by Summer Kelley
What is the Seven Areas of Life Training?
According to its creators at Victorious Christian Living, the SALT material
“is a discipleship series designed to teach people God’s plan in the seven areas of life: spiritual, psychological, social, physical, financial, marital and parental.”
Designed for long-term discipleship and based on Biblical counseling principles and experience, the SALT material lays out the principles of Christian living.
Why is the SALT material so great?
It's origination from the Biblical counseling principles seems to be one of the reasons it's so effective.
It cuts right to the heart of the issues we humans all struggle with. It highlights the idols of the heart and leads the way to their defeat through scripture.
It has been incredibly effective at illuminating the cultural baggage and distortions that are often brought into Christianity and accepted as universal truth. (SALT, 2012)
For example, in Africa, we’ve seen it hold the cultural belief that someone in a leadership position can behave as though they are God up to the truth and show it as a lie.
One South Sudanese pastor said,
“Through this lesson I now know that I have been controlling and seeking praise from my church members. I have been [trying to put myself] in the place of God. Now I am asking God to forgive me from all that I have done and let Him lead me and the people He has entrusted to me.”
ITMI partner Jahim Buli, shares similar feedback over and over again as he trains pastors in South Sudan.
In India, where ITMI partner, Paul has organized and led several pastoral training conferences using the SALT material, the response is similar. Over and over again they confess, “I was teaching heresy!”
Then they are eager to change and follow the Biblical model they’ve been given by the SALT material. By impacting just one pastor, you can change a whole church and possibly a whole community!
ITMI partner, Paul, translated the SALT material for use in India and has seen great impact.
Why do we want to translate it to Arabic?
There are 467 million Arabic speakers in the world. Arabic is spoken in 60 different countries. Only one language, English, is spoken in more countries (101, to be exact). (Cox, 2015)
We also think these countries and the Arabic speakers in them are located strategically, poised to impact parts of the world where there is great need for Christians to live their faith boldly and Biblically.
One of those places is South Sudan, where ITMI has worked and developed contacts for over 2 decades. We have a contact, Lazarus, whose life was impacted by the Seven Areas of Life Training.
He’s also seen the impact it has on many others. He’s ready and waiting to use the Arabic translation of the SALT material to impact as many of those 467 million as possible.
Lazarus is ready and waiting to reach the Arabic speaking world with God's truth presented in the SALT material.
He will be so pleased to see the progress Steve Evers plans to show him when he visits South Sudan later this month!
Speaking of progress...
We've Completed 3 of 7 Books!
This has been not without its challenges. Arabic writing is laid out opposite to our Western culture’s left to right, which creates havoc for our Western software a computer programs.
Their critical thinking is also in a right to left method, which requires charts and diagrams to be transposed and recreated from our left to right format whenever possible.
The most critical aspect of translating SALT and its many Bible verses is complicated by the universally accepted Arabic belief that the Bible cannot be trusted due to it’s undeniable corruption.
With this deep held belief, any use of translated words or phrases that don’t exactly line up with their current Arabic Bible translation - whether accepted by a host of old and new Biblical scholars - it immediately triggers a mistrust.
It's possible they would just reject all the material and teaching. This very black and white outlook is causing us to be very mindful and intentional in our translations.
You can continue to pray over this project, asking that our translators be given wisdom and guidance to best reach the Arabic-speaking world!
Cox, J. (2015, April 23). The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts. Retrieved October 21, 2015, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/23/the-worlds-languages-in-7-maps-and-charts/
SALT. (2012, May 4). Retrieved October 21, 2015, from http://www.vcli.org/salt/