Introducing the 2013–2014 Gift Catalog, featuring opportunities to bypass the Christmas craze and give a gift with eternal impact. In honor of Giving Tuesday, check out the video below with dozens of exciting opportunities to give translated Scripture and transform lives!
Posts Tagged ‘Scripture’
Posted in Bible translation, Events, News, tagged Bible, Bible translation, blessing, Celebration, complete, faithfulness, family, God, gratitude, heart, holiday, language, praise, Scripture, thank, thankful, thankfulness, Thanksgiving, Translation, Wycliffe, Wycliffe Bible Translators on November 28, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
By Melissa Chesnut
Many people find that today—Thanksgiving—isn’t enough time to sit down and think about the countless ways that God has blessed us. So rather than just setting aside a single day to say thanks, they have turned the whole month of November into a deliberate season of thanking God daily for what He has provided, both big and small. This is a great reminder to think about all the ways God has blessed us, especially before we jump into December and focus on the blessing of Christ Jesus.
Not to miss out, Wycliffe wants to dedicate today to praise God for the numerous ways He has blessed us over the past year. So without further ado…
Wycliffe is thankful for:
- The faithfulness of a mighty God who continues to empower and equip His people in Bible translation around the world.
- The exciting news that there are now at least 4.9 billion people who have a Bible available in their first language, and that the number of languages likely needing Bible translation has dropped to 1,919! (For more information about these statistics, visit www.wycliffe.net.)
- The twenty-nine completed Scriptures that were dedicated this year; praise God that twenty-nine communities now have God’s Word in the language they understand best!
- The increase in online giving, which has grown from $36,000 in 2008 to $146,000 in 2013. What a blessing!
- God’s faithfulness in providing financially for our staff around the world.
- The partnership with Liberty University and the opportunity to participate in their fall missions conference, where our president and CEO, Bob Creson, was able to speak and share about Bible translation to the student body.
- Our Village Shop is now online in an updated, easy-to-use format. Check it out!
- Our ninety-nine new staff members who have gone through their orientation training this year.
- The 18,466 total prayer partners who have signed up and committed to pray for a Bibleless people group. If you’re not one of those 18,466, consider signing up today and joining with us in praying for the Bibleless people around the world!
- You. Through your prayers, financial support, or participation in the work of Wycliffe, you are helping to make a difference in bringing God’s Word to those still waiting. Thank you for walking this journey with us.
This is only a small glimpse into the many things that Wycliffe is thankful for this year. Take some time today with your family to sit down and think about what you are thanking God for—He deserves all honor, glory, and praise!
Posted in Bible translation, tagged Bible, Christmas, Europe, Flensburg, German, Germany, great, gypsies, gypsy, language, miracle, new testament, Romani, Scripture, Sinti, translate, Translation, Translator, translators, Wycliffe on October 28, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
By Melissa Chesnut
The main shopping street in Flensburg, Germany, was beautifully decorated during the Christmas season, lined with food and drink stalls and booths to buy gifts or trinkets. A woman named Edith was wandering down the street when she came across a barbecue stand.
In big writing above the stand, a banner read: “Gypsy Food.” A young man was grilling meat with an older man nearby, so Edith approached him.
“Are you Gypsies?” she asked.*
“Yes,” he replied. “We are Gypsies.”
Edith was excited about this chance meeting. “What group are you from?” she asked, referring to their ancestral background. “Roma or Sinti?”
“Both,” the young man responded in perfect German.
Edith wanted to learn more. “Where do you live? Do you speak in Romani to each other?” she asked.
The young man and his uncle shared that they use Sinti Romani to communicate between themselves and their family members, but they speak German while serving their wares in the marketplace.
This news thrilled Edith. She excitedly informed the men that she had a Sinti Romani New Testament! Both men were very surprised. They did not know that a New Testament even existed in their language.
Edith promised to bring them two New Testaments the next day. The young man begged for a copy to give to his father as well.
“You cannot imagine how they rejoiced and thanked me!” Edith shared. “That was something I had never seen before—and wasn’t expecting!”
True to her promise, Edith returned to the barbecue stand. “The next day I came with the precious books,” she said.
