Archive for December, 2015

Wycliffe USA President Bob Creson and his wife, Dallas, thank all of those around the world who have played a role in furthering Bible translation through their partnership with Wycliffe. In their message, Bob and Dallas also discuss the life change that happened in the Bum people as a result of receiving the New Testament in their own language.

During their Scripture celebration, two Bum chiefs rejoiced over the arrival of the New Testament by bringing the Scriptures in on a throne-like bench normally reserved for men of their high position. This act represents the fact that the Bum now consider God’s Word to be their highest form of authority. Bob and Dallas express their joy over the fact that the Bum and many others now have access to God’s Word in their own language this Christmas and can personally know the Prince of Peace.

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Bill and Vonette

The work and ministry of Cru is completely entwined with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Most people are aware of our partnership with the JESUS Film Project, but most may not be aware of how instrumental Bill Bright was in our move from southern California to Orlando, Florida. We’re not only partners but also neighbors with our colleagues “across the pond” from us.

Our partnership is built around a commitment to God’s Word. Vonette Bright, along with her husband, Bill, was committed to reaching the world for Jesus Christ. Their efforts fueled an incredible missions movement. To honor our mutual commitment to the role God’s Word plays in reaching the world for Christ, Wycliffe, with Bright Impact Awardsupport from Vonette, created the Bill Bright Scripture Impact Award recognizing those who have followed in their steps with a lifelong dedication to proclaiming the Good News about Jesus contained in Scripture.

At a Christmas reception my wife, Dallas, and I recently attended, Vonette — knowing she would be in heaven soon — said, “When you hear I’m there, you can cheer!” We’re cheering today as Vonette was reunited with Bill and welcomed to heaven by Christ himself.

Vonette once said that the way she liked to start each day, just before she opened her eyes, was to say, ‘Lord, this is your day, and I want you to live it through me. Take away any anxiety, and take away any apprehension. Let me express your thoughts. Let me be your mouthpiece.’ It’s giving him control today.”

This is exactly how Vonette lived her life. She was God’s mouthpiece, exemplifying moral and spiritual values, and ministering to women all Vonetteover the world. She was a mom, a grandmother and a wife, and she had the talent and life experience to speak directly to the hearts of women today.

One part of Vonette’s legacy I’m most grateful for, is that she and Bill valued God’s Word above all else. “It is this book that tells us how to relate to God; it tells us how to relate to each other; it tells us how to relate to family,” Vonette once said. “This book tells us so much of the truth we should be applying every day and with such excitement. So many people look at biblical truth as being binding and legalistic and unhappy, but if you want to know real liberty, just apply the Word of God to your life.”

Thanking God today for Vonette’s lifetime of faithfulness, and the legacy she leaves,

Bob Creson
Wycliffe Bible Translators USA

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Spanish Videos Available

A few of our short videos are now available in Spanish. If Spanish is your heart language or you know someone who would benefit from these Spanish versions, we hope you’ll be blessed by them and share them with others!


Por qué traducir la Biblia (Why Bible Translation):

Aprenda cómo la Biblia transforma la vida de personas cuando está escrita en un lenguaje que ellos claramente pueden entender, y descubrir cuántos grupos lingüísticos siguen esperando su propia traducción.

(Learn how the Bible transforms the lives of people when it is written in a language they can understand clearly, and find out how many language groups are still awaiting their own translations.)



Que conlleva la traducción de la Biblia (Portrait of Bible Translation):

La traducción de la Biblia con lleva más que simplemente traductores. Es un esfuerzo de equipo, y un sinnúmero de servicios en áreas que probablemente nunca usted esperaría. ¡Vea este video para saber cómo Dios puede utilizarlo a usted para alcanzar a la gente sin Biblia!

(Bible translation takes more than just Bible translators. It’s a team effort, and many service roles are in areas you would probably never expect. Watch this video to find out how God can use you to reach people with the Bible!)



