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Many of us, when troubled with depressing or anxious thoughts, are grateful to have Scriptures like Philippians 4:4–8, John 14:27, and 2 Timothy 1:7 to turn to. And all over the world, local Bible translators are helping people discover these words of life for the very first time.
In the stories that follow, you’ll meet some of the people whose minds have been healed and comforted by God’s Word in their heart languages. We pray you are inspired by these stories of how translated Scripture is renewing minds and restoring hope across the globe!
Relieved from Anxiety during COVID-19
In the Gaddang community in the Philippines, Marylinda works as a full-time Bible translator. During 2020, her mental health was under attack due to the constant stream of COVID-19 deaths she heard about in the news. But while she was stuck at home, immersing herself in Scripture day in and day out was the best possible way she could pass the time.
“The heavy emotions I was bearing became lighter while reading, checking, and back translating verses related to hope, faith, comfort, prayer, and love,” she recalls. “The stress was gone. Negative thoughts turned into something positive.”
Marylinda began to channel her thoughts into action by contributing to church outreach through financial support and prayer for those who had lost their jobs. “Indeed,” she remembers, “the Bible was the source of my strength and inspiration during the pandemic.”
Sustained through Depression by Fatherly Kindness
Rafiq* serves as a lead Bible translator in a Middle Eastern culture where mental health is poorly understood. Anyone suffering from mental illness there may even be met with hostility. But after many years of immersing himself daily in God’s Word, Rafiq has gained a different perspective.
When his son Asher* spiraled into deep depression after a career setback, Rafiq responded with fatherly compassion rather than authoritarian strictness. Though his response may have been countercultural, it aligned with the culture of heaven and the heart of the heavenly Father. Rafiq encouraged Asher to trust the Lord for his future and reminded him that his worth is not measured by career success.
Praise God that, after many months of struggle, Asher began to improve. But as anyone who has ever experienced mental illness firsthand knows, depression often isn’t a one-time ordeal. Please pray for continued hope and healing for Rafiq’s son, who still struggles periodically. Praise God that he knows the hope of Christ and has Scripture in his own language to sustain him through his suffering.
Lifted out of Hopelessness, Healed from Chronic Pain
Anyone who has suffered from chronic physical pain knows the mental anguish it can bring. “I used to cry a lot, asking why God had created me the way he did,” Preeti* remembers. She had struggled with bone fractures her whole life. “My bones couldn’t hold my body weight. I was in excruciating pain. When I put a little weight on something or hit something, my bones started to hurt,” she explains. Medications were ineffective, and she felt she was a burden to her family.
“I prayed, hoping that God would hear me,” Preeti recalls. And though she wasn’t quite sure if God was really there, he heard her cries.
A Christian paid Preeti a visit and invited her to a gathering of believers. But the Holy Spirit was already at work, answering Preeti’s prayers before she even arrived. During the ride there, Preeti learned about Jesus Christ, the true Healer, from a Scripture audio track that the believers played in her heart language of Bagatur*. She felt a sense of calm when she listened to it, so she began regularly attending Christian meetings from that point on.
Preeti learned firsthand that “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 NLT). As she wept during prayer meetings, she received comfort and healing from the Lord. God turned her mourning into laughter as she placed her trust in Jesus. Today, not only does Preeti walk faithfully with the Lord, but she reports that she’s experiencing no more problems with her bones!
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. — Proverbs 3:7b–8 (NLT)
Delivered from Desperation into Christ’s Freedom
“Many times, I wanted to end my life,” Bijay* speaker Talin* remembers.
His family was suffering from constant sickness and lack of food. He was doing his best to earn money, but it seemed like it was never enough.
Traditional religious healers in his region of Asia performed rituals in exchange for money. Talin gave them whatever they asked for because he was so desperate for relief. They would demand that he return again and again for complete healing, so his resources were depleted even further.
When he was at the end of his rope, Talin and his family went to church. It was a place they had always resisted visiting, but once there, they found healing they never knew they needed. “They prayed for us,” Talin recalls. “But they did not charge any money, which was very new for me.” He and his family began to join the group every Sunday. When Talin heard, “Believe in Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” from Acts 16:31 in Bijay, he and his family answered the call.
“We received healing,” Talin rejoices. “We had no more sickness or demon possession. Now my whole family and I believe in Jesus!”
Freed from Alcohol Addiction, Guarded by Christ’s Peace
Adam* lives in a sensitive region of Asia. Not only did he grow up in an unbelieving family, never hearing about the steadfast love of his heavenly Father, but his earthly father also left his mother for another woman.
At a young age, Adam developed an addiction to alcohol. His grandfather took him to many local “holy men” to try to heal him with traditional rituals, but nothing worked. Adam wondered if he would ever be free.
One day, Adam’s grandfather took him somewhere different in search of healing—an audio Bible listening program. Adam heard Philippians 4:6–7 in his heart language of Balir*.
That very day, he gave his life to Jesus and personally experienced the peace that passes all understanding. As promised in Philippians, God’s peace began to guard Adam’s heart and mind as he lived for Jesus. Adam rejoices, “Now I’m back to my old self. I have no bad habits. And I’m in a wonderful place in my life!”
A Closing Prayer
We praise God for the hope and healing he is bringing to troubled minds around the world through heart language Scripture. Now, we invite you to quiet your heart and join us in praying for the mental health of Bible translators and those they serve.
Lord, we pause to lift up those who are burdened by the weight of anxiety, depression, hopelessness, desperation, and addiction. We thank you for being close to the brokenhearted and saving those who are crushed in spirit.
For anyone reading this who may be desperate for the renewing of their mind, or who is burdened for a loved one who is suffering, we pray that you will grant them your peace, hope, joy, and, above all, a deep, abiding sense of your presence in this season.
We pray for your protection over the mental health of Bible translators and those they serve. Some of them work in extremely difficult religious, economic, and political environments. Please guard their hearts and minds with your peace that passes understanding.
For those who lack the eternal hope we have in the midst of this life’s suffering, for those who have yet to hear your Word in a language they can understand and receive, we pray that your good news will run swiftly to meet them right where they are.
We praise you that you are faithful, and you will do it.