The man, his uncle, and the family received the New Testaments with great delight and thanksgiving.
“This is a great miracle,” they kept saying. The uncle read aloud from the book in his heart language for the very first time. The other Gypsies stood there, listening intently. After hearing God’s Word in Sinti Romani, everyone wanted a copy of the New Testament for themselves!
Edith was overjoyed to be able to share the Sinti Romani New Testament with the family. “I hope I will…convey something of the joy, excitement, and gratitude of these Gypsies,” Edith said. “I hope that very many receive the Word of God in their own language.
“They have waited long enough.”
*The Romani people (also called Roma or Gypsies), who trace their roots back to the Indian subcontinent, are scattered all throughout Europe and other parts of the world. In 2010, a New Testament was published in Sinti Romani, one of many Romani languages. The Sinti, like most Romani people, have long faced widespread public prejudices and official discrimination.
Edith’s experience was published as a letter in the magazine, Evangelischer Ausländerdienst.
Posted in Bible translation, Events, Features, tagged audio, audio player, audio Scripture, Bible, Bible translation, catalog, Christmas, culture, gift, gift catalog, Kamano, Kanwasa, language, life, Oral, oral culture, oral society, Papua New Guinea, player, PNG, Scripture, Translation, Translator, Wycliffe, Wycliffe gift catalog on October 24, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
“We listen to it daily. At noon we listen to it. We listen to it before going to sleep. Then we pray. Then we sleep.”—a Kanwasa villager
Your gifts to last year’s Wycliffe gift catalog helped provide audio Bible players for people in Papua New Guinea (PNG), bringing the Scriptures in their language to life!
In many language groups living in PNG, information of value is shared orally, and literacy is growing slowly. In the highlands, thirty-nine New Testaments have been published in the local languages but are not accessible to the people. Now six of these New Testaments have been recorded and placed on flash drives as well as small solar-powered audio players. Translated Scripture in numerous other languages has been checked, and recordings have been made of as much as half of the New Testament.
One Kamano speaker in PNG reported how much his children love listening to Bible verses with the audio player. Public school principals in that language group are asking for these devices to give to their teachers to play for class language study and devotion times. Local pastors are also using the units during their sermons instead of reading from the trade language and translating orally.
Many families listen to the players during their evening meal, and keep listening to God’s Word until the batteries go dead for or five hours later. Children are asking if they can “recharge the batteries by putting the players close to the fire” so they can finish listening to one of the Bible stories.
Providing these players makes translated Scripture accessible to thousands of people in the highlands of PNG. Translation has bridged the language barrier, and Scripture in this format is bringing God’s Word to the ears and hearts of the people.
This year’s gift catalog has similar opportunities to transform lives for eternity. Click here to check out the 2013-2014 Gift Catalog: In the Spirit of Giving!
Posted in Bible translation, tagged Buddha, Buddhism, Buddhist, Christian, context, culture, eternal life, Gospel, hopeless, Jesus, john 3:16, reincarnation, Scripture, sometimes, sounds on October 21, 2013 | 6 Comments »
By Richard Gretsky
John 3:16 is one of the most popular verses in the world for Christians, echoing God’s grace, exhibited through His Son Jesus, and leading to eternal life with Him in Heaven.
But for people coming from a Buddhist background, the potency of this beloved verse is significantly muted.
Timothy,* a Bible translation worker based in Southeast Asia stated: “In Western societies, we’re so fearful of death that we cling to the hope of eternal life described in John 3:16, which gives hope that life will ultimately not end.”
“Buddhists believe that we are all trapped in a cycle of reincarnation—one life after another, each full of suffering. Thus, Buddhists feel like they already have eternal life, and their big goal is to escape the eternal life and all the suffering that goes along with it.”
Because of that, a verse that has meant so much to so many people is a potentially dreadful proposition to people coming from a Buddhist worldview. This, of course, doesn’t mean that John 3:16 shouldn’t be translated for Buddhists. They, like all of us, need to understand that eternal life is good and that life can exist without suffering. But it does highlight that we should know which verses speak the best to people of different cultures.
With that in mind, there is another verse, also in the book of John, which does speak deeply to Buddhists.