Sus oraciones ayudan para que personas obtengan la Biblia (Your Prayers Help People Get the Bible):

A menudo subestimamos el poder de la oración para cambiar el mundo a nuestro alrededor. Pero como muestran los ejemplos en este video, nuestras oraciones pueden ayudar a cambiar la vida de la gente en maneras significativas. Y al simplemente orar, usted puede ayudar a que la gente reciba una Biblia traducida en su propio lenguaje.

Este video narra la historia de la vida de un niño de cinco años, llamado Sam, cuya fe y oraciones persistentes ayudaron al pueblo Rapa Nui de la Isla de Pascua obtener el comienzo de la traducción de la Biblia. Y cuenta cómo un hombre Juni se convirtió en cristiano, y luego en traductor para su propio lenguaje, a través de oraciones fieles de varias personas.

(We often underestimate the power of prayer to change the world around us. But as the examples in this video show, our prayers can help change people’s lives in significant ways. And just by praying, you can help people get a Bible translation in their language. This video tells the story of five-year-old Sam, whose faith and persistent prayers helped the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island get a Bible translation started. And it tells how a Juni man became a Christian, and later a Bible translator for his own language, through the faithful prayers of several people.)

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Christmas Desktop Download

As Christmastime approaches and you begin to decorate your houses and trees, why not decorate your desktop, too?

We’ve got the perfect way to celebrate the true meaning for Christmas in the form of this beautiful desktop download that declares Jesus’ arrival in Matthew 1:23. While you rejoice in this holiday, be sure to share the download with others as well, so they can enjoy it, too!


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A man and woman walk over a bridge carrying goods purchased from the local outdoor market in Southern China.

A man and woman walk over a bridge carrying goods purchased from the local outdoor market in Southern China.

In October we shared “Part One” of this series. If you missed it, we encourage you to take a moment and catch up before reading facts #3, 4 and 5 in our series!  

  1. Some languages don’t have words for stuff we say every day.

The Bible is full of fancy words you’re not likely to hear outside church, like “righteousness,” “sanctification” and “transgressions.” Finding a way to translate some of these theological monsters can leave a translator with a migraine.

But sometimes even the everyday words can be difficult to translate. For example, Bible translators for the Southwest Tanna language of Vanuatu ran into several issues when they tried to translate Genesis 4:15. In that verse God said that if anyone killed Cain, they would be avenged seven times. Trouble is, Southwest Tanna doesn’t have a word for ‘avenge’ or a unique word for the number seven! How do you even begin to translate verses like that?

Although they weren’t able to use numbers, the team members eventually came up with a translation that clearly communicated that if someone killed Cain, he’d receive a larger punishment than the one God had given Cain. But it took a lot of head scratching and prayer to find the right solution!

  1. Some languages have way more verbs than we do in English.

While some languages don’t seem to have words for stuff we say every day, others have so many specific words that translators really have to choose carefully which one they need (or sometimes want) to use.

For example, the Tzeltal language in Southern Mexico has 26 very specific verbs for “to carry.” Lat’ means “to carry in a plate or container,” cats’ means “to carry tightly gripped between two objects” and tuch means “to carry in a vertical position.” And that’s just three of the options!

Choosing the right word for each verse can make translation a little tricky, but the great thing is that it adds a layer of visual detail we miss in English with our one verb, “carry.” While an English speaker might be frustrated by the limited word options in Southwest Tanna, imagine how a Tzeltal speaker would feel about our one English word for carry! This helps explain why scholars invest years of their lives learning the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek — because no translation is quite like the original.

  1. Some languages can be whistled.

Here’s a funny story from Mexico:

One day a Mazateco woman was sweeping the floor of the Bible translators’ house when a young man walked by whistling. When she heard him, the woman ran outside and began to beat him with her broom! After breaking them up, the translators asked what was going on. The woman said the young man was saying bad things about her! And that’s how the translators found out Mazatecos sometimes use whistling to talk to each other.

