Trouble peace in the Philippines opens a door for ministry

Dec 11, 2003 09:26 AM EST

Philippines -- The Philippine government launched a unilateral Christmas ceasefire with communist insurgents ahead of peace talks with the rebels as well as Muslim guerillas.

The move comes at a time when pressure is mounting on believers. Scattered reports indicate a rise in anti-Christian activity, perpetrated by hardline Islamic groups.

Ironically, it is to these people, that the hope of the Gospel reaches. Wycliffe's Bruce Grayden says it's an opportune time to equip nationals to be involved in translation.

He details the project as one where the Christians 'take ownership'. "We're at a workshop working with 20 mother-tongue speakers from six languages and their aim is to try to equip them, and enthuse them, and encourage them in whatever way possible to translate the Scriptures in their own languages."

Despite the threats from groups, openly opposed to their work, Grayden says it won't stop them. "A lot of the work has been interrupted by that kind of activity, but we're still able to carry on our work to a pretty good extent away from the area; it's not always easy to work when you're away from the language area."