Partnership and big dreams accelerate Bible translation.
Kartidaya, a national Bible translation organization, partnered with Seed Company’s Global Innovations unit to broaden Bible translation capacity in Indonesia. Through a three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU), together they purposed to strengthen operations, strategic leadership, fundraising, and field programs.
In 2016, Kartidaya received 30 percent of funding from within Indonesia. Global Innovations consultants challenged Kartidaya to reduce dependency on external sources and increase national ownership for Bible translation. Kartidaya crafted a strategy to double local funding within Indonesia and connect with churches and individuals to cast vision for Bible translation.
Within 10 months, Kartidaya reported a significant change in its funding model. They shifted to 59 percent of funding from inside Indonesia; a 98 percent increase over their 2016 approach. This demonstrates an increase in vision and commitment. In addition to changing funding structures, the organization transformed its strategy, systems, and infrastructure.
The result broadened the perspective of the staff and the local church. Kartidaya’s director, Marnix Riupassa, said, “We see that most of Kartidaya’s staff realize that their function is not only finishing the task of Bible translation — but more than that — to implement God’s mission.”
Marnix began to dream. What if we could do more? How could we more fully commit to God’s mission? What if Kartidaya took more responsibility for Bible translation? What if we began 75 new language projects by 2020?
When Marnix conferred with the Global Innovations unit they said he’d need a larger staff, sound financial and reporting processes and additional leadership to accomplish such an ambitious objective in three short years. Marnix listened. He imagined how Kartidaya might grow to sustain the work. He contacted pastors and began holding conferences about the Missio Dei (The Mission of God) in local churches around Indonesia.
As the Indonesian church reflected on their role in God’s mission, they were convicted that Bible translation is foundational to all Christian ministry — evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. They were compelled to join in God’s mission to bring His Word to Indonesians in a language they understand best. The churches stepped up with funding, people, and prayer.
Church leaders from multiple denominations collaborated. In 2018, churches provided 11 candidates to work as Bible translation facilitators and committed to working in 13 new language groups. To this point, they haven’t required any external funding; the Indonesian church is funding the projects. Kartidaya is seeing how an interdependent relationship with the national church accelerates Bible translation.
Partnership Is Blossoming
With God’s help, Kartidaya is accomplishing the essence of partnership, cooperation, teamwork, unity, and life-giving purpose. The organization is better aligned to serve the local church, and in partnership with the church, has a greater capacity to accomplish the work of Bible translation for every people group in Indonesia.
In addition, they’ve cast vision for a three-phase strategy to champion the strength of the local church, build into other Bible translation organizations, empower visionary leaders, and expand capacity for discipleship. This sustainable model increases ownership, and God is multiplying the vision and impact of the Indonesian church.
Seed Company’s Global Innovations unit believes the national church and her partners have the vision and capacity to lead Scripture translation for sustainable transformational ministry within their own countries. Global Initiatives serves as a multiplier to boost the capacity of national Bible translation organizations serving the global Church.
Global Innovations is engaged with partners in Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore, and the United States.
Kartidaya is seeing how an interdependent relationship with the national church accelerates Bible translation.
Bible translation needs in Indonesia are some of the highest in the world. Growth in the local church is evident since its inception when Portuguese settlers first arrived in Indonesia. Two hundred years later, Bible translation began in local languages.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Indonesians relied on western Bible translation organizations to lead the work. In 1989, Kartidaya originated with a vision to recruit Indonesians to serve the Bible translation needs within the country.
Although growth was slow during the first 20 years, collaboration and passion for God’s Word and His people remained consistent. By 2009, Kartidaya began a cluster project strategy to reach those without God’s Word. A 2016 MOU with Global Initiatives provided further investment in the transformation of Kartidaya to lead Bible translation in Indonesia.