By Tammy Swailes
In the following article names of countries, languages, and names have been redacted to protect the people involved.
George was born and raised in MMMM, a Muslim-majority country in South Asia. His ID card identifies him as a Christian, and he is from a country where Christ-followers are some of the most persecuted on the planet. George and his brothers in Christ know what it is to be denied medical treatment, be held hostage by rebels, have difficulty getting a lease on a house or even get their children into a school – all because they are Christian.
Along his journey George was introduced to an Open Bible missionary who told him about INSTE, a discipleship and leadership training program used throughout the world. George was interested in the program, and the missionary formed a team that included George, me, and two others. The team soon began to translate INSTE materials for use in his country. Over the past several years George and the INSTE team have developed a close relationship, partnered with a translation team on the ground, raised funds, and trained a handful of leaders from this country. Translation of the fourth INSTE book is currently being completed.
In 2019, six nationals were brought out of their country to a neutral location where our team trained them to start the first INSTE groups in their country. They told us their experiences of hardship and persecution because of their Christian faith. They shared with us testimonies of how God had spared their lives in dangerous situations and of their resolve to continue to go and evangelize despite the danger. Although they were there to be trained to lead INSTE groups, their stories taught us about bold faith and courageous Christian living.
Those six nationals went back to their homeland and immediately started INSTE groups of people eager to be discipled. We have planned another training in a neutral country for this year where our team will train one last group of leaders before the nationals begin to manage the process themselves. These leaders will provide the local team a qualified base from which to work to continue to disciple believers and train Christian leaders in a place where nearly 400 unreached people groups remain.
Instead of simply being concerned about their own country, George and his team came back to our INSTE team almost immediately and asked if we would consider translation of INSTE materials into MMMM, yet another language for another South Asian nation of people who are even more persecuted, more restricted, and in greater need of discipleship materials. We prayed and asked God to guide and help us.
About six months later, one of our team members got an email from a former INSTE leader who had traveled in some of these difficult Muslim-majority countries. He asked if INSTE had been translated specifically into the “MMMM” language — the very language George‘s team had asked for! Having seen the great need, the Holy Spirit put a desire in this INSTE leader’s heart to see the Church more fully equipped through INSTE. He backed up this desire with some seed money, and with that money we have started translation of the first book of INSTE into the MMMM language!
Our budget for translation and training is modest. Some money has already been pledged, but we still need $15,000 to cover translation costs and provide the initial training as we did for the other South Asians. Perhaps the Holy Spirit will speak to you and you will partner with us by investing in this project. If so, donate online at Global Missions or INSTE. Be sure it is tagged for “South Asia 2 INSTE.”
As with anything, we ask you to cover this project and our brothers and sisters with whom we partner in prayer. Their risk is great. Their sacrifice is great. May we help ensure that their harvest is also great.
To learn more about this project or to donate, click here.
About the Author
Tammy Swailes is the European Director for INSTE. She lives with a Ukrainian family in Ukraine but gets to work on various projects with INSTE around the world. Currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Intercultural Studies, Tammy loves black and white photography, languages, and meeting people from different cultures. Her life’s passion is to help the Church more effectively fulfill the Great Commission.