Archive for December, 2011

Thank you!

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your partnership in the ministry of Bible translation during 2011. God worked through your prayers and financial support to reach Bibleless people worldwide with His life-changing Word.

As the year draws to a close, you may be considering a year-end gift to Wycliffe. In order for gifts made by electronic funds transfer or credit card to be considered a 2011 contribution by the IRS, they need to be made by 4:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 29.  To give your gift, please visit http://www.wycliffe.org/give or call 1-866-736-4387.

Thank you, and may 2012 be a year full of blessing for you and your family.

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Ethel Wallis

Ethel Emily Wallis, one of Wycliffe’s unsung heroes, went peacefully home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, December 14, at approximately 9:30 p.m. She was 96 years of age.

“Aunt Ethel is safely home,” Mary Kathleen Green Waldner, Ethel’s niece who also used to work for Wycliffe, said. “Her focus to the end was to see every tribe, tongue, and nation hear the message of God’s love and salvation in their own language. When we talked about this, her eyes twinkled.”

In her early years, Ethel studied journalism at the University of California, Los Angeles. It was there she became friends with Florence Hansen Cowan, Velma Pickett, and Evelyn Griset Pike, all members of the second wave of Wycliffe pioneers.

Because of Ethel’s training in journalism, Wycliffe founder William Cameron Townsend challenged her to write the first book about Wycliffe. She rose to the challenge, producing Two Thousand Tongues to Go along with Mary A. Bennett. In the years that followed, Ethel wrote eight more books including Dayuma: Life Under Waorani Spears, Tarir: My Story, Otomi Shepherdess, God Speaks Navajo, Aucas Downriver: Dayuma’s Story Today, and The Cakchiquel Album.

Ethel was also a linguist and wrote more than twenty-five articles for professional journals describing the linguistic characteristics of the languages she studied.

Over the course of her lifetime, Ethel did both Bible translation and literacy work serving languages in Mexico and Eastern Europe. She was also instrumental in helping to open the doors to linguistic work in Southeast Asia.

Ethel Emily Wallis’s memorial service is scheduled for January 21, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. in the Hillcrest Meeting House, 2705 Mountain View Drive, La Verne, CA 91750.

Postal notes to the family can be sent to Eloise Wallis Greene at 2701 Mountain View Drive, #246, La Verne, CA 91750 or Mary Kathleen Greene Waldner at 110 Beaverfork Rd, Conway, AR 72032-9515. E-mail notes can be sent to Eloise Greene via Martha Heisel at mmheisel@verizon.net or Mary Kathleen Greene Waldner at waldnerdesign@gmail.com.

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Promise - Solomon Islands Photo by Martha Matzke

With my papers wrapped in plastic to protect them from the splash of the waves, I climb into the small dugout canoe and paddle twenty-five minutes to a neighboring village. Today I plan to check Mark 6, 7 and 8 with people in the village to make sure that the meaning is clear and that the translation doesn’t cause any misunderstandings…..

This is no unusual scene in the Pacific Islands – gentle waves, sandy beach and a shower of rain leaving a reminder of God’s promise. God has blessed the people of the Pacific with a desire to know Him and throughout the many islands in this vast ocean, Bible translators are hard at work. This photo is from the Solomon Islands archipelago where at least 17 different translation projects are currently in progress – and plenty more eagerly waiting for help to get started. How would you fancy paddling a canoe to work each morning?

You can read the rest of this story on thewordislife.net.

Editor’s Note: This story was submitted by Elyse Patten who works with the Wycliffe Global Alliance.

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Outcomes Winter 2011

Wycliffe Bible Translators USA’s Integrated Marketing Communications team and the Last Languages Campaign are featured in the Winter edition of Outcomes Magazine.


The changing world of ministry communications.

By Scott Toncray

It was October 2006, and I was about to embark upon a life-changing journey: my first New Testament dedication, which would be in a remote village in Papua New Guinea. As I began my trek to the village, I soon learned the word remote simply was not an adequate term to describe just how far away this village is located. After 16 hours in a commercial aircraft, I arrived in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. From there, I flew on a smaller plane until we reached a base camp in the highlands of the country. Once at the base camp, I crawled into an even smaller bush aircraft that eventually landed on a grass airstrip on the top of a mountain.

Though the mountaintop was in the middle of a dense rain forest, local villagers were waiting, eager to greet us by gently placing flowers around our necks. We were getting closer to our destination, but we were not there just yet. We strapped our luggage and gear on to our backs and hiked to the bottom of the mountain. The trip from Wycliffe’s Orlando, Florida headquarters to my temporary lodging under a palm-thatched roof in the village took three days, and that’s not counting numerous time zone crossings. Even as I traveled there by aircraft, during those three days indigenous Papua New Guineans ventured there by foot. To continue reading this article click here:

Editor’s Note: Outcomes is the national magazine of Christian Leadership Alliance, and it is published and distributed quarterly to CLA members. The purpose of Outcomes is to fulfill CLAs mission to exhort, equip and empower Christian leaders to think biblically and lead effectively as faithful stewards in the service of Jesus Christ. Outcomes equips Christian leaders for excellence in governance, leadership, management and resource development.

