Posts Tagged ‘Bible translation’

DSCN1710“The urgency to give the Bible to the people is high. We are committed to make sure we aren’t making the remaining people groups wait too long,” says Wycliffe Togo Director, Antonin Azoti. “In order to make it happen, we can’t do it the same way we did 30 years ago. These days it’s quite unthinkable that we would carry out Bible translation without the proper technology. But a lack of equipment is holding us back.”

Wycliffe Togo staff shares available computers, taking shifts to do their work online. This leads to delayed communication and a slowed workflow. Antonin’s goal is to provide the head of each department — Accounting, IT, Communications and Human Resources — with a computer and have 2-3 additional machines for department staff and volunteers to share.

Because budgets are tight, the organization relies on volunteer workers, but the lack of technology also makes it difficult to recruit volunteers. Antonin explains, “The minimum that we can provide volunteers who are willing to give of their time, is a computer to use when they are serving Wycliffe. In our country tablets and computers are not yet widespread. You can’t count on the person to have their own.”

IMG_0485On a visit to Wycliffe USA headquarters in November, Antonin received a stock of refurbished laptops and tablets from the IT department — including several donated through Wycliffe’s “Donate Your Stuff” program. When packing up the devices for his flight home, Antonin shared, “Thank you! To take these back is a great encouragement to the team! We’ve been praying for a time when not having enough equipment won’t be a challenge anymore. These donations contributed to bringing about such a time.”

Please consider donating your unused electronics to Wycliffe. We can turn them into financial support for Bible translation, and in some cases we can send the items to translation projects with technology needs. To learn more, visit Wycliffe.org/donateyourstuff or call 1-800-992-5433.

UPDATE: We are deeply saddened to learn that Antonin’s wife, Adakouvi Grace, passed away on Jan. 15 while traveling to Benin. Please join us in prayer for Antonin and their two children during this immensely difficult time.

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e Celebration

As we begin 2016, we want to celebrate the progress we’re seeing in Bible translation around the world. Any time that the number of languages who don’t have access to Scripture decreases, we rejoice because more people are learning of God in the language that speaks directly to their heart!

Here are translation stats, as of October 2015:

  • There are an estimated 1,800 languages still likely needing Bible translation to begin.
  • 554 languages have the complete Bible.
  • 1,333 languages have the New Testament (and some additional portions).
  • 1,045 languages have just portions (one or more books).

This adds up to 2,932 languages with some Scripture!

And with about 7,000 languages actively spoken around the world, more people have access to God’s Word in their own language today than ever before. As we head into 2016, and more and more people get access to Scripture, we are excited to see what God will continue doing to make his name known among the nations. That is something to celebrate!

Learn more about translation statistics here.

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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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Nigeria is one of three areas with the greatest remaining need for Bible translation in the world. With 512 languages spoken across the country, more than 300 languages still need a translation started. If the goal of seeing a Bible translation in progress in every language that needs it by the year 2025 is to be accomplished, Nigerian Christians will have to play a critical role. The biggest need centers on training and equipping Nigerians to serve in key roles as translators, linguists, recording specialists and more.

In 2005 the Theological College of Northern Nigeria established a four-year bachelor of arts program in Bible translation. Several years later a two-year advanced master’s program and a one-year postgraduate diploma were added. Currently, more than 35 Nigerians are enrolled in these programs.

In addition to specialized courses targeting Bible translation, the linguistics and translation department has provided reliable Internet connection, back-up generator power, printers and a well-stocked library. To date, graduates from the program have had an impact in more than 33 Nigerian languages, and are ready to assume leadership roles in all aspects of Bible translation.

One of the second year students in the Linguistics and Translation Department, Samuel*, was struggling with the question of whether doing Bible translation in minority languages was really worthwhile.

During the Field Assignment part of his training, he was stranded in the village in which he was working due to unrest, unable to communicate with the outside world. He saw one villager killed and another forced to flee for his life; these were men who had helped him on translation.

God used this situation to renew Samuel’s vision for the work of Bible translation. He realized that he had to complete the work God had called him to, so that every people group has the hope of God’s Word in a language they understand. Now his wife desires to join him in this ministry and plans to complete the same degree when Samuel has finished his studies.

In addition to degree-level training, another project offers up to 20 workshops per year, providing training in translation, Scripture use, literacy and language software topics. These workshops serve our partner organizations in Nigeria and help provide better quality support for Bible translation projects as well as allowing flexibility to respond to specific training needs as they arise.

Support Wycliffe’s translation and literacy efforts.


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By Melissa Stillman

I’d seen the statistic before — 90 percent of an American’s assets are non-cash. And, throughout my work with Wycliffe’s project marketing team, I’ve had to ask myself: “What does that statistic really mean?” After some research I can tell you, it means “stuff” — mountains of it! I read once that there are 300,000 items in the average American home.

The more I thought about it (and walked around my house counting things), the more it started to make sense. We’ve made a national pastime out of shopping, from malls the size of theme parks to warehouse stores for groceries. Even as kids, we learn that more is better with “collect them all” kid’s meal toys and Christmas wish lists longer than our arms. We love stuff.

And dealing with all this stuff we’ve accumulated can get stressful. A quarter of us can’t park in our two-car garages because they are bursting at the seams (yep, that’s me). And since our closets, attics and basements are also full, nearly 10 percent of us pay to rent a storage unit to house our extra stuff.

