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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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“Bible translation is not for people who are perfect. It is not for people who have it all. [It is for] people who know [God] and want to work in faith with him. And then their lives will be unfolding into beauty –– into something very beautiful.”

Lydia Teera was only a teenager in Kampala, Uganda, when she lost her father to HIV. His death left her orphaned, but it also left her confused, frustrated and betrayed. Lydia had not known that her father was battling the disease. He had kept it a secret from her and the church community in which he served for his entire life.

In the wake of Mr. Teera’s passing, Pastor Tim Kibirige and his wife provided Lydia with a home. Though they did not have much to offer her in the way of financial support, what they did offer is something that changed her life forever –– the healing power of God’s Word. While living with the pastor and his wife, Lydia began to study the Bible. She came face-to-face with God, the giver of all hope. As a result, Lydia began to slowly heal from the scars of her past. But through reading Scripture, she was also able to look toward the future with purpose. In the comforting arms of her Heavenly Father, Lydia found the home she had lost.

As she studied the Bible, Lydia grew more and more passionate about serving God in any way she could. God led her to Wycliffe Bible Translators, where Lydia became the first Wycliffe missionary sent out from Uganda. Initially she grappled with the decision to become a missionary. But as Lydia prayed, she recognized an important truth. “I’m part of a church,” she reminded herself. “And we’ve been called to go and serve. Then why not go?”

Lydia.jpg

Lydia, like many others, grasped the mission of Bible translation. She realized how much God had changed her own heart and life through Scripture. Today she is still committed to share that vision, purpose and hope with the people around her.

Each December 1 is recognized as World AIDS Day –– an opportunity for people around the world to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS. And though it may only have been a piece of Lydia’s story, through encountering and grieving this disease, God drew Lydia into a relationship with himself and ultimately allowed her to share her story with many others. He took Lydia’s broken circumstances and unfolded them into beauty, as only he can.

On the surface, it might seem like Bible translation has little to do with World AIDS Day. After all, the Bible is not a medical manual, written to save the body. But for those suffering from the pain of HIV/AIDS, God’s Word offers something that no doctor can provide — hope and healing for eternity.

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You did it!

By 1 p.m. ET yesterday, you helped us achieve our goal of 500 printed books of Luke, and then you kept on giving. By 6:30 p.m., you more than doubled that number with over 1,000 books. Now you’ve funded printing for 1,440 books of Luke, for a total of $8,642 raised. Because of your gifts, people who have never heard the miracle of the Christmas story will now have the hope of God’s love for them in their own language!

Giving Tuesday is an amazing day to celebrate generosity and to give back because God has given us so much. But it doesn’t have to end there. In fact, you can make every day “Giving Tuesday” by praying about ways that God can use you to bless others. Perhaps it is through small acts of kindness, like letting someone go in front of you in line at the grocery store, or cooking a meal for your new neighbor. It can even be bigger things like partnering with a missionary, or serving as a volunteer in your community.

At Wycliffe, we are choosing to make every Tuesday throughout the month of December “Giving Tuesday.” If you’d like to continue helping us meet year-end needs in Bible translation, take a look at the projects available here.

Whatever God places on your heart, you can use each day to show his love to others! On behalf of the Bibleless people all over the world, thank you so much for your unwavering partnership in Bible translation.

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intl bible day

Image courtesy of YouVersion.

Tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 23, Christians around the world will set aside time to celebrate the Scriptures.

“We believe that setting aside a day to honor God’s word gives Christians a chance to show solidarity despite differing backgrounds, denominations, and political beliefs,” Elise Inman, spokeswoman for the National Bible Association, told the Christian Post. “International Day of the Bible is truly meant to be a time where Christians set their differences aside and unite to honor the Bible.”

To participate in the International Day of the Bible, you’re encouraged read, listen to, or watch any passage of the Bible at noon local time, either privately or in a group setting.

If you’re looking for inspiration, YouVersion has created an official 10-day reading plan for the event. You can also share your favorite Bible verse on social media with #BibleCelebration, and see what verses others are sharing.

Join millions across the world as we gather to read Scripture together!

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giving_tuesday_savethedate

What can you do with $6 during your Christmas shopping? You could probably buy a Christmas-themed coffee, or a few decorations for your tree or even a stack of Christmas cards to give to your family and friends. Can you think of a meaningful, inspiring gift you could buy someone for just $6?

We can! This year you can share the Christmas story with someone who’s never heard or read it before. Help provide language groups around the world with a printed copy of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke for just $6 — the same amount that you would spend on a coffee or a few decorations!

Giving Tuesday

What: Your chance to give the Christmas story to someone who needs it!
Just $6 prints the book of Luke.
When: Dec. 1, 2015
How: Watch for more details soon!

e Celebration

You’re invited to join us on December 1 for Giving Tuesday — the globally celebrated day dedicated to giving back. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on all God has blessed us with and to be a blessing to others!

Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the big day. Together we can make Giving Tuesday an incredible chance to give the greatest gift of all.

“…but the angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!’” (Luke 2:10-11, NLT).

You don’t want to miss it!

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Touba village chief

Bright eyes, a warm smile, and inviting laughter: this Senegalese man can’t contain his joy.  A powerful change recently came to his community in Senegal – fathers began allowing, and encouraging, their daughters to attend school for the first time.

It’s not uncommon for girls in many places around the world to be taught that they do not belong in the classroom. Since schooling is costly and money is always tight, many families believe it’s more worthwhile to invest in educating their brothers and male peers.

But thankfully, new opportunities like minority language literacy classes and Bible translation programs are causing more people to see the value of education for everyone. Watch this video to learn how literacy is bringing new hope to families.

Photo & Words: Katie Kuykendall

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