The men who started ABT did not set out to establish a new organization. But God surprised them.
ABT’s short history as an organization begins in 2010, but the story really began before that. It includes several young men whose paths were eventually to cross. Both single and married, ranging from the son of overseas missionaries to the son of former Amish, these young men were burdened for the unreached.
One of these brothers felt the burden for Bible translation when researching a thesis on the History of the English Bible. He was touched with the zeal of men like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale. The vision and burden of Wycliffe and Tyndale began to burn in his own heart.
The burning question in the minds of each of these young men became: How can a people turn to Jesus and truly follow Him without access to God’s Word?
These and other Anabaptist young people began training as Bible translators. However, it became apparent that the conservative Anabaptist people lacked a suitable avenue by which to get involved in Bible translation and church planting.
The brothers who met to pray about this felt that perhaps Christian Aid Ministries, with humanitarian aid programs all over the world, could start a new program to provide the necessary avenue. Christian Aid Ministries blessed the idea of a Bible translation ministry, but advised that a separate organization be founded. Thus, All-Nations Bible Translation was legally established as a nonprofit ministry in 2010.
In the years since, ABT has been growing into its role as a servant to the Church and facilitator of Bible translation and church planting.
- First members-in-training approved
- First Awareness Tour, 25 presentations by two men with young families
- Five-week Kingdom Warriors Training Camp held at Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute during the summer
- Three-week exploratory trip in Mexico
- First exploratory trip in Southeast Asia
- Land purchased in State College, PA, and building begun
- Office moved from Treasurer’s basement to State College office
- First newsletter published
- Three-member Executive Committee formed
- First family completed Phase II Training and left for southern Mexico
- History of the English Bible recording produced
- First weekend event for the public, precursor of EXPLORE ABT
- New ABT website developed
- Second Awareness Tour, around 40 presentations in U.S. and Canada
- First EXPLORE ABT event (now an annual event)
- First Orientation (Phase I training) for a batch of new members
- First Sending Church Encounter
- Five more Sending Church Encounters throughout the year
- Board, Executive Committee, and a number of members attended Wayumi
- First Africa team completed Phase II Training and sent
- First Team Compatibility Assessment hosted at the ABT base
- ABT representatives attended the Bible Translation Conference for the first time
- Colombia exploration stepped up and carried into the Amazon jungles
- ABT Translation Philosophy ratified by the Board
- First Camp Week for all ABT members (now an annual event)
- First Asia-Pacific team completed Phase II Training and sent
ABT’s story is not very long yet. Bible translation is a long and tedious process. Discipleship and church planting in unreached people groups takes years of sweat, prayers, and love. This means that ABT’s goals are still primarily ideals for the future. Yet as God has proved His faithfulness in the past, so He will in the future.
As ABT serves the Church in the years to come, we pray that this service will result in worship to God through Jesus Christ in some of the still silent corners of the world. He is worthy.