‘Reading the Bible in Northern Sámi moves me to tears’

“When I started school, I couldn’t speak a word of Finnish. The older kids helped me out. I only went home at Christmas and when it was time to return to school I cried bitterly.”

“In the spring I fell ill – probably due to my acute homesickness – and I ended up in hospital. Everyone there only spoke Finnish and I had to learn Finnish fast. When I started in Grade 2 I managed better.”

This is the story of Helena Valkeapää (pictured right) from Finnish Lapland, who started school after World War II. In those days, starting school was a traumatic experience for many Sámi children. It meant leaving home and moving into the hostel for the whole school term. Children were expected to learn in a language that they did not understand. continue reading →


Bible Societies facing immense pressure

From Genesis to Revelation many Bible stories took place in the countries that we know today as Iraq and Turkey.

The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. (Genesis 2:14 NIV).

Turkey and Iraq are countries that share a land border and are part of the Fertile Crescent region, including the major river system formed by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Their towns and place names are found throughout the Bible.

For example, Abraham came from the city of Ur in Iraq. He migrated to Haran in southern Turkey and settled there (Genesis 11:31). Jacob’s sons were all born in Iraq. The city of Nineveh in the Book of Jonah is in Iraq, and events from the books of Esther and Daniel took place there. Even the Garden of Eden was in Iraq. continue reading →