A Haitian Creole version of the famed FireBible will soon reach readers, and City Church in Sanford, Florida, is playing a key role. The Bible, described as "a full-featured study Bible with an emphasis on the person and work of the Holy Spirit," is available now in 60 editions, says Tom Greene, co-founder of ministry and advancement group Greene & Raley.
"It was actually a Chinese pastor who gave it the name 'FireBible,'" Greene explains. "He held the book, opened it up—had never seen Genesis to Revelation. And when he started looking at those articles, he discovered it was all about the role of the Holy Spirit from Genesis to Revelation. And he said, 'This is a book of fire.' Well, someone smarter than I am then branded it as the FireBible."
Greene says the roots of the FireBible lie on the mission field. In the early '80s, he met some missionaries to Brazil, Don and Linda Stamps. "When they arrived in Brazil, they discovered there was such a move of God that many have said was like the greatest thing since the book of Acts itself," he explains. "And in that process, Don soon learned that churches were being planted on a daily basis, pastors being assigned for all the wrong reasons just because they had known Jesus longer than others. They weren't educated; they weren't experienced.
Don Stamps decided these pastors needed a tool. "Well, he literally committed the rest of his life, which was just a few short years because cancer eventually took his life," Greene says. "But just a few weeks before he passed from this life, he completed study notes, sermon outlines, articles, everything that went into what was originally known as a 'Full Life Study Bible.' It was provided in the English language [and] for the Portuguese.
"A decade later, a missionary on assignment to China discovered there was an underground network of some 3 million house churches there, most of them pastored by people who didn't even possess a complete copy of God's Word," Greene says, adding, "So the idea from that was, how about translating that Full Life Study Bible into the Mandarin language and to be distributed? Well, people dreamed a dream, and a decade later, we celebrated that 3 million copies had been distributed to that underground network, equipping pastors in their language."
The Haitian Creole version, Greene says, has a meaningful place to fill. "I had the opportunity at City Church to visit for a few minutes with a Haitian couple, who were explaining to me ... 'It's one thing to have [a Bible in] the French language; it's another thing to have the Haitian Creole.' And they said, 'Though there are French Bibles, though there are study Bibles that are available ... there's nothing like this in the Haitian Creole language.' And that's the purpose of this project.
"This project has been in the works for a number of years now," Greene says. "And we're to the point of being able to help our friends at FireBible to actually produce that. And that's what we're excited about City Church and others that are committed to basically push this project over the finish line."
"We've been in relationship with FireBible; we've been giving to FireBible for a long time now—we have just never given at this significant a level," says Glen Wolf, executive pastor of City Church. "But we just saw the need, having Haiti close to us—we just feel like even in the future, who knows what our church might do in relationship with that area? And so we're just excited about the possibility."
To hear more about the FireBible in Haitian Creole project, listen to this entire episode of the Strang Report podcast here, and be sure to subscribe to the Strang Report on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast platform. To give to City Church's FireBible project, visit this link and specify "Fire Bible-Haiti" when you donate; "every dollar that goes into that's going straight to FireBible," Wolf says.
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