John 14:6 reads, “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’” (NLT).
The Buddha promoted a balance between seeking all pleasure and avoiding all pleasures. If this were achieved, a person could attain Nirvana, removing them from the cycle of reincarnation and removing the pain of their life. But there are no guarantees and the number of people that Buddhists believe have attained Nirvana is astonishingly small.
Timothy interpreted the correlation like this: “The Buddha said, ‘There is a middle way’ … but he couldn’t get you there. Buddhism is all about your own efforts. But Jesus has told us that we can cling to Him, and He becomes our hope to escape from the suffering, and at the same time, to find life.”
Though all hope ultimately comes from Jesus, sometimes hope looks different depending on your worldview. And understanding the cultural contexts of others is a major step, not just in translating the Bible, or friendship, but also translating hope into their language.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.
Posted in Bible translation, Features, Missionary Spotlight, tagged Bible, community, hope, Karo, language, missionaries, missionary, Papua New Guinea, prayer, rawa, Scripture, Tauta, Translation, translators, Wycliffe on October 7, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Yunu hung his head in his hands. When was help going to come? His beloved wife had recently died, leaving him utterly grief-stricken. He struggled to stay strong for his children, but life looked bleak.
Matters only got worse when lightning struck, destroying his solar-power system and computer. Even if he had money, he could not replace the equipment that was critical for his role as the Rawa literacy coordinator in Tauta, a mountain village of Papua New Guinea that lacks electricity, roads, and stores.
Word of Yunu’s troubles reached Don and Norma Toland, Wycliffe missionaries who had lived in Papua New Guinea for thirty years and served in Tauta during that time.
While living among the Rawa people in Tauta, Don and Norma developed a writing system that allowed them to translate the New Testament into Rawa, and eventually also adapt the translation into Karo, a language related to Rawa. They also developed a school curriculum, taught literacy classes, trained teachers, and produced books. During a one-year return visit in 2007, Don and Norma translated a government book on HIV/AIDS prevention into Rawa, and recorded the translated Scriptures onto solar-powered audio Bibles
When Don heard about Yunu’s losses and hardships, he prayed. His friend was deeply discouraged. Don knew that the Rawa children’s studies would be hampered without new reading material. So Don made the trip, halfway around the world, in September 2012 to help. When Yunu saw his friend, he wept a long time and thanked God for his return.
With the help of others, Don installed equipment that included new solar panels, a computer, and a printer. Yunu was greatly encouraged by this kind and unexpected assistance. The new equipment would help him continue to make a difference in the lives of many Rawa people.
Having Scripture in the Rawa language has brought evident changes in the community. Don says, “People are having a spiritual life change. They no longer live in fear of evil spirits. The church and schools have been revitalized. Families often read Scripture and pray together. Their Bibles and song books are well-worn from use.”
Don is quick to point out that it wasn’t his family alone that made the difference through the translated Scripture and literacy materials provided for the Rawa people. “When God leads one to serve Him, He may also lead many others, from all over the world, to use their backgrounds and talents. It’s like a concert—a symphony of service! God prepares each person, gets them into position, and orchestrates their lives to serve.”
Posted in Bible translation, tagged bible translators, God's, heritage, hispanic, hispanic heritage, Hispanic Heritage Month, house, language, learn, Mexico, Mitla, mother tongue, Oaxaca, Old Testament, Scripture, story, teach, temple, translate, translating, Translation, Translator, workshop, Wycliffe on September 23, 2013 | 2 Comments »
By Angela Nelson
As Román and Venancio boarded the bus to travel outside of their home state for the very first time, they wondered what was in store for them. After all, they were leaving their families in the midst of a very busy agricultural harvest schedule, not to mention their responsibilities with church and their rural community.
It wasn’t the most appealing proposition, but their translation work on the Huichol Bible was important to them. So they were willing to take a three-day bus ride and spend several weeks away from home to attend the Tabernacle and Temples of the Old Testament workshop in Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
When they arrived at the linguistics and translation training center, Román and Venancio were joined by two instructors and twelve mother tongue translators from six other language groups. For the first time, they met men and women just like them—Bible translators for their own people.
