Island VISTA

Training Translators in the Pacific

“We had no idea God hated these things so much.” The man’s words hung in the air, and the silence that followed was tangible. He and his fellow students were discussing how to translate Deuteronomy 18:10: “Let no one be found among you…who practices divination or sorcery.” In a culture where witchcraft and related practices are woven into the fabric of daily life, heart-language Scripture communicates and convicts…….

They Chose Jesus

God’s Word Is a Seed in Fertile Soil

The young man and his Scripture reading group met in secret, eager to discover why the words of Jesus were forbidden….

A Spring of Water

Planting Churches Among the Least-Reached Peoples

Early Sunday morning, footsteps can be heard on the dusty trail approaching a small village in the West African savanna. A group of people gather as Austin and his national friend arrive. They all sit down in a shady spot to read the Scriptures aloud and discuss them. Among the group of listeners are two new believers who were recently baptized. They lean forward, eager to learn more about the Lord they have chosen to serve.

A Quiet Crowd

A Village Engages With the Words of Jesus

About 80 people sat staring intently at nothing in particular, their faces wearing that strange look of concentration that comes from straining with all their energy to hear a sound. Every person leaned forward to capture every word of the Sermon on the Mount as the voice of Jesus echoed through the grass shelter. 

She Threw Baby Jesus into a Well?

Laughter erupted all around me. I didn’t understand the language well enough yet to know why, but I could tell that they’d just heard something very amusing.

A Creative Way Forward

The Aruamu people’s desire to have the full Bible in their heart language birthed a creative, one-of-a-kind strategy.

The Aruamu people’s desire to have the full Bible in their heart language birthed a creative, one-of-a-kind strategy.

Life Signs

Sign Language Scripture: The Deaf See God’s Word in Their Heart Languages

“Speak!” the witch doctor shouted as he beat the child with sticks. “Speak!” he demanded again. But 9-year-old Collins Prempeh said nothing. He had not even heard the witch doctor’s command. He was Deaf.

Growing, Maturing, Multiplying

The small church gathered faithfully every Sunday. These 40 believers were the only known followers of Jesus among the Yalunka people in this West African nation. Despite their modest size they nurtured an enormous dream: to spread the Good News of salvation in Christ throughout their entire people group and beyond.

Seeing Jesus

Jesus speaks to an East African people group in their heart language.

“They’ve been coming into my office all morning!” I didn’t recognize the agitated voice speaking Swahili on the phone. “Who is this again?” I asked. “It’s Pastor Chungu. People keep coming into my office about the film that you showed last night.”


As I write these words I am nine months pregnant. I waddle more than a little bit when I walk the road in front of our house, I wake up a couple times a night to pop tropical fruit-flavored Tums, and I unabashedly cash in on my husband’s standing offer of limitless foot rubs. My back hurts. I feel like an aquatic mammal. I’m anxious about the next few weeks of my life and giving birth in a country where I have never before had a baby.

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