November 2016: Heidi Davis
November 15, 2016
Although many of the world’s people have the Bible written in their language, there are still millions who have no Bible in their heart language. Bible translation is still an essential ministry in our world today. Heidi Davis (’00, ‘03) is working in Bible translation in southern Asia, where the need is great and the gospel is not known.
Growing up on the mission field of Colombia, the idea of missions was always present for Heidi. When she was a teenager, she felt God’s leading for her to pursue missions. Heidi came to Faith as a freshman with an undeclared major, but eventually changed to Bible with a Missions minor. While at Faith, God created within Heidi an awareness and burden for Bible translation. One of her missions professors strongly encouraged her to consider Bible translation for future ministry.
Heidi graduated from both the college and seminary, and now she is serving in southern Asia. Here she has been working with a team that is translating the New Testament into a minority language of her area. She also is currently transitioning into the Field Treasurer position, which she will take over when the current treasurer retires.
“I never imagined that God would use my enjoyment of accounting and my decision to take Accounting in college in this way,” Heidi explained. “So far, I have seen God take something that I did not consider a particular ‘gifting’ of mine (working with numbers and money and balancing accounts) as a way to bless and serve our entire field team.”
As Heidi works with the other translators in this part of the world, there are many culture-specific challenges. The main people group of the country is divided between Islam and Hinduism, which also divides the national language into a Muslim and non-Muslim form. In addition to these two larger groups, there are also many minority groups, with Buddhists being the largest religion of the minority groups.
“In order to share the Gospel effectively, it is necessary to know a little about each of these religions, languages, and cultural norms. For the minority group I work with, who are predominantly Buddhist, it is hard to differentiate between what things are ‘religious’ and what holidays and practices are ‘cultural.’”
As challenges and blessings come and go while working in another culture, Heidi never forgets to learn valuable lessons God teaches her.
“The greatest lesson I have learned while serving here is that I cannot do the work in my own strength—it is only possible through God’s strength and power. Serving here has given me a new appreciation and understanding of my complete and total reliance on God and His strength to accomplish the work He has prepared for me.”
Heidi asks prayer for the team on the ground as they work to finish their translation in the current project language. She also asks prayer for her anticipated furlough during spring of 2017. While many people still need the Bible in their heart language, it is encouraging to see Faith alumni, like Heidi, faithfully serving and working hard to take the Word to the World.