You might know that there are over 500 languages spoken in Nigeria, and about 300 of them don’t have any portion of the Bible. During this Christmas season, we thought it would be great to encourage people to pray for some of those languages.
So… if you’ve seen our children’s newsletter this month, you may have noticed an idea for an Advent style calendar you could make as a prayer tool. Here is a calendar you can download (click to enlarge, then right click to save image) to use – and of course adults are more than welcome to pray, too!! If you want to make your own, just use the language names to do so. The calendar is only 12 days (and that’s certainly not because I waited so long to make it! 😉 (Actually, the idea didn’t come until several days into December, so we thought that instead of waiting until next year for Advent, it could be a fun thing to do for the Twelve Days of Christmas leading up to Epiphany… though you could also use it starting, well, now. And really, anytime would be fine. 🙂 ) You could even use it for a Sunday school class to encourage people to pray for Bible translation.
We don’t know too much about each language community other than that they are on the list for “definite or likely need for translation.” A quick search on the internet will give you a few basic facts such as the estimated number of speakers for each language and the area of the country where the group is concentrated. You might be able to find the main religion for a few of the groups (Zumbun, for example, has about 2 – 3,000 speakers, and the main religion is traditional/ animist.), but for the most part, the information available is limited. If you’re interested, however, we could ask around to see if we can find more about a group.
Otherwise, just pray. 🙂 😉 These are just 12 of the thousands of languages remaining, not just in Nigeria but in the world, but what a powerful thing to be able to pray for even just some of those by name.
To make your calendar, just print out the pages (I’m cheap, so I almost always print in grayscale draft mode, which is why I didn’t do anything too fancy on the calendar.). The pages are designed for 8.5 x 11 paper. Cut three of the four edges for each numbered square on the top layer, making a door, then glue the top sheet to the bottom (making sure you don’t glue over the names, of course!).
May your prayers for those who are still waiting to hear about Him in their own language help prepare your heart for the birth of our Savior this Christmas season, even as they pave the way for them to hear.
p.s. And if you haven’t seen our newsletter but would like to receive it, please let us know. E-mail us or leave a comment and let us know that you want to get it, either via e-mail or “snail mail.” We send out newsletters about once a quarter, and we send a children’s newsletter as well to encourage children to become involved in missions (though several adults have told us they read the children’s one first. 😉 Hey, no shame in that!).