This article was originally published in the May 2016 edition of ITMI Monthly.
It’s 3:30am again here at home. This is a time that I have come to know very well the last 11 days.
There are some really great benefits from being wide awake at 3:30am – the serenity of 3:30am has donated quite a few new and productive hours of uninterrupted work and ministry that will be hard to let go when my internal clock resets.
My date with 3:30am the last week and a half has given me a much deeper appreciation for Piotr Zaremba’s sixteen-year project of giving the Polish speaking world of 40 million a quality, fundamental, understandable Bible to read.
Piotr and his team have translated the whole Bible from the original languages to Polish. The 2000 plus pages of God’s truth and desire for His holy people have now been sent to the printer in Belarus for a projected mid-June 2016 delivery of the first modern Polish Bibles!
My wakefulness at 3:30 am reminds me of Piotr because for over 1000 days - Piotr would wake himself up at 4am and not go to bed until he had finished translating a chapter a day into both a literal and literary form. That is dedication.
Many of you will smile with us because you partnered with ITMI on this massive quest to obey God’s leading him to, “…translate the Bible for revival.”
Translator Piotr Zaremba and his wife, Krystyna.
Why am I wide awake at 3:30am?
I just returned from my first trip to Thailand and Cambodia.
Chang Mai Buddhist Temple in Thailand
A Girl at the Temple
A Girl Prays at the Buddhist Temple
Beautiful exotic plants in Asia.
A Mother Trains Her Daughter to Solicit Money
Rice paddies everywhere! (and that path leads to nowhere).
I was joined in Thailand by ITMI’s African partners - Kelly and Wyatt Smith (Zulus, South Africa), Timothy Keller (Zambia), Jahim Buli (South Sudan), Charl van Wyk (South Africa, Zimbabwe, DRC-Congo, Zambia) and Mark Parris (South Africa), and Abraham Warren a friend and missionary from South Africa to Cambodia.
The One Photo We Were Allowed to Snap - ITMI group at the conference.
Left to right: Steve, Abraham Warren, Timothy Keller, Wyatt Smith (Kelly's son), Kelly Smith (back), Mark Parris, Jahim Buli, Charl van Wyk.
We attended a somewhat secret ministry conference created and managed by a ministry arm of the Wycliffe Bible translators. We were there to learn how we can commandeer the explosion of simple technology for getting God’s redeeming message to at-risk people groups who can’t read a Bible or would risk their life by owning one.
As far as I know, ITMI has never collectively participated in a conference like this.
I wish I had pictures of what we saw, what we were taught, the connections we made and the times of corporate worship we shared with over 450 ministers of Christ mostly from the 10/40 window during the 8-day conference.
The highly sensitive nature of this conference meant there was a strictly enforced “no photography” rule. To not be snapping photos felt unnatural for me...but I was happy to comply to protect those who could be jailed or worse.
Maybe that's why I have so many photos of nature! (this is a rice paddy...they were everywhere.)
In future issues of the In Touch Mission Monthly, we will be sharing some of the uses of technology our ITMI partners are now enabled to bring the gospel to people that they would never have been able to minister to.
If the world can use technology and media to invade the lives of almost every people, then we can too.
Many of you have your fingerprints all over the ITMI team and this trip to Thailand, allowing us to be better equipped and reinforced in the battle to reach the hearts and souls of the blinded, distracted, hurting and dying souls of this world.
Please know, we believe that your partnership has empowered us to do infinitely more than what we could have done. We praise God for your participation, and we regularly pray that you will be blessed, rewarded and encouraged in the understanding of how God is using…us.
In His Service,
About the Author
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.