The workshop focused on the Old Testament chapters describing the tabernacle and the temples of Solomon and Ezekiel (in Exodus, 1 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Ezekiel). Each day Román and Venancio took turns telling the group how they had translated the various passages. In addition, they each had to prepare and present a devotional that focused on the symbolism of an element of the tabernacle and temple. Venancio gave his devotional on the symbolism of the horns of the altar. And Román told about the meaning of the veil, with its guarding cherubim that separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. He used New Testament Scriptures to show how it represents that Christ has opened access to God for us. All these experiences helped the men practice explaining and applying Scripture, something they would use at their home church and weekly Bible studies when they returned to their people.
Before they left for home, Venancio also experienced God’s provision through a tough situation. While returning from a weekend market on a local bus, his wallet was stolen. It contained two weeks’ worth of salary and his identification card.
When Chucho, Venancio’s roommate at the workshop, learned what had happened, he asked the others to come to the auditorium with an offering for Venancio at 5 p.m. He placed an empty milk carton on the front table. Sure enough, at 5 p.m., the other translators filed in and dropped their offering into the milk carton.
Chucho presented the offering to Venancio the next morning. The translators had given sacrificially—far more than he had lost! On the last day of the workshop Venancio shyly spoke his thanks. Haltingly and emotionally he told the group that when he discovered that his wallet was missing, he felt that “he had lost his life,” but their love and concern had given it back to him.
Venancio and Román returned to their village full of stories and new knowledge, ready and dedicated to continuing their precious work!
Posted in Bible translation, Features, tagged Bible translation, Cameron Townsend, education, faith, hispanic, Hispanic Heritage Month, journey, Lecandons, Letgers, linguist, Mexico, Scripture, throwback, throwback thursday, Uncle Cam, William Cameron Townsend, Wycliffe, Wycliffe Bible Translators on September 19, 2013 | 1 Comment »
By Melissa Chesnut
Each year, National Hispanic Heritage month (September 15–October 15) honors the histories and cultures of Hispanic nations and remembers the anniversaries of the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile. This four-part “Throwback Thursday” series will focus on different aspects of Wycliffe’s work among Hispanic countries and language communities.
Starting a mission organization with the goal of translating the Bible worldwide is a daunting task. During the early years, Wycliffe founder Cam Townsend encountered many people who weren’t confident that the mission would succeed. The odds stacked against it just seemed too high!
But God is much bigger than any of these odds, and in the face of every obstacle, He has proved faithful.
When foreign missionaries weren’t allowed in to Mexico in the 1930s, God opened an unexpected door. Although Cam and others were not allowed to enter the country officially as Bible translators, the government did recognize a need for assistance in studying the rural education system. To Cam, the solution was obvious. “We will enter Mexico as linguists rather than as missionaries,” he decided.
Although it wasn’t their official job in Mexico, Cam’s colleagues were still able to help with Bible translation. But when Cam got a request from an official to send translators to the Lacandons, a tribe of only two hundred people, he was faced with a dilemma. He knew that tribes with large populations needed the Scripture, but did tribes of two hundred merit the lifework of an educated linguist?
As Cam pondered the question, he was reminded of Jesus’ parable about the shepherd who sought the one lost sheep. Yes, he decided, even the small tribes needed the Bible in a language they could understand. But where would he get the volunteers?
At that time, there were forty-four workers under Cam’s leadership. He decided to ask, “Will each of you be responsible before the Lord for one new recruit for Bible translation? … I’m sure He would give us six extra for good measure.” Sure enough, by the end of that year, Cam had fifty new volunteers for Bible translation—plus one more for good measure!
When finances were limited, God sent other believers who gifted the money to Cam and the work of Bible translation. From simple needs like the monthly $5 to rent a vacant farmhouse for the beginning of Camp Wycliffe to $10,000 to build a clinic and dwelling places in Peru, God always came through.
The journey was never easy. Gaining access to countries where missionaries weren’t allowed was difficult and trying. Finding volunteers who were willing to dedicate their lives to linguistics and translation sometimes seemed overwhelming and impossible. Supplying funds for the projects in various countries seemed unfeasible. But each time, God opened another door.