It’s estimated that we spend the equivalent of one year of our lives looking for lost items (!), and whole industries are built around helping us organize our stuff. Each January, I buy magazines that share advice on cutting the clutter, but 12 months later (… or maybe three), I’m right back where I started.


We may think this is a new-to-us, “first world problem,” but in Luke 12:15-21 Jesus tells a story about a farmer in a similar situation. This farmer found himself #blessed by a terrific crop — so big he didn’t have enough room to store it. But instead of sharing the abundance of food, he decided to tear down his existing barn and build a bigger one to store his goodies. As often happens in parables, this didn’t end well for the farmer. He was busy congratulating himself, not knowing he would die that very night.


How can we learn from the farmer’s mistake? It wasn’t the bumper crop that got him in trouble; it was the decision to hoard it. Scripture packs three big life lessons into these seven verses.

  1. Our stuff isn’t really ours.
    It was God who caused the farmer’s crop to flourish and God is still our source of provision today. When we change our perspective to see our stuff as God’s generosity, it makes it easier to understand how we should steward it.

  2. What we do with our stuff matters.
    We aren’t measured by how much we own. In fact, stuff was of very little importance to Jesus during his time on earth. Instead he invites us to give the resources he provided to help build something eternal — his kingdom. We know it’s “more blessed to give than to receive,” but what if we truly understood what it meant to share what we’d been given? To forgo our wants and help supply the needs of others?

  3. Stuff can fill a barn, but not a heart.
    Possessions can’t meet the needs of your heart, but it can sure create a false sense of security, driving a wedge between you and the one true Provider. The Message ends the passage in Luke 12:15-21 this way: “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with self and not with God.” How are you filling your barn?


A young woman using her cell phone.

If you want to make room in your “barn” by sharing what God has entrusted to you, please consider giving those items to Wycliffe. We love stuff, too, because lots of items valued over $75 can make a difference in the work of Bible translation.

The jewelry you aren’t wearing could help introduce people around the world to the beauty of God’s Word in their language.

The boat you didn’t take out this summer, the RV in storage, the ATV or motorcycle taking up half your garage or the car you were thinking of trading in — giving your vehicle will make a lasting impact for Bibleless people groups.

You stashed old models of your electronic devices in the back of your desk drawer. Dig them out and give them to Wycliffe. Donating your laptop, smartphone or tablet means more funding for urgent translation projects.

Surplus inventory from your business can be donated and either placed in a translation project or sold, with the proceeds going to support the work.

To get started, you can visit www.wycliffe.org/donateyourstuff or call 1-800-992-5433. If you decide to give your stuff, we’d love to hear your story. Please email us at catalog@wycliffe.org.

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One thing that has really surprised me about my internship is how many people are willing to give up their time for the sake of the kingdom of God. I’ve met many students who are paying to go to school at Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in order to become missionaries. I have also met many volunteers and interns who are choosing to go unpaid for the summer so they can invest their time as kingdom resources. Not only are there students and volunteers here, but many highly educated people who could have any job they want. These people are choosing to serve on staff or around the world as Bible translators, teachers and in many other roles.

They are not only willing to serve, but do it joyfully and heartily as for the Lord. The people here work harder and are much happier than the people in any other work environment that I’ve experienced. Many of them are stepping out in faith and trusting God to provide for not only themselves, but also their families as they serve the kingdom. What humility and sacrifice has been shown through these servants!

So often, I have taken the privilege of stability in working a nine to five job for granted. I’ve been humbled to see how God has provided for me during this internship and, because of his provisions, it has been easier to work without pay than I ever thought it would be. How rewarding and joyful it is to work for the Lord! I hope to join Wycliffe with my soon-to-be wife, Amy and pray that we might display the same faith in the Lord’s provisions as I saw in others throughout this internship.


Ryan McCoppin

M.S. Computer Science

SIL Language Software Development

Wycliffe Intern

If you’re interested in pursuing an internship with Wycliffe click here to learn more.

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This month we have the privilege of partnering with Moody Radio to make an incredible difference in the lives of local Bible translators in South America!

moodyperuwoman“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:4-5, NLT).

Can you imagine understanding those words from Ephesians for the first time? Our personal encounter with God changes everything. Hearing firsthand and believing that you are a child of God, adopted into his family and loved with an everlasting love, is the most transformational life experience anyone can have. This is what Bible translation is all about.

God is on a mission to reconcile every nation to himself. By his grace, Wycliffe has the privilege of joining him on his mission through Bible translation. Local translators play a crucial role in that!


They understand the nuances of their language, the intricacies of their culture and the hearts of their neighbors better than expatriate personnel ever could. And when they translate a verse or passage of Scripture, the Word becomes human and moves into their village. God is no longer a foreigner to them. He speaks their language in a way that reaches deep into their hearts and leaves them changed for eternity.

For the month of July, Moody Radio stations around the country will be broadcasting about the amazing ways God is working through local Bible translators specifically in Peru, Colombia and Brazil. You’re invited to join Wycliffe and Moody Radio to rally around these translators and help make an eternal difference. Just visit www.wycliffe.org/moody or tune in to your local Moody Radio station to learn more about how God is working in hearts through Bible translation!

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