Does God Speak Luxembourgish?
Fifty years ago you wouldn’t have thought so. The country used French and German for just about everything written or broadcast. No one could agree how to write the local national language, and it was hard to find modern literature in Luxembourgish. When Bible-believing Christians wanted to communicate the gospel among local people, foreign languages were the only vehicle readily available. And that made the gospel often seem just a little too foreign.
But that’s beginning to change. And my wife and I would never have expected that the little girl we met when we arrived in Luxembourg would end up being so crucial in Luxembourgish outreach.
Her mother and father had moved from the UK to Luxembourg for employment with the EU institutions. Her dad died when she was very young under tragic circumstances, so that she and her brother grew up without the father figure they’d have loved to enjoy. But her mother reared them faithfully in the things of the Lord, keeping them involved in the work of the local church, which BMW missionaries had launched in the middle 1970s. She trusted the Lord at an early age and participated in the church’s Sunday school classes, youth groups and summer ministries.
She emerged from high school with a keen interest in history and languages, went off to university in the UK and graduated with a masters in history. She married a young Luxembourgish fellow, who had come to know Christ through her witness and had spent considerable time with a BMW missionary for discipleship. Together they put their shoulders behind early attempts to translate quality evangelistic materials into Luxembourgish. Encouraged by the enthusiastic response by Luxembourgish readers, they agreed to help initiate a translation of the NT into Luxembourgish–a task that had never yet been completed in this minority European language.
After seven years of dogged work with original language consultants from Bibles International and a committed group of Luxembourgish test-readers, the NT was published in October 2017.
Work is progressing on the OT and our friend and colleague is now pursuing more Hebrew training. We praise the Lord for His faithfulness in bringing young people through the local church over many years to a place of great fruitfulness, and trust this will have far-reaching effects across the Grand Duchy. Pray that God will preserve this committed couple in their continuing efforts to “let God speak Luxembourgish”.