You may be familiar with the wonderful Scriptures, Romans 10:14–5, which refer to people needing a preacher in order to hear God’s message of love and grace.
All of this is absolutely true, but what is not made clear is that language is the vehicle which facilitates the teaching/learning process. Discipleship Evangelism Missional Outreach (DEMO) has discovered that to be truly effective, this message is best conveyed in the mother tongue, which is why the department’s translation work is so vitally important to the ministry!
There is nothing more impactful than people receiving God’s message of salvation in their native language.
Consequently, DEMO has focused its efforts toward translating the Discipleship Evangelism program into as many languages as possible. Currently there are thirty-six translations—either completed or in the process of completion. We have the potential to reach 90-95 percent of the world’s population with this teaching program. Completed translations are available as free PDF downloads at awmi.net/about-us/demo.
Most translation work of the Discipleship Evangelism (DE) Program is achieved with the help of international students based at Charis Woodland Park or overseas.
By using Charis students who possess good linguistic skills in both English and their mother tongue, DEMO is able to get accurate translations, primarily because these individuals understand the message being taught and are able to convey it in their own language. In addition, DEMO insists on using a separate proofreader from the original translator. This translation protocol ensures more accurate translations. This is vitally important, because once a translation is released, we can’t take it back. I often say when teaching about translations that “a bad translation can be worse than no translation!” If the translation is poor, then it can end up preaching or teaching heresy.
On my travels to international colleges, I have met with some amazing translation teams made up of students and staff. Everyone is totally committed and enthusiastic in their work!
India has four schools and is prolific in its efforts to translate DE, other ministry materials, and videos into its numerous dialects.
Uganda has an awesome team, which broadcasts daily radio programs from Kampala, its capital. This team, headed by Ricky Burge, our DEMO Africa director, is comprised of students, staff, and alumni from Charis and AWM Uganda. Mainly volunteers, they work with Andrew’s daily Gospel Truth program and focus on translation and doing voice-overs into the local language. Additionally, they teach the Discipleship Evangelism program in the local language and provide a phone in service to pray with people and answer questions.
Later this year, we are hoping to take a small missions team to Japan—a country barely touched by the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We aim to connect with local pastors, missionaries, and evangelists and introduce them to the DE program. Japan, although the world’s third richest country, has major social challenges with suicides, isolation, and a plummeting marriage and birth rate.
In preparation for this visit, our team, which consists of men and women from Japan, the UK, Canada, and the U.S., has already begun the process of translating Discipleship Evangelism, as well as overdubbing the DE videos originally filmed to go with each discipleship lesson, into Japanese.
What a privilege it is to serve this ministry as we seek to take the Gospel as far and as deep as possible and to make disciples of every nation!
To find out more about DEMO and our translations efforts, visit awmi.net/about-us/demo.