Though the odds stacked against them seemed high, God is more powerful than any obstacle. As L.L. Letgers, one of Cam’s friends and a fellow pioneer of Bible translation, would sing:
Faith, mighty faith the promise sees,
And looks to God alone.
Laughs at impossibilities
And shouts, “It shall be done!”
Posted in Bible translation, Features, Missionary Spotlight, Videos, tagged Asia, be, Bible, Christian, college, communication, DeMoss Hall, Discovery, Discovery trips, English Second Language, ESL, Global Focus Week, heart, Himalayan, Jim Elliot, language, Liberty University, London, missionary, missions, missions trip, Oral, overseas, Scripture, Short-term, South America, South Asia, student, there, Translation, Translator, Travel, trip, university, Urbana, where, wherever, Wycliffe, Wycliffe Bible Translators on September 17, 2013 | 3 Comments »
By Elizabeth Wilson, short-term trip coordinator for Wycliffe USA
This week I have the privilege of representing Wycliffe at Liberty University’s semi-annual Global Focus Week. As I walk through DeMoss Hall, I’m drawn to the vivid pictures of people from other countries, pieces of bright ethnic fabric, and statistics of how many people haven’t yet heard the Gospel.
There, I heard that more than two thousand* people groups did not have access to God’s Word in their language, and I began to ask God how I could be involved in His mission around the world. I wanted to go overseas as soon as possible, but my elementary education degree required four more years of school.
I thought about a quote from Jim Elliot, a missionary who was killed in South America in the mid-50s. “Wherever you are, be all there,” he had said.
I joined an Indian graduate student association group at my school so that I could be around people who were different from me. To my surprise, I made close Indian friends who taught me their language and culture and helped prepare me to interact with a variety of religious backgrounds once I arrived in India, down the road.
I also volunteered at my church’s ESL (English as a Second Language) program during the school year, and I interned with a missions group in Southall, London, during summer breaks. All the while, God was confirming my desire to work with people in India.
When I heard about someone who was translating Bible stories for oral and nomadic people groups in North India, I eventually got connected to Wycliffe Bible Translators, where I have been serving for the last ten years.
I started out in South Asia, translating stories from Scripture for a people group tucked away in the Himalayan Mountains (see the video below). It was a dream come true to watch God’s Word reach people who had never had it in their language. After three years there, I started speaking at colleges, and then served as a story-translator consultant for different regions.
Today I coordinate short-term trips (called “Discovery trips”) so that others can get a glimpse of God’s Work through Bible translation around the world. I continue to ask for God’s help to be “all there” no matter where I live, or what I do.
Looking back, I believe that my college years were the primer for my life’s engine to take off. The energy and passion I had were not wasted, and those experiences have had significant impact on who I have become and what I am doing now.
My advice to college students considering a life of following God, whether or not that includes overseas work, is to invest deeply in exploring avenues and adventures around you. From short-term trips, to summer internships, to local church outreach, to praying for Bibleless people groups—get involved. Do it now. And while you’re at it, give it your all.
“You will never regret your choice (to serve God). It is wonderful to be free to pour out all, every drop of one’s life; and that is what you have done and are doing. No, you will never regret it, never.” —Amy Carmichael (missionary to India)
*Today the number has dropped below two thousand! Learn more here.
Telling Stories in South Asia
Spend a day with Elizabeth as she helps South Asian Christians translate Bible stories into their own languages in this video:
Posted in Events, News, tagged 2013, award, Bible, Bible Fellowship, Bob Creson, couple, Dallas, dedication, Evans, impact, Oak Cliff, Scripture, Scripture Impact Award, September, Translation, win on September 10, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Drs. Tony and Lois Evans received the 2013 Scripture Impact Award to recognize their work promoting and supporting Scripture translations around the world.
Wycliffe USA President and CEO Bob Creson presented the award at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas on Sept. 8.
Dr. Tony Evans is the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship (OCBF), a church he and his wife, Dr. Lois Evans, started in 1976 with only 10 members. OCBF now has more than 9,700 members and over 100 active ministries, including intentional outreach in support of Scripture translation.
Click here to read the rest of this story at its original source on our website.