Wycliffe Associates recieves matching funds challenge to assist Bible translators working in hostile areasLatest News Monday, September 27th, 2010
Orlando, FL—Wycliffe Associates, the international organization that mobilizes volunteers and resources in support of Bible translation efforts, has received a matching funds challenge of $19,500 toward the $255,039 it is currently seeking for the assistance of Bible translators and missionaries working in sensitive countries where Christianity is met with hostility, violence, and persecution.
The organization seeks to provide local translators and missionaries in these countries, collectively called New Frontiers, with administrative and technical support, financial support, and encouragement. In addition, Wycliffe Associates hopes to provide training, adequate computer equipment, translation supplies, and living expenses for national translators and their families.
“It is impossible to overstate how important it is for American Christians to bring encouragement to these arenas of the world where translators are stretched thin,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Their faith is stretched, their physical stamina is stretched, and their emotions are stretched. When we come alongside with the balm of encouragement and gratitude, we help them to press on.”
In one unnamed country, translators are working to provide full access to the Scriptures for more than 50 language groups.
“Time and time again, I’m reminded that second languages just don’t communicate in the same way as a heart language,” says Smith.
One national translator, for example, had invited three men, from her hometown, to church and offered them a Bible in the national language, but they were not interested. It wasn’t until she showed them the JESUS film in their native language that they responded and decided to become Christians. They then took the film home to show to their family and friends, which was the first time the community had heard any words from Scripture in their native language.
In another New Frontiers country, indigenous Christians are asking to be trained for the work of Bible translation. “They are ready and willing to begin the work of translating Scripture into their heart languages,” says Smith. “But we must provide an environment where they don’t have to worry about their own physical safety as they’re trying to think about spiritual truths and how to communicate them.”
Financial contributions toward New Frontiers will be doubled up to $19,500 and will help Wycliffe Associates meet the needs of Bible translation efforts in countries where there is strong opposition to the spread of Christianity. Currently, this area represents nearly 1,000 languages and more than 280 million people who do not have any of the Scripture in their native language.
Wycliffe Associates contributes more than 560,000 volunteer hours of work per year to help Bible translation efforts. During 2009, more than 4,300 Wycliffe Associates volunteers served as part of the worldwide Bible translation team. Wycliffe Associates has served in over 54 countries through volunteer and financial support. This year, Wycliffe Associates plans to mobilize more than 5,600 volunteers to serve in 63 different countries to build and renovate facilities, construct roads and airstrips, teach Vacation Bible School, help with language development and office work, oversee projects, use their computer skills, and much more.
For more information, visit www.wycliffeassociates.org or call 1-800-THE WORD (1-800-843-9673).