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Of Bombers
and Bibles
January 13, 2015
Thoughts on how the greatest conflicts of history are won
and some things you need to know about Wycliffe Associates
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Click here for print format, WORD or PDF

I do the calendars for our family’s aviation businesses and the theme of the 2015 edition is “The Way Things Were.” It’s in black and white because most of the airplanes are from the 1940’s.
As I write this, Elaine and I are in Florida for a few days escaping the harsh winter weather that blew across much of the U.S. soon after we fled south. I typically spend some time out at the airport and on my first visit I saw two airplanes that looked like candidates for Preferred Airparts to buy for parts.
My strategy for entry onto such airport ramps is to take a calendar in one hand and introduce myself with “Hi, I’m Ken from Preferred Airparts in Ohio, and - - -" as I hand it to them.  It works like a password and often becomes the platform upon which a conversation is built that allows me to advance toward my goal of the moment, whether it is buying airplanes or just getting out on the ramp to take photos.
I found the gentleman who would be Preferred’s point of contact and he flipped through the calendar as we chatted. He’s approaching my age and knew a lot about that period in history. The conversation gravitated from “the way things were” in regards to old airplanes with radial engines that fill the air with their mesmerizing rhythm - - to the mindset of the America of that day that allowed the development and production of such airplanes.
How could the U.S. possibly have advanced in aviation technology the way we did from 1940-45? In 1940 we had the sweet Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter but by 1945 the Supersonic North American F-86 Sabre Jet was on the drawing board! And how did we progress from the lumbering B-18 Bolo bomber (March) to the sleek, pressurized B-29 Superfortress, in that short time?  This could only happen in an environment that offered freedom for vision-inspired creativity. Remember, it was B-29 “Enola Gay” that gave a new time-line to WW-II!
But it was not only technology, it was quantity with quality. How could we build 12,000 incredible B-17’s and 18,000 B-24’s and 10,000 Stearmans and 1000’s of this and 1000’s of that in such short order? (About 300,000 airplanes from 1940-45)
Not only did we need to gear up for such production by building or converting factories for airframes, engines, propellers and everything else - - we had to transport it all to the assembly plants scattered across the U.S.; train pilots to fly them; and develop logistical systems to support them in service around the world. And then there were hundreds of thousands of “Jeeps” and trucks, plus tanks and other weapons, and on and on and on. It is mind boggling. This could only happen in an environment of purpose-driven, selfless and tireless focus and effort - a united effort to engage in a battle for freedom, truth and justice.
It’s almost unbelievable, and were it not for indisputable accounts our modern skeptics and history revisionists might declare it impossible. The sad truth is that it couldn’t happen in the America of today because we have neither the freedom for creativity nor the commitment to selfless and tireless effort which produce such results.
But that brings me to a current scenario that is equally gripping and “unbelievable.” It too represents what needs to be a united effort to engage in a battle for freedom, truth and justice. I’m speaking of the translation of the Bible for the 2-300,000,000 people who do not yet have one verse of scripture in their heart language.

Yesterday Elaine and I were in Orlando, FL at the Wycliffe Associates facilities where we heard an update on developments in the world of Bible translation. It is mind-boggling.

The term “darkening war clouds” has often been applied to what appear to be signs of approaching war. It has an ominous ring to it, invoking a call to action and implying the likelihood of sacrifice. If you’ve read my Harbinger’s Series you know that I have a sense of approaching deep darkness for America and that I propose some positive responses.
I’ve been writing that many Christians today sense the encroaching darkness in our nation and our world as moral foundations and political systems are increasingly given over to Satan’s influence. However, I also say that Light shines most brightly in darkness; that God is turning up the Light; and that we need to have our focus there instead of on the darkness. That was reaffirmed to me yesterday.
If I told you about the technological and intellectual resources that God is entrusting to WA, which they freely share with their translation partners around the world, you wouldn’t believe me. I heard it from people I know well and trust fully and can hardly believe it myself!
New Testament translations that have traditionally taken 20-30 years are now being finished in only a few years. And a series of 50 illustrated Bible stories, along with portions of scripture adequate for a knowledge of salvation, are being produced in only months – even for previously unwritten languages.
This is possible because Wycliffe Associates embraces a WW-II mindset. They see the battle for the hearts of men and they have engaged it. There is freedom within WA for vision-inspired creativity. They are not burdened by the history of traditional methods; or weighed down by complex decision making systems; or encumbered by the deeply rooted vested interests that handicap many similar organizations. (Some of whom, to their credit, are opening themselves to the vision and resources that God is entrusting to WA)
They have also created a culture of purpose-driven, selfless and tireless focus and effort. Their teams of a few paid staff and countless volunteers circle the globe many times a year, entering the most remote and undeveloped areas of the world to train and equip nationals who have requested (begged for) their help in translating God’s Word for their own people.
The “darkening war clouds” of our day invoke a call to action and imply the likelihood of sacrifice, and there are still men and women who are ready for the challenge.
For some it means leaving their job and joining the team full time. Many retirees are connecting in meaningful ways – even traveling the world to help equip nationals for their task of Bible translation. Many skills are needed.
Others are coming to better understand the security of eternal versus earthly investments – the Mt. 6:19-24 thing - and some even look for assets they can sell to generate funds to donate. One thing for sure is that “there is something for everyone” and there is something for you. Participating through serious and sustained prayer is a high calling and is vital to the process.
The fact that before long skillfully prepared and accurate New Testament translations will be accomplished in about a year at the cost of around $25,000, instead of the previous 20-30 years and a cost of millions – should reach deeply into the spirit of any entrepreneur.
Thousands of languages still need God’s Word and WA is preparing to enable nationals in the launching of hundreds of Bible translations in the near future. Be assured that it will be “quantity with quality,” as they invite the scrutiny of the most severe of critics.
God is laying out a new calendar for this time in history as He reaches into the most remote corners of the earth at an unprecedented rate, and in ways that even Wycliffe Associates would not have dared to dream of just one year ago. For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear this is obviously part of “the Light getting brighter as the darkness gets darker” and reaffirms that God is methodically moving us toward the fulfillment of Rev. 7:9-10:
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."
There will be a lot of dark-skinned folks in that multitude, and they will be wearing white robes, but I promise you that, because of the Presence of Jesus in all His glory, this will be a full-color event!
This is #11 in the “Thots for Today’s Church” series and is one of many short articles on © 2015, Ken Stoltzfus, but may be printed or reproduced for non-commercial purposes without further permission. Unless otherwise noted, Bible quotations are from the New International Version. Contact
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