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Churches and ministries across Winnipeg worked together recently to impact a people group across the globe with a Bible translation project.

Kathy Boschmann is an administrator for One Heart Winnipeg and recently travelled to Asia for the dedication ceremony of a newly translated Bible to an unreached people group there that she has been a part of sponsoring over the last two years.

Existing Christians in the area are free to worship and express themselves within their own village, but converting to Christianity is an illegal practice, so for the past 14 years, translators have worked secretly to create a written form for a previously only-oral language spoken by an unreached people group in Asia.

Two years ago, the group of churches and ministries that comprise One Heart Winnipeg dedicated themselves to furthering this project.

"We wanted to do something outside ourselves," Boschmann said, "and we got the benefit of reaping this beautiful opportunity to celebrate with this unreached people group." 

The dedication ceremony where the newly translated Bibles were officially presented to the people group Boschmann assisted in sponsoring lasted four and a half hours and consisted of dancing, singing, worshipping, and preaching.

"This was their first opportunity to physically have a copy of their New Testament in their hands," Boschmann shared. "People were outside waiting to come in... just seeing God at work uniting the church and allowing us a window of opportunity just to see the beauty of His people worshipping him and loving on him."

"The people are awesome," Boschmann said. "Such a gentle, respectful people who love to express their joy through dance and through song.

BIBLE2 1One of the individuals had created 400 hymns in his own language. "He's become a Christian because of this translation, and they were selling songbooks in their own language as well," said Boschmann.

The incredible impact that the translations have had on the people group was easily visible to her. Explaining that before the project started 14 years ago there had been absolutely no Christians among the people group, Boschmann is thrilled knowing that nearly 2000 individuals have come to faith since that time, and 34 churches have been planted in the region.

"We got to visit with the people afterwards and that was pretty awesome, just to be in their homes and to feel the love of God... and that we're brothers and sisters in Christ is such a joy."

To Boschmann, the work that has been done so far with this translation has been absolutely imperative, and the value of language is never something to be underestimated.

"We know that Jesus won't come back until every tribe, every nation has heard the gospel, and unless we translate it into their language, how are they going to hear?"

One of the most meaningful parts of the trip to Boschmann was seeing the impact the Bibles had at the dedication ceremony. "These people were so excited about what has happened for them, that they [were] willing to sit on the floor for four and a half hours," she said.

"It was just so exciting to see the church growing and flourishing because of this work."

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