By Christy Barritt
5.8 Billion People Have Access to Bible
According to Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, an estimated 5.8 billion people now have all or some of the Holy Bible translated into their language. They also reported that the Bible is now in more than 2,800 different languages.
Bob Creson, president and CEO of Wycliffe, said that technological advances in areas like translation play a “critical role in speeding up the translation process.”
Though the number of people groups who now have portions of the Bible available to read in their language has grown, there are still at least 4,200 languages without the Holy Bible. There are also at least 1.3 billion people who do not have a full Bible available in their first language.
Florida Minister Preaches for 53 Hours, 18 Minutes
A Florida minister recently broke the Guinness World Records feat of Longest Speech Marathon when he preached a sermon that lasted 53 hours and 18 minutes.
Zack Zehnder, a 31-year-old minister of Cross Mount Dora, set the new record. He combined 50 sermons and preached them sequentially, skipping a few in the middle.
To qualify to break the record, he had to preach to 10 people for the entire duration as well as two independent witnesses who could sign off on its legitimacy.
Zehnder said there were many people that stayed 20 plus hours and about a dozen people who stayed the entire time. Overall, between 400-500 people showed up during the duration of the speech. The event raised nearly $100,000 for an addiction recovery program.
The previous record was 48 hours and 31 minutes for a speech by Vickrant Mahajan of India.
Student Sues High School for Prohibiting Prayer
A senior at Pine Creek High School in Colorado filed a lawsuit against his school for allegedly barring him and other students from meeting together during their free time to pray, sing hymns, and discuss various subjects.
Chase Windebank and sometimes as many as 90 of his classmates had used free time allotted to them during the school day to discuss religious matters in an unoccupied room for the past three years.
In September the assistant principal told Windebank and the other students that they could only participate in religious activities before and after school.
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Windebank, and posted on their website about the case: “Religious speech is expressly protected by the First Amendment, and public schools have no business stopping students from praying together during their free time.”
Missionary Released from North Korean Prison
Kenneth Bae was finally released from prison by the North Korean government on November 8.
The Christian missionary was arrested in November 2012 and convicted of committing hostile acts against the government. Sentenced to 15 years hard labor, Bae served two years before the Obama administration secured his release.
Bae made regular trips to North Korea and was detained while leading a group there. Despite his experience, he stated that he had no ill will toward North Korea and still has a heart for the country.
“Thank you for all your support and prayer and love,” Bae said. “It’s really been encouraging for me and for others.”
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author in Chesapeake, VA (christybarritt.com). She and her husband, Scott, have two sons.