This article was originally published in the September 2015 edition of ITMI Monthly.
A doctor works in Poland on the weekdays, then hops to Ireland over the weekend for a marathon of back-to-back surgeries. Students patchwork their degrees from universities in Portugal, Switzerland, and France while logging charity work in Latin America.
Businesspeople arrive in a city only for a day to cinch a well-timed deal, then are off to the next thing. How can those embracing the modern, mobile world be reached and connected to God’s people and His Word?
Modern life seems designed to cut us off from things that keep us grounded and motivated; connection with God’s people, scripture, or quiet, uninterrupted moments with Him. Poland, too, is embracing the modern world. Advanced technology, open borders in the United Europe, and lower cost of travel have created a generation of modern nomads.
Anyone caught up in the hectic tempo of the modern life can end up spiraling out of control.
Here in Poznan, at ITMI’s Polish Bible Translation Project (PBTP), we recognize our people’s need for connection. For grounding. For hearing God’s quiet voice in a chaotic world.
We want to reach out to today’s “nomads” who are more likely than ever to drift away from what really matters.
Access to our direct-from-ancient-language, easily-read-in-current-language translation of the Word of God - in 21st century format!
“Creating an audio version of the Scripture [to accompany our soon available printed version] was a natural extension of the translation work,” explains Karol Dziwior. At 16, Karol got so excited by the news of our translation he offered his services as a voice actor.
To date, he has read and recorded both the New Testament and Psalms, the first work of this kind and scale ever done in Poland! The ensuing Polish speaking world's excitement is extending the reach of this project many fold. The project’s reach was further extended when Faith Comes by Hearing, Albuquerque, NM used our translation for their recording of the Bible in Polish!
Darek Banicki, our Project Coordinator and President, (long-time ITMI readers may recognize as the father of Eliza Banicki, who suffers from Niemann-Pick disease) is quite modest,
“Our basic premise has always been to reach everyone. Everyone!” He adds, “Today’s digital world needs a Bible that can easily fit in your pocket, in your cellphone, in your e-reader, so the Scripture is always just a click away.”
No one is to be excluded, even if they as an individual, are not on the church’s radar. That is how powerful they believe God’s Word to be, and how deeply they are convicted that God’s people are called to get it in the hands of literally, well, everyone.
Since the launch in the fall of 2013, our New Testament remains the only one in Poland available in the electronic format. In 2014, a bilingual Polish-English New Testament was published electronically worldwide.
Electronic versions have proved a very cost effective way to get the translation into as many hands as possible. Printing can be expensive.
But we will not stop at audio Bibles and e-versions of the Scripture. Our chief translator, ITMI’s Dr. Piotr Zaremba, has long been talking with Christian professionals about launching an online platform with live services, sermons, real-life testimonies, and Bible studies inspired by this new and vibrant translation.
The goal is to reach those who, in today’s highly pressurized world, fall through the cracks of a regular ministry. Those who jet-set from one city to the next and miss their small group meetings but still desire to grow spiritually.
Piotr's Polish Bible Translation
Those who live in the virtual and may never make it to a physical church pew on a Sunday morning. Those who don’t even know where to look for the answers, just know that for them, it won't be in any church! If they are to be reached with the Word of God, it will only be if the Word is where they are: online.
It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Polish Bible Translation project! As Piotr says, “After years of backbreaking work, the time has come when we can finally sit down and play with what we’ve got.” You should see the team jumping up and down at the big kitchen table, guzzling coffee till the wee hours and brainstorming the new ways to get the Word of God in more and more hands!
ITMI partner, Piotr Zaremba, Bible Translator.
The best part? You have made this stage possible. Your prayers, your encouragement, your loving support have kept us going all those years.
Your faithful presence has enabled us to leave a mark in the rapid current of today’s world, a lasting imprint that will not be washed away.