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New Songs

By Catherine Rivard. Catherine is serving in Bible translation in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Read her blog at http://www.catherinepng.blogspot.com

Our wasmama and her daughter reading the songbook

“He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3, NLT).

Even with the kerosene lamp, it was getting too dark to see. My teammate, Jessica, and I were singing through our English hymnbook, but now the words shifted and blurred in the shadows. As I set it beside me on our village house’s veranda, I heard the last notes of The Old Rugged Cross. I turned to see my wasmama (host mother) Margaret humming with a small smile. “I used to know that song in the Tok Pisin language,” she sighed, “but I haven’t been to church in so long that I’ve forgotten.”

I nodded silently. One of the few believers in the village, she had a strong witness in the community, despite persecution and opposition. Two years ago, her preteen son had died suddenly. The wound was still fresh, and without the support of family, she hadn’t gone back to church, wondering how God could allow his death.

Suddenly she stood up. “You should hear those songs. On Sunday, we’ll go to my old church.” So the following Sunday, Jessica and I followed our wasmama and her two nieces for an hour’s walk up the mountain to the local Baptist church. There, as we worshipped in English, Tok Pisin, and Bargam (the local language), I twisted back on the bench to see a smile again spread across my wasmama’s face as she praised her Lord with her beloved hymns.

Several weeks later, when it was time for us to leave, we thanked our wasmama—and gave her a songbook. She reached for it gingerly, tracing the Tok Pisin words on the cover, then held it to her chest, caressing it like a child. She looked up at us, her voice full and cracking. “I hadn’t been to church in years,” she said, “but then you came and sang those songs. So we went, and my heart was glad, but I didn’t have a songbook to help me remember. But now . . . ” she gripped the book tightly. “Thank you. Now I see it is good for me to go back to church.”

She opened the book and began to hum softly. I recognized the tune: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me . . . . ”

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By Angela Nelson

Get Global Students

You can’t find Taku on Google maps, but it’s there—near the village of Nvu, in northwestern Cameroon, on the west coast of Africa. Four American students returned from spending a week with the Limbum people who live in Taku, far away from modern conveniences.

“They don’t have electricity or running water or anything. They don’t have paved roads. They’re all farmers,” Katrina, a high school junior from Virginia, said. “It’s like a totally different lifestyle, but they are very happy people.”

The students were part of a team sent through Wycliffe USA’s Get Global program, designed to give high school and college students a taste of mission work overseas. Students live with host families from the village and experience what life is like for them.

While they were there, they helped teach both adults and children about HIV/AIDS. The students had always heard HIV/AIDS was a big issue in Africa, but through Get Global they were able to actually meet people who lived with the reality of this disease in their community. They taught the children basic ways to stay healthy and how to prevent the disease. With the adults, they were able to go a little deeper.

“We were encouraging them to talk to their children about the issue—about sex in general because I get the impression that there’s really no concept of ‘the talk’ in that culture,” Zach, a junior at Yale, explained. “They seemed pretty excited about just starting to get a dialogue going. They’re asking really serious questions about it—things like, ‘If a wife wants both her and her husband to get tested, and the husband refuses, what should she do?’ She doesn’t really have that much power to override him. They aren’t questions that really even have answers [but] it’s important to talk about them.”

The team was also a catalyst for funding the audio recording of Kande’s Story into the Limbum language. Kande’s Story tells about a girl whose parents die of HIV/AIDS, leaving her to raise five siblings. As they face struggles, the people in their community—especially the local church—help them survive, learn how to prevent HIV/AIDS, and care for others affected by the disease.

“It’s a nice tool because it’s a fairly story-driven culture,” Zach says. “It’s a culture-sensitive way of presenting AIDS education or also using the church as a resource rather than a place for judgment.”

The story has been translated into 139 languages throughout Africa, which makes it unique. A lot of HIV/AIDS material is not available in minority languages such as Limbum. Even though the team was only there for a week, they were able to leave the Limbum with an audio recording of Kande’s Story in their own language. The material is designed for listening groups to sit around an audio player to hear the story and discuss it in sections.

“Because I live in America, it’s easy for me personally to become self-absorbed,” Laura Grace, a college sophomore from Arkansas, explained. “Here I am in this totally remote village that so few people even know about existing … and I was like ‘God sees these people and loves them and hears them as much as He sees me or any of my friends in America.’“

Editor’s Note: Some 65 million people have been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and more than 30 million have died. Today, 34 million people are living with HIV and 2.7 million people were newly infected in 2010 alone. For more information about Kande’s Story, visit www.scripture-engagement.org/is content/kandes-story If you’d like to participate in a Wycliffe Discovery Trip – please visit: http://www.wycliffe.org/discovery.

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