The following is the message that was sent to JCBT friends during the season of 2020 Easter and Passover.
Greetings from the Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators! We want to wish you joy and peace in the midst of worldwide anxiety and gloom. The reality of the Risen Lord, who overcame death and offers everlasting life for the repentant, gives one a completely different perspective at this time! We can feel safe in all circumstances; we can have the peace that passes understanding, as promised
Wild tulip among thistles in Judean Hills (Aulis)
By the grace of God, JCBT has good news to share despite the Corona virus disrupting life in Israel almost to a standstill. Life at the center in Yad Hashmonah continues in full swing. It follows the intensive Hebrew University-approved study program almost as planned. The 13 students come from 9 countries, 7 men and 4 women. Most of these students are Consultants or Translation Project Coordinators for new languages that have NO Word of God yet for that nation.
The studies started in February with Modern Hebrew at the university Ulpan, Biblical Hebrew Semantics by Dr. Reinier DeBlois from ABS, as well as an ongoing class in Living Biblical Hebrew by an Israeli linguist.
Several days ago, they began an important course on Biblical Hebrew texts by Dr. Tania Notarius from Hebrew U. She will be teaching via Zoom.
The students live, and now study, in our beautiful log home located in the well-guarded Messianic village of Yad Hashmonah in Judean Hills.
The impact of Corona:
There was a real moment of concern when within just few days all of our cooks and caretakers had to return to Finland, but a solution was found in 2 housewives from Yad Hashmonah. We were able to hire these women to make one main meal a day in turns.
What about the care of the home? Low and behold, the students themselves rose to up to the occasion having observed and learned from the previous helpers. They take care of the dishes, the floors, the laundry, the breakfasts, and suppers! Each student works in turns and has a lot of fun in the process – as can be seen below.
In the present tense situation the log home is a “center of sensibility and peace”, as was said by our Israeli Hebrew teacher, who prefers to come to teach at the log home rather than to teach by Zoom as the university advises. He feels the spirit of peace and love that is present at the log home. Furthermore, he has kept himself isolated so he may be allowed to come. We send our Beni to pick him up and return him home, as to not use public transportation.
JCBT plans to continue the semester course until its end on June 30 – by the grace of God. Our next lecturer in May is Dr. Noah Lee, he will teach by Zoom from South Korea, Lord willing.
With all these good reports, one course has suffered from the decision of drastic limiting of movement in the country: Historical Geography, the course where the students visit Biblical places spoken about in the text. This is a major loss. Thankfully, before the restrictions our students had study tours in the main sites in and around Jerusalem, Qumran, the Jordan River, Masada, and the Dead Sea. But the 3 day excursion to the south (Negev and Eilat) as well as the 3 day tours to north (Galilee and Golan) we have had to delay to the future.
Now, Halvor lectures with “dry” tours using maps, sets of pictures, PowerPoints, and photocopies. His comfort to the students is that this is the way they will teach the material to others in their own countries.
In appreciation of your long term support and prayers, we pray that this video including scenes of past years in the Garden Tomb will bless you.
It was recorded in the Biblical Garden of Yad HaShemonah just adjacent to our JCBT loghome.
The Corona virus is teaching us much. It eliminates the inessentials in our life and makes us focus on the most important.
A friend sent us an old text called Heidelberg statement, It makes us focus on the essential.
Halvor teaching in the rock hall
It asks: What is your only comfort in life and death?
The Answer: That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.
Thank you for your prayers and support of Bible translation work to new nations by JCBT. It is one of a continuously “essential” activity, using the Corona-age terminology for those allowed to leave their homes.
With blessed Easter and beyond,
Halvor and Mirja, and JCBT staff.
Dear friends and relatives,
HE IS RISEN!
PLEASE see the link below to the facebook pages of JCBT where this link will open the videos. The link takes you to the latest video made for our students to compensate for the fact that they could not go to the various locations of Jesus’ ministry during his last week.
HE IS RISEN!
This is the link to the JCBT video created in order to share Easter Week with you Bible translation students when you could not visit the locations which were closed because of Corona.
This reading of Scripture with brief meditations is enhanced by video clips from previous years so that you can help your imagination of the places where the events occurred.
God grant that the Power of His Word will be a blessing to whomever you chose to share this video.
HIS LOVE AND BLESSINGS AND PROTECTION,
Halvor and Mirja