Today at church, we heard a testimony from two Bible translators just back from an interior trip. They were traveling to different villages within their language group and having people read newly translated Scriptures. This is to help check the translation for readability and correctness prior to publication. The translators reported that one of the common exclamations they heard was, "We understand it now!"
This is why we're here. We're here to help bring light into darkness; God's Word to people who don't have it. It is as simple as that.
The pastor today was Buzz Maxey, whose parents translated the New Testament for a group in the highlands of Papua. Buzz grew up here and now he and his wife Moira minister and disciple people of that same group. Buzz related today that not long ago the elders of the church decided they needed to have the whole Bible in their language. The previous Maxeys had translated the New Testament and "bits and pieces" of the Old Testament. The church wants the entire Bible.
So, for the last three months Buzz and Moira have been facilitating the work of translation. They are not translators themselves and it has been difficult to do this job for which they're not fully trained. Just recently they were working through the Book of Leviticus and all the different types of offerings. Suddenly, one of the older elders shouted, "This makes sense!" He explained that he had worked with Buzz's mother many years ago as they translated Heb. 10. He finally understood verse one, "For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near." He realized that human sacrifice couldn't pave the way to heaven and a more perfect, complete sacrifice had to be made. He understood the revelation of the work of Christ in verse fourteen, "For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."
When I taught "The Unfolding Covenant, the Work of God Through the Bible", I had my students learn the phrase, "Old Testament shadows become New Testament realities." This older elder realized the truth of that statement in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Translating the complete Bible into his language made these eternal truths sensible and clear.