Posts Tagged ‘community’



We’d like to give you a sneak peek of the Wycliffe calendar — check out these beautiful scenes and imagine yourself there. Each month has a different image and verse specifically chosen to help you visualize the beauty and truths of the Bible.




For over 30 years Wycliffe USA has created a calendar for the upcoming year, and for the last six years we’ve created a special theme for the calendar. This year’s calendar gives a glimpse of cultures and communities around the world. The theme is best summarized in the closing paragraph of our intro: “Our God is the God of all cultures and communities, and he is calling each of us to himself. And just as he promises, we will one day join together singing his praises for all eternity.”

This is a great way to be reminded of God’s heart for his people, and you can easily share this reminder with your friends and family. Purchase yours today!

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Photo: Greg Blok
Meet Dawn. She’s a sweet woman who wants to learn to read so she can read the Bible, but she’s never had the opportunity. For many years Dawn was the only Christian in her village in Southeast Asia. She has clung faithfully to God, but experiences pain and numbness in her legs and feet and seizures that only happen when she prays. More recently, there are a few others in her village who are also Christians, one of whom is training to be a pastor. God is moving in this community, but the spiritual warfare is evident. Please pray for Dawn that she would know healing from the Lord and that God’s kingdom would continue to grow in her village and people group.

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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.

Hope for the Rawa

Don and Norma Toland with the first printed Rawa New Testament. Photo by Dave Smith.

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 adapedt 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.”

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Photo by Zeke du Plessis
Words by Elyse Patten

Many hands present the finished book to those gathered at the celebration for the Naro New Testament in Botswana. This image celebrates that the work of Bible translation is done by a community of people, often representing different villages and churches. Each person brings his or her own faith, understanding, and language skills to the group. Far from being the biased opinion of one translator, a finished New Testament like this one is the result of whole communities discussing and agreeing together on the various theological meanings, names, key words, and idioms. This is no quick process. And when the Scriptures are published, that is not the end. A new generation who will grow up in God’s Word will one day want to revise the translation and update the language used. Reading, studying, discussing, understanding, preaching and translating God’s Word afresh is the job of each new generation of believers.

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By Elyse Patten

Photo by George Hsia

Community living sure is colorful! This image comes from the city of Palembang, Indonesia which is home to Malay, Chinese, Indian, Arab, and European descendants who live in extraordinary unity. Although Indonesian is the official language, and English, Arabic, and Chinese are also widely used, the people of this city enjoy their own vernacular: Baso Pelembang. Learning the local language is essential for any resident who wants to connect with their neighbors, enjoy the local radio and TV stations, and make friends. Baso Pelembang collects and creates the unique identity and unity of this city. Language is much more than a tool for education and business, it is a instrument for friendship, worship, and community. And when you can choose which one to use, you always choose the one that is closest to your heart.

Click here to learn how you can pray for the work of language development and Bible translation in Indonesia.

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Four hundred people, eighty nations, and one vision. Last month leaders from all the partners of the Wycliffe Global Alliance met together in Asia for a week of sharing the joys, challenges, plans, and hopes of the ministry of Bible translation in their nations. Here Fajak Avajani, leader of the Episcopal Church of Sudan Translation Department, holds his Tira New Testament while listening to the morning session on missiology. During the closing reflection time for the conference Fajak shared with the whole group.

“I came to this conference with a bleeding heart,” Fajak said. “And I am leaving this conference with a bleeding heart, because my country is bleeding.”

The facilitator called for a time of prayer for Sudan, and many colleagues gathered around in support. Our world is big, and many of its peoples are hurting. The vision to see every language community with access to the Good News is big, and not without difficulties. But if God is for us, who can be against us? We are in this together.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Sudan.
Read more about how prayer played a vital role for Fajak and the Tira New Testament project.

Photo & Words: Elyse Patten

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Romans 8:31 (NLT) Do you find power or comfort in this Scripture? Can you remember a time when you depended on God to help you overcome?

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