Shake a leg

Well, it’s January in 2024. This is always a time where you start to think about the whole new year and your aspirational goals and your resolutions. For us as a ministry, we gathered our team together. We had people from around the world call in and share their thoughts with us. We had our board here and we rallied around this year. We took inspiration from Galatians 6:9 which says, “Let us not grow weary in doing good for in due season, we will reap if we do not give up.” We want to keep pushing that rock up the hill in bringing the gospel of life to the neediest places around the world. This means we have to think about our strategic plans and what we’re going to be doing in the coming year.

This year we have another project that we’re about to tackle. It’s a pretty big project. I wanted to share it with you today. For the last number of years, every time we say something or do something in our four questions document, we had to do it in 23 different languages. It’s only ten pages long, but it’s the foundation of motivating and training people to know God’s will in rescuing the innocent and doing it in a life changing way.

This has now been translated into 23 different languages. A few of the languages in which it has been translated are Hindi, Bengali, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese and many other languages. Every time we make an improvement to this document, we’ve got to figure out how to do it in all the other languages and that becomes a great challenge. How we say things in English is not how you say things in other languages.

For example, I used to say to my kids all the time, “Shake a leg.” Obviously that means hurry up, we’re late or whatever we’re trying to communicate. Well, you can’t say “shake a leg” in Vietnamese. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. The same is true in most other languages. When you translate something, you have to do it in a double translation form very often. You have to say what you want to say in plain English. “Please hurry up, we’re going to be late.” From there you have to figure out how you would actually say that in another language. That is the first translation of what you want to say, and then there’s more of the second translation in which you express it the way the people in that part of the world would actually say it. Even in English, you’re not going to really say to your children, “please let’s hurry up, we’re going to be late.” You’re probably going to say something more colloquial like “let’s move on, here.” That’s the challenge for us with our four questions.

You might, if you’re new to this series of posts, not even know what the four questions are. They are the foundation of everything that we’re trying to do to mobilize God’s people all over the world to rescue the innocent and do it in a life changing way. The four questions are simply biblical answers to questions about human life, including life in the womb. This allows us to clarify the intrinsic, exceptional, equal and the eternal value of human life and why we even bother to rescue the weak and the needy.

We look at how it angers God when we intentionally shed the blood of innocent people, including abortion. We also examine how we bring the amazing grace of God to the guilt and the grief of abortion so that people experience God’s forgiveness and are set free from all the terror of the guilt and the grief that gnaws at our consciences. We want people to be excited about serving the cause of Christ, so we bring question three to that. The final question we ask deals with what God calls us to do to stop the shedding of innocent blood. That’s the call to rescue. This is the foundation of our ministry all over the world in the 32 different countries that we’re serving in.

This year we want to make a video version of this written four questions document. We’ve done some early versions, but we think it’s time for them to be updated. And now we’re wrestling with all the translation challenges. We want to make 23 different versions of this video. So we want to make sure that the content stays the same throughout, in terms of what the Bible says, what examples we have and how we should do this in a way that saves the innocent and changes lives. But we need to say it in a way that connects with the people that we’re speaking to.

Obviously we need to understand that the Spanish in Cuba is different from the Spanish in Chile. There’s a different accent. There’s different expressions. It is in the same way that English is spoken differently in the United States than the English that is spoken in England, for example. It’s a big project in which we need to figure out what we want to say, then we need to figure out how to translate it in a way that makes sense to the people that we’re speaking to. Then we need to say it in a way that normal everyday people would say it. It’s a big, big project, but it’s very exciting because it’s going to allow the people that we train to use this video so that their people can share it with their family and friends. This is the great multiplier.

This resource would be outstanding for pastors who are teaching other pastors, who then teach their people, who then receive this video in order to share it with their family and friends. You can take a small group of people at the beginning of a month and end up at the end of that month later with a large group of people ready to stand for life, help mothers who are in a pregnancy related crisis, bring good news to the guilty and actually create a movement within that country. We want to do that more and more all over the world. We don’t want to give up on it. We love your support, your prayers and we’ll show you some of these new video clips as we produce them in the coming year. Thank you very much.