Yakutsk is the coldest city on earth. Vova, a Yakut man working with Wycliffe Russia, writes from Yakutsk, "The Yakut people do not celebrate Christmas. They don’t understand it yet. In Yakut there isn’t even a word for 'Christmas'. Pray for the Yakut and other Siberian language groups to grow in their understanding of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection."
The teams working on the Siberian Bible storying project, called Vostok 3x3, will meet for training in February. The goal is to train the members of the four teams who will be going out into Siberian villages in the next six months. They will craft drafts of 11 Bible stories in Russian. These translations will form the basis of the stories that local people will then translate into the Koryak, Nanai, Udihe and Nivkh languages. Please pray that the teams will be prepared and that local people will be ready and available to work with them.
Praise the Lord that all 66 books of the Bible in Turuz* are available to the public via the publisher’s website, and Central Asians are finding the Scriptures there. Recently the webmaster reported that in the preceding 12 months, 24 whole Bibles and an additional 100 individual portions on average were downloaded every day, a threefold increase over the previous year! Pray for spiritual fruit in the lives of those reading the Scriptures in their mother tongue. Pray that the process of printing the Turuz Bible will move forward smoothly.
A leadership team guiding Bible translation work with various Roma* groups was recently reorganized and met for training and planning. Pray that they will develop good relationships with one another, grow together in the Lord and become an effective team. Pray for unity and harmony for the team and clear direction from the Lord.
Please pray for continued safety for those living in a West Asian country that has seen a recent increase in fighting among factions. Things are more settled in the area, and the teams who left have returned. The continued underlying level of stress they live under is a concern. However the current situation is focusing the local people on spiritual things. A new Jesus Film in one of the local languages is getting a lot of interest. Pray that many will find hope in Jesus as a result of seeing the film.
Praise God that one man is willing to participate in the audio recording of the Epistles in his language in Africa. His voice will supplement the contributions of the skilled female recorder. Please pray that other capable men from this language community will have the courage to offer to be involved in recording the New Testament. Pray for a secure in-country studio to be found where the recordings can take place.
Several language teams in one country are experiencing stress for various reasons. Please pray for them as they live in a culture not their own where things are done differently. The visa renewal process, lack of friends, leaking houses and minor illnesses might seem like small matters but they can add up to cause major stress. Pray that each person can keep things in perspective and grow in cultural understanding.