For all of us 2020 turned out to be a year that we will not forget, or one that we would have never planned. Like all of you as I reflect back on 2020 it maybe wasn’t as full as I had expected, but there was still plenty to celebrate.
Despite all that has gone on in 2020, we have some exciting news- the number of languages the whole Bible has been translated into reached 700 in the second half of the year! Just over 5.7 billion people (around 80% of the world’s population) now have the whole Bible in their mother tongue.
There were lots of things that didn’t happen the way we had planned. We missed opportunities to gather in person, to celebrate face to face. Instead, many of our meetings and events became virtual, moving to online platforms like Zoom.
Our supporters’ event ‘The Gathering’ happened on Zoom in November and it was great to have many of you there. A virtual event allowed more of our colleagues from around the Fellowship to join in; it was great to have friends from China, Peru, the Gulf, Egypt and England share with us.
We are so grateful for the ways in which God has continued to be good to us throughout 2020 and for the generosity He has prompted through you our supporters. We have been able to respond to the needs of our colleagues around the world through the Solidarity Fund, as well as continue to support Bible Mission to the levels we planned.
In Northern Ireland, we began to work remotely from home in March 2020, having a staff team Zoom call every morning. Seeing the crisis that our brothers and sisters were facing around the world, we were deeply burdened. That’s why, in August 2020, we put out an additional appeal letter for the Solidarity Fund. As a staff team we did not take this decision lightly, but the need was too great for us not to ask for your support. We spent many mornings in our team call asking God to provide support for the Bible Societies struggling the most. As we all look forward to 2021, we plan to do things differently. 2020 has taught us to value what we have, to be grateful, to give thanks and realise how much we have compared to how little we need. This reminds me of verses from 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18 where Paul tells us to rejoice always, to pray continually and to give thanks in all circumstances