Mazateco is just one of several languages around the world that can be whistled. I guess you can offend people, even if you thought you were just making music with your mouth!

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Three Generations of Faith

What if your willingness to obey God’s calling — no matter how small or big — could change your entire life? The truth is that God often doesn’t give big-picture plans for our lives, with each step mapped out neatly. Most often, he just asks us to follow his voice from day to day and to use the gifts he’s given us to take part in opportunities happening around us. The simple decision to be polite to that stranger in line at the grocery store, pray intentionally for your neighbors or register for a conference could be the very thing God uses to change your life and the lives of generations to come.

That’s exactly what happened in the Stobbe family through the Urbana student missions conference. In 2012, Bethany Stobbe felt called to register for Urbana and attend the five-day event. Among her family members, Bethany was a third-generation attendee of the conference.

It was at Urbana 12 that Bethany sought out different organizations regarding potential job opportunities. She wanted to learn more about missions and organizations that were offering jobs in her field of study — marketing. It was at Urbana, in fact, that she first connected with volunteers from Wycliffe. “We looked and there was one position listed at that time that [the volunteer] emailed to me,” Bethany recalls. “That position didn’t fit what I was looking for, but I was glad to know there were jobs that were at least similar to what I wanted to do long-term.”

Bethany’s passions and talents were concentrated in marketing, and though she talked with numerous organizations about opportunities to serve, Wycliffe was still in the back of her mind. “After looking at several websites and organizations [to apply for jobs], I remembered the Wycliffe website,” she says. “There was a post listed there for a position as a marketing coordinator which sounded like a great place for me to start. I applied to that one job, got it, and here I am in Orlando!”

Bethany currently works in the Marketing department at the Wycliffe USA headquarters in Orlando, Florida. There, she has the chance to tell others about all the ways they can support Bible translation.

But God started using Urbana to call the Stobbe family to support missions long before 2012. Bethany’s grandfather, Les, attended the Urbana missions conference in the 1950s, and the experience had a lasting impact on him, too. “We traveled in a bus carrying students from three colleges in Winnipeg and began singing hymns out of the InterVarsity Hymnal,” Les remembers. “I still love those hymns, especially after singing them with 15,000 other students.”

The connections Les made at Urbana eventually led him to work at Moody Press in the 1970s. There, his story converged with Wycliffe, as he had the opportunity to work with many Wycliffe writers, since Moody Press was the unofficial publisher of Wycliffe biographies at the time.

In 1979, Les’ son Gerry attended the conference. “I grew up in a home with a mission focus,” Gerry notes, “but I didn’t own it personally until Urbana.” That year, he felt called by God to take a summer missions trip to Vienna. And that summer missions trip eventually led Gerry and his family to support a missionary family — one that they have been partnering with for over 20 years.


It is amazing how God used Les’ experience at Urbana to increase his heart for missions, trickling down two generations. Growing up in a family that was focused on missions and on following God wherever he led, greatly affected how Les’ son Gerry raised his own daughters — Bethany among them.

God’s next step for your life may or may not be to attend Urbana 15. And that’s okay! But would you take some time to pray for the thousands of young people who will be attending? Pray that they, just like the Stobbes, will be inspired and challenged to participate in the work that God is doing around the world.

And for those who are feeling God’s tug on their heart at the mention of this five-day conference, it’s not too late to register!

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Kate and Mack have finished their long trip around the world, and have learned how 12 countries celebrate Christmas. Some countries celebrate it much like we do in the U.S., but some celebrate it quite differently. Kate and Mack are here to help your kids and families learn about the diversity in Christmas traditions!

We’re so excited about these lessons, and we wanted to give you a little sneak peak of the fun your family can have over the next few weeks.

Want to sign up? Visit wycliffe.org/12-days-of-christmas! And if you love the lessons and want to keep traveling with Kate and Mack, you can stay connected with all their travels at wycliffe.org/a-z. They’re having adventures you won’t want to miss!



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