, training, and overseeing the workers, allowing us to focus on getting the task accomplished more efficiently.
We are so grateful for the Seed Company's partnership in the Roma Project. As you have followed our work, you'll know that we are working on four dialects of the Roma (Gypsy) language simultaneously; that we are well into translating Luke, and that Acts and others are soon to come. The Seed Company is taking care of all local expenses, even paying for a Consultant to come work with them to prepare for publication.
As they communicate with those in their own networks, the Seed Company came up with materials describing this project which you can see at the following link. Beautifully done, and something that will give you a good picture of the project as well.
Please check it out! And praise the Lord with us for good partnerships.
Thanks for your part as well!
To donate to our work, please see our secure giving page at: https://pioneerbible.org/give/MattAndShelbyHonig
Honig October update - a rough one
Thank you to all those who prayed for my recent trip to Russia and Ukraine. It was quite the saga. I'll give you a brief-as-I-can overview:
The flight over went fine, as did the flight from Moscow to Odessa, Ukraine. My days in Moscow with our major partner in Eurasia, the Institute for Bible Translation, were also quite productive. I'll be back to meet with them again first thing in November along with SIL, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Wycliffe Russia, the United Bible Societies, and others for our annual strategy meetings, but this was a first time attending their "Friends of IBT Days", held annually in September. This introduced me to a whole new network of people and organizations that back IBT financially and strategically as they have been working in Eurasia since the late 1970's. I was asked to attend this year so as to give a first-hand account of the nature of our partnership with IBT to these partners, and it was a great opportunity to do so. (https://ibtrussia.org/en/)
From there I headed on to Ukraine and the adventure I knew awaited. I mentioned prior to my trip that I was heading in to try to help solve some personnel conflicts we've been experiencing between one of our Roma Project workers and someone working for her sending agency, PBT Ukraine. Unfortunately local Church politics, and some deft positioning by the PBT Ukraine worker allowed him to control the situation such that my hands were completely tied when I arrived. Nothing got resolved and my worker was actually fired before I left the country. Thankfully the rest of the Roma team is intact, though we're now having to figure out how to replace this valuable worker in order to keep them on-task, hoping to finish Luke this next year, producing a Jesus Film in each of the four dialects, and starting on Acts.
Doing our best not to cross any lines of propriety, another coworker and I have been looking into ways to help this woman find work. She had just saved enough money to move her family to the Kherson region from war-torn Donetsk literally two weeks before she lost her job. Also trying my best from a distance to keep my team leader encouraged as he feels like he just lost his right arm, and to feel out how this is going to affect our relationship to the Roma translators who've been working with her for the past two years. It's chaos, of course, but gratefully the Consultant I found for the team last year has taken an active role in gathering the team around the work they do together, and I am hopeful that they will get through this without too much disturbance. These kind of things took up my first week back home, trying to do damage control in the midst of mental and emotional exhaustion. Yeah, a rough couple weeks all together.
I'll throw in as well the fact that a part of my return flight was cancelled, forcing me to have to deal with unhelpful Turkish Airlines employees, and that after finally putting me up in a hotel for the night to await a connecting flight the next day, a mixup with my ride back to the airport then landed me in the middle of Istanbul with no Turkish money and an urgent need to get to the airport within an hour's time. So grateful for a helpful taxi driver that agreed to let me get money from an ATM on the way to the airport. How we made each other understand when neither had the other's language I have no idea, but thankfully the words "airport" and "bankomat" were apparently clear enough to get the job done. A light thing in light of everything else that had happened, and something to laugh about now, but at the time it was like, "of COURSE I'm going to miss my flight. That would just make sense." So glad I didn't...
It would seem appropriate to mention here again, then, that we are now at a point I've been mentioning for many months now. We are due to lose another $425 in monthly support in October and since this is part of a downward progression we've not been able to keep a cushion to help us absorb this loss. We're still due to lose another $250 in January and the final $425 decrease in April after that (a total loss of $2,300 counting a recently lost individual supporter of $100 as well), but even now this current loss is pushing us over a financial threshold that we will not survive unless we can find more support.
God is good, and it is entirely clear that the work we do for Him through Pioneer Bible Translators is important to His Kingdom, that He has uniquely prepared us for it. We are on-task and expectant of His provision, even if it comes in the last hour. I have been driving for Uber this last year as well to help make up some of our lost support, and I am willing to find still more work, a third job, if necessary to continue to serve these Bibleless people, but to be honest I cannot serve our growing teams adequately if I have to devote significant time to another job. Nor is there anyone with my experience and knowledge who could step in to take on my role or even to aid me significantly in it.
So if you are able to partner with us through monthly support, please do! If you are a supporter and are able to increase by some amount, please do! If you have a Sunday school class, have connections with a Church, or know friends or relatives that could be interested, please let me know! I will be happy to get together with them, to send materials or whatever it takes to share with them the needs of the Bibleless peoples that continue to inspire us to serve despite the travel, the cross-cultural difficulties and stresses, and even despite the conflicts that we work through diligently in order to follow God's calling. The Crimean Tatar, Khanty, Bezhta, Hunzib, Evenki, Chukchi, Nenets, Azeri, and Roma and so many more are worth it! Help us make it possible for them to read God's Word in their own, heart language.
Thank you again, here at the end, for your prayers. They truly carried me through a difficult time in Ukraine, and I trust that they will carry us through this period of financial difficulty as well.
Praising God for His faithfulness,
Link to our secure giving page: https://pioneerbible.org/give/MattAndShelbyHonig