“Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” (Ps. 127:1). This was written in a small scroll in Hebrew and Finnish and hidden in the foundations of Bible home’s log home during its construction phase. The house was dedicated in 2010. From that time on students have stayed at that home in stead of the home in Mevasseret Zion.
Bible Home’s first a five-day course was organized in the fall of 1995 for French speaking Bible translators in cooperation with the Hebrew University. Including the participants of this spring’s course there have been 221 translators or translation consultants on this course immersed in the language and land of the Bible.
In Russian in January
In January the Bible home organized the Land of the Bible course for Moscow Institute of Bible Translation (IBT). Ten Russians consultants working with minority peoples familiarized themselves with the country guided by a Russian-speaking guide. The country and the Russian speaking Finnish volunteers made a deep impression on them.
Management changes – work continues
We have had the privilege to lead the work dependant on the Lord’s support and grace. During the last few years we have prayerfully considered, when to delegate the work to others, and many have asked us, when do we retire. In August 2022 our long-term friend Bob Carter was here with his wife Amy leading the New Testament to the Old Testament course. We asked them to consider whether Bob could take Halvor’s role as a leader of the Bible home. Because Bob is from the Seed Company (Wycliffe) worker, he turned to his leaders. Answer was a happy surprise: “No problem. We can include that task as part of your job.” The biggest miracle was the fact that the Seed Company also pays Bob’s salary. These leaders saw this serves to all whose goal is to promote Bible translation work.
Later in Israel the board of Bible Home called unanimously Bob to be a director of Bible home. Thus the work continues inspired by the same vision. Bob and Amy are in Israel from April to June taking care of the semester course and will return in August. In the office of Bible home we have Or Nakirekanti, who manages practical things of the long course, e.g. correspondence and visa matters.
Reinier de Blois continues as the academic director of the Bible Home. Luka Manevich specializes in Hebrew teaching with him.
We are with Halvor still involved in the background. Halvor designed the April’s Land of Bible course and I am involved with matters related to volunteers and the log home and Mevasseret’s office. Bible home volunteers in Finland are coordinated by Maarit Kattilakoski.
A five-month course
Eleven semester students started their studies on January 30 via zoom. They are translation consultants or CIT’s. First two courses were carried out via zoom. In February Luka taught the original text of the Bible and its history and in March they had Reinier’s Bible Hebrew semantics course. At the same time, Eyal Nahum taught them living Biblical Hebrew.
At the beginning of April the students arrived here for three months, after exciting visa battle. We told about these steps in email newsletters which can be found at the Bible Home’s website, fin.bibletranslators.org.
An eventful April
On the first day of April we also welcomed the new director of Bible Home Bob Carter and his wife Amy. During Easter week students had day excursion in Jerusalem in the places where events of the Easter week took place. The week started on Palm Sunday and ended on Easter morning in the Garden Tomb.
Halvor and Ronit Maoz planned 18 study trips of the land of the Bible. Students traveled Abram’s first route in the promised land from the north from Galilee to the south, from Shechem to Hebron through to Beersheva and the Negev. Along the way they experienced mountains,valleys and wilderness, and slept in a Bedouin tent and rode a camel.
In April, Israel’s nature is at its most abundant. It gave Ronit an excellent opportunity to tell and show in practice how the meaning of Bible’s original text unfolds in a new way in its original environment. This land of the Bible course gave the participants a versatile package of information about the geography of the Bible, history, archeology and nature. This information equips these consultants or those studying to become consultants to help translators, so that the message of the Bible text is transmitted to the nations as faithfully as possible.
The spring course continues with other subjects until the end of June. Graduation day will be in 29 of June at the Hebrew university. Then these diligent students return to their assignments with all the new knowledge and skills. The volunteers make this possible by giving warm and caring home for them.
Thanks for your prayers especially now in this uncertain time in Israel.
By the grace of God!
Mirja and Halvor Ronning