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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?”

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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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Roger and Joan Fisher owned the farm where Roger grew up, which had been given to them by Roger’s father many years before. The land was used by a tenant farmer who, over the years, had expressed an interest in purchasing the land. But for sentimental reasons, the Fishers had declined to sell the property to the farmer.

Eventually, circumstances caused Roger and Joan to change their minds. The time required to manage the land was too great since they lived 1,400 miles away. While Roger’s family owned the land, the value of the property had increased greatly — so much so that when they started preparing the land for sale, they ran into a major obstacle: They would need to pay $158,000 in capital gains taxes!

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The Fishers met with a Wycliffe Foundation gift planning advisor to discuss their situation and share their goals for the land sale. They desired four key things: to sell the land without a large payout of capital gains taxes; replace the rental income they had been receiving from the tenant farmer; make charitable gifts to several ministries; and leave part of the proceeds to their children.

The gift planning advisor outlined a plan that could accomplish their objectives. By gifting undivided interest in the land to a charitable remainder trust and a Wycliffe donor-advised fund, they were able to draw an income for their lifetimes that is 25 percent more than they were receiving from the farm rental income. They were also able to make immediate grants to Wycliffe, their church and several other ministries. After all that, they kept an interest for themselves that will be part of the inheritance they leave their children. Together, the three owners (the Fishers, Wycliffe and the trust company) sold their interests to the tenant farmer and received their proportionate shares of the sale proceeds.

Through this tax-wise plan, Roger and Joan were thrilled they could accomplish their goals of providing for themselves, their children and the work of God’s kingdom. Joan says, “God’s Word has made such an impact on our lives — giving us direction, hope and joy. We want that same life-changing power for others. Our resources are a gift from God and we are blessed to be able to invest them into Bible translation for speakers of other languages.”

If you’d like to learn more about including Wycliffe Bible Translators in your estate plans, including the donation of land, charitable remainder trusts, or donor-advised funds, please contact us (toll-free) at 1-877-493-3600 or visit wycliffefoundation.org.

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Isn’t it amazing how God often exceeds our wildest expectations when we pray?

Wycliffe recently partnered with Moody Radio on a campaign to support local translators in Peru, Brazil and Colombia. God faithfully answered our prayers (and the prayers of many of you) by not just meeting our campaign goals, but surpassing them! And he showed us that this event was about more than just reaching campaign goals; it was about providing many people with the opportunity to hear about and give to the work of Bible translation for the first time.

Callers who participated in the campaign shared incredible stories of how God worked in the hearts, and we wanted to share just a few of them with you.

  • Michael was recently released from prison, where he’d greatly benefitted from a ministry based on God’s Word. During his time in prison, he’d seen firsthand how the hunger and thirst of fellow prisoners was quenched by the hope of the gospel, and he wanted to give a gift to Bible translation so that others with that same longing can find hope in Christ.
  • Elisabeth told her own exciting story. “I’ve been listening the last couple of days,” she said, “and this morning, I found a $6,000 error in my account … so I decided to give.” We’re so thrilled that Elisabeth’s first response was to give so that others could hear the gospel in their language!
  • Edna revealed that she had been praying about what she could do to honor her late mother. When she heard about the campaign, and was touched by the testimonies of people whose lives are being changed by God’s Word, she decided to give to Bible translation as an act of remembrance.
  • Wiley also saw his prayers answered. He’d been looking for an investment with eternal value, and when he heard the incredible testimonies shared during the campaign, he thought, “This is the most worthy cause.” Praise God!

Prayer was the cornerstone of the Moody Radio campaign. We stepped out in faith and trusted that God would move the hearts of listeners to give towards the work of Bible translation. And because of the prayers of our worldwide prayer team, God not only helped us exceed our goal, but he also reminded us that when we trust in him, he will always surprise us.

Our hearts are full as we declare, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, NLT)!

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Words and Photo by Katie Kuykendall

In a dimly lit church, this young Senegalese man studies his Bible intently by the light of a single window. The members of this congregation speak Creole, Manjak, and the national language – French. Though French is not the language most of them know best, many only have access to French Bibles and glean what they can from the text despite their limited understanding.

One Manjak pastor said, “Sometimes people don’t understand the Bible in French. Sometimes we read it in Creole [in church], and only some understand. But when we read it in Manjak, everybody understands.”

Another Senegalese man said, “God’s Word is something of greatness, and it’s for all.”

As a team translates Scripture into Manjak, it’s already transforming hearts. Watch the story of one man whose life changed as a result of the Gospel in his language.

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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!

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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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“It is a surprise to me to hear someone reading the Word of God in Lubwisi,” said Kijanjaalo Christopher, a 72-year-old Babwisi man from Uganda. His community speaks Lubwisi as their heart language, though their Bibles don’t reflect that. “This was impossible for us to have the Word of God written in Lubwisi because, in terms of finance, we are not qualified because we are poor.”

Many Babwisi people have a real thirst for the Bible. Without Lubwisi Scripture, the church has struggled to develop strong leaders who can teach effectively. Pastor Bakasoma Michael said, “There is no way the Babwisi community will understand the Savior when they do not have the Lubwisi Bible, which they can understand. As pastors, we struggled to understand the words of the Bibles that are not in our language.”

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In recent years, God has answered the prayers of Kijanjaalo Christopher, Pastor Bakasoma Michael and countless other Babwisi people by providing four educated, dedicated Babwisi men to translate their Scriptures. Since 2006, the Babwisi have partnered with Wycliffe and the Seed Company in Bible translation. Today they’ve completed the New Testament and parts of the Old Testament, which will be dedicated in June 2015.

But the Babwisi need help getting the Bibles printed. Wycliffe is working with the Central Florida Christian Chamber of Commerce to print and deliver 5,000 Bibles to the Babwisi this summer, and you can help us. A donation of just $8.50 — less than the cost of eating one meal out — provides a Bible. Visit Bibles for Babwisi to learn how you can get involved today.

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“We would like to find the [Dâw] tribe. Where are these [Dâw]?” missionary Valtier Martins said when he first arrived in the Amazonas town of São Gabriel, Brazil.

He was answered with a laugh.

“Ok, the first person you find there in the street, fallen down, drunk—that’s a [Dâw],” was the reply.

Valtier finally located the Dâw and began living among them, teaching God’s Word. Several of them were wary of the foreigner. They had long been exploited by the plantation owners they worked for, and they assumed the missionary would do the same.

But this outsider was different. He and nearly a dozen others taught them God’s Word over the course of many years.

“Everything began getting better little by little because we were listening to the Word of God,” deacon Célio Dâw said. “And God kept giving us more and more strength.”

Click here to watch a video in which Célio and three other Dâw men tell their stories of how God spoke to them, drawing them out of despair and drunkenness to spiritual leadership. Today, the Dâw have grown from sixty to one hundred and twenty people who are respected in their community.

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