It’s tax time and as part of that process I gather all my giving statements and review my donations to my favorite Christian organizations. It’s a time to reflect on my involvement and the level of my gifts. That reflection is just one way to help me “ measure” my spiritual growth. I believe that growing Christians are giving Christians.
Some years during that review time, I am pleased with my involvement, other times I am encouraged to do more.
This year, right in the middle of that process, I saw a very interesting chart that was supplied by the Bible translation ministry known as Ethnos360 (previously it was called New Tribes Bible Translators).
They were breaking down the cost of doing translations of the New Testament. The NT has 260 chapters and 7,959 verses that need to be translated into languages all over the world. They have estimated that it takes about $280,000 to finish one NT. That includes the literacy training, the actual translation work, the producing of Bible lessons and the printing of the book itself.
That $280,000 can be broken down by book (about $10,000 each); by chapter (an average of $1000 each); by verse (approximately $35) and by word. Each word costs about $1.50. The word “grace” appears roughly 100 times in the NT. So a gift of $150 to Ethnos360 would cover all the references to the word “grace” in the New Testament.
I share all those details to make this observation. We all tend to support those people or organizations that capture our heart. And once our hearts are captured, we tend to follow their work closely. We want to know how it’s going. We want to share in the successes and pray for the challenges.
We become much more than casual donors, we become investors. We become partners in that ministry.
This week might be a great time to consider your partnerships. What ministries have captured your heart? Does your church sit at the top of that list? Do you have individual missionaries you support, pray for and communicate with? Are you really investing in a work?
Just a suggestion, but $35 will translate one verse for a tribe isolated in the jungle somewhere that desperately needs God’s Word. Want to help? Visit https://ethnos360.org/projects/translation