Bible Translation in a New Environment

May 28
The day after we got back  to Japan, I headed to the supermarket for some food. There was plenty on the shelves now, no more shortages. But  I noticed something else, people looking worried as they poked through the vegetables.  When I looked at the prices, I could see why. Even if you haven’t lost your job yet, your paycheck is likely less,  AND the prices are sometimes close to double for fresh fruit and vegetables. This in a country that eats a lot of veggies.
Not entirely unrelated–Today (May 28) at our leadership team meeting we had a long, serious discussion about what happens with salaries, etc. if we get to the point where we can no longer pay them. Problem is, the  economic downturn which was already in place met the triple disaster, and on top of that, the yen just keeps getting stronger against the dollar. People are losing jobs, funding is down, prices are up. What will happen to our support base? How will disaster relief affect it? What will this year’s budget look like in reality. The budget we’re planning is increased again from last year. And we have another person we would like to hire as well.

May 31
Today, we had to announce that all staff who are on the leadership team will have to wait a bit for salaries. Our balance-on-hand is too low to cover until the next funds come (due very soon) from SIL and Japan Bible Society. This is the first time we have not been able to make payroll on time. It isn’t super-severe to have to wait a day or so, but it does underline the need. Lord, help us to know how to think and pray about this.


About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
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