"God, You have kept Linda here so that she can help us translate Your Word into our language, and we thank You for that."
It's been a long journey with its share of bumps and obstacles. But missionary Linda Krieg says hearing her Siawi co-worker pray as they begin another day of translation gives her new encouragement to finish the task she first started to work on 20 years ago.
"I am here past the time when I would normally have retired. The Siawis can see so clearly these days that I can't do this on my own. That it's only because the Lord is providing the necessary strength each day that this translation is going forward," Linda writes. "A 67-year-old widow in the tribe alone with worn-out equipment, worn-out body, failing eyesight and hearing – it would all be impossible, but for the grace of God."
"The Lord has used my aging to show the Siawis that it isn't because the missionaries are so strong and smart, but only by His grace that anything can get done. The more limited I become, the more obvious His power becomes. And by God's grace," Linda shares, "we are, in His timing, beginning to see the end on the far horizon."
Linda's heart has long been occupied with the translation journey that will lead to the Siawi people having full access to the entire truth of God's Word.
Sometimes the process of being able to teach the Siawi people foundational truth about growth in Christ has been very discouraging. "For many long years, it seemed that we would never see a vibrant, mature church body in Siawi. ... The baby Christians faltered and struggled and were stunted in their growth. As I saw their desperate need for further teaching, my cry was, 'Why so long, Lord?'"
Linda says that with time, some of God's reasons for the delay in further teaching due to personnel shortage, seem to have emerged. In the early years it appears that many professing believers were "playing church, looking for ways to manipulate God so that they could get their dead ancestors to start sending the cargo."
Linda observes that the passing of time has exposed the true motives of these false believers. When the material benefits they were hoping for did not arrive, they started to openly express the idea that people must appeal not only to God for help, but also to Satan's powers. The delays in teaching process provided the time needed to reveal truth about these people and this has prevented them from blending into the Siawi church to promote false teaching and cause destruction.
And, in His timing, the Lord has provided missionaries to provide further teaching for the Siawi believers. As they received teaching from Romans, Ephesians and other epistles on how to live the Christian life, the believers began to mature, and to hunger for more of God’s Word in their own language. God has also provided Siawi translation teammates fully committed to working faithfully with Linda to complete the translation of the New Testament.
Still, with her heart so focused on the Siawi Bible translation journey, Linda's longing is for God's Spirit to enable her to finish this task soon. "As I see how His Word is changing lives, even as we work together to translate these truths in Siawi, I'm seeing ... the Holy Spirit teaching their hearts as they help to bring passages into Siawi so that He can apply these truths to their daily lives."
The Siawi New Testament is 86 percent completed. She is working on Matthew and it is 65 percent complete. Linda hopes to complete her on-site work by the end of August and return to the USA in September to finish her work on the translation. "There will still be quite a bit more to do, once I get back to the States."
Pray for Linda Krieg as she endeavours to finish the work on the Siawi Bible translation. Pray for the power sources, house functions and computer systems to continue to work. Pray for God to strengthen her physically to finish the task. Pray for His faithful encouragement to fill her heart. Pray for God's Holy Spirit to apply His Word to strengthen and mature the translation team as they work. Ask God to powerfully expedite the completion of the Siawi New Testament for the blessing and growth of the Siawi church and for His eternal glory.