One of Megan Barton’s first memories was having the strong desire to learn about other cultures and languages. God gifted her in language. She says, “God used my appetite for learning and desire to connect with people cross-culturally to lead me in the direction of Bible translation.”
Megan was sent to Dallas Int’l to receive training after being recruited by Pioneer Bible Translators. When asked about how Dallas Int’l prepared her for ministry, she enthusiastically said, “Never before had I had classes that were so relevant!” Megan graduated with her master’s in applied linguistics in 2009 and went on to become a translation facilitator for the Kwere Bible translation project in Tanzania.
When she joined the project, the Gospels through Romans had already been completed, so Megan jumped into the remainder of the New Testament and exegetically checked the other books. In 2014, the Jesus Film was done in Kwere, and Faith Comes By Hearing partnered with their team to publish the New Testament as a dramatized recording. In 2015 the new testament translation was printed.
Megan is now working closely with three national translators to mentor and train in translation principles and scrutinizing drafts of texts. She also works in other facets of the translation process, including drafting, field testing, peer checking, and consulting. The team is currently working their way through the Old Testament and planning to publish the Torah by the end of the 2018.
Megan is excited about her continued work serving the Lord in Tanzania and says, “I consider it a great privilege to be able to be involved in communicating God’s limitless love to people in the language that speaks to their hearts.”
Michael Barton felt the call to cross-cultural service as he was completing his preaching degree. “I felt heartbroken when I discovered for the first time that there were Bibleless people in the world.” He prayed for the Lord’s direction, completed an internship in Guinea, West Africa with Pioneer Bible Translators, and was hooked on the idea of translating God’s Word for a Bibleless people group. Because he needed training to bring the Bible to one of those people groups, God led Michael to Dallas Int’l to study.
After completing his M.A. at Dallas Int’l in 2008, Michael became a translation facilitator for the Vidunda Bible translation project in Tanzania and works with three national translators who trained with The Word for the World. He mentors them as they become more skilled in exegesis. He also checks drafts and plans the next steps in the translation process. The group recently completed the translation of the Torah. Michael states, “I still reflect on what I learned in classes [at Dallas Int’l], especially Translation and Semantics.” He is currently working on exegesis and training in Tanzania and has had multiple opportunities to use his training in his work.
The Bartons are partnering with the Seed Company to complete the translations of the Old Testament in the Vidunda and Kwere languages. Presently, they are working on translating Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1–2 Samuel, and Psalms. In August, they will be conducting a workshop on Psalms before they begin the translation work. The Bartons also plan to host an ethno-arts workshop to equip local church leaders in scripture impact.