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Happy Easter to you and yours from Wycliffe USA! We pray you are blessed by the services and celebrations taking place this weekend, and that you can set aside time to reflect on who Christ is and how he demonstrates his love for us.

He is Risen

“Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.’” Matthew 28:1-6

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By Melissa Chesnut

Many people find that today—Thanksgiving—isn’t enough time to sit down and think about the countless ways that God has blessed us. So rather than just setting aside a single day to say thanks, they have turned the whole month of November into a deliberate season of thanking God daily for what He has provided, both big and small. This is a great reminder to think about all the ways God has blessed us, especially before we jump into December and focus on the blessing of Christ Jesus.

Not to miss out, Wycliffe wants to dedicate today to praise God for the numerous ways He has blessed us over the past year. So without further ado…

Wycliffe is thankful for:

  • The faithfulness of a mighty God who continues to empower and equip His people in Bible translation around the world.
  • The exciting news that there are now at least 4.9 billion people who have a Bible available in their first language, and that the number of languages likely needing Bible translation has dropped to 1,919! (For more information about these statistics, visit www.wycliffe.net.)
  • The twenty-nine completed Scriptures that were dedicated this year; praise God that twenty-nine communities now have God’s Word in the language they understand best!
  • The increase in online giving, which has grown from $36,000 in 2008 to $146,000 in 2013. What a blessing!
  • God’s faithfulness in providing financially for our staff around the world.
  • The partnership with Liberty University and the opportunity to participate in their fall missions conference, where our president and CEO, Bob Creson, was able to speak and share about Bible translation to the student body.
  • Our Village Shop is now online in an updated, easy-to-use format. Check it out!
  • Our ninety-nine new staff members who have gone through their orientation training this year.
  • The 18,466 total prayer partners who have signed up and committed to pray for a Bibleless people group. If you’re not one of those 18,466, consider signing up today and joining with us in praying for the Bibleless people around the world!
  • You. Through your prayers, financial support, or participation in the work of Wycliffe, you are helping to make a difference in bringing God’s Word to those still waiting. Thank you for walking this journey with us.
Some of the 29 completed Scriptures that were dedicated this year.

Some of the 29 completed Scriptures that were dedicated this year.

This is only a small glimpse into the many things that Wycliffe is thankful for this year. Take some time today with your family to sit down and think about what you are thanking God for—He deserves all honor, glory, and praise!

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The holidays can very easily become a hectic or burdensome time. All too often we lose sight of the miracles God is working around us every day. During the months of November and December, our hope is to engage people in a positive conversation on Twitter and Facebook, celebrating acts of kindness, generosity, and the true spirit of the season happening around them. We hope it will help you recognize and create these moments with your networks of friends, family, coworkers, etc.

Use your social media networks to share about ways you are giving, showing acts of kindness, and spreading the Spirit of the season. Your posts can also be about ways other people have shown the spirit of giving to you, or about acts of kindness you’ve witnessed in any capacity. Include the hashtag #SpiritofGiving in your post so others can follow along and be inspired!

Here’s an example our sweet friend Linda shared:
“Needing a new pair of dress shoes, I bought a pair that I liked and that fit well. A short time later I was going to wear them to church, but they felt too small. A missionary returning from overseas stopped by the headquarters office and, (being asked), shared her needs, one being dress shoes. Mine fit her perfectly, and she said they were just what she would have chosen if she had gone shopping herself.” #SpiritofGiving

We look forward to hearing (and sharing) about all the ways God is working in you, through you, and through others around you this season as you get into the Spirit of giving!

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By Melissa Chesnut
Did you know there’s a day set apart worldwide to honor the work of Bible translation? Well there is, and we’re excited to tell you about it!

In 1966, Wycliffe founder Cameron Townsend first shared an idea with Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris, his friend of several years.

“September 30 is St. Jerome’s Day,” Cam said. “He’s the first translator of the whole Bible. I thought maybe we could get the House and Senate to pass a resolution calling for the president to proclaim September 30 as Bible Translation Day.”

Harris liked the idea and agreed to propose the resolution in the Senate. Soon Cam received word that the resolution passed!

Bible Translation Day1

On September 30, 1966, a ceremony was held to proclaim that day as Bible Translation Day. Since the Apache New Testament had only recently been completed, Cam decided they should present that translation as part of the ceremony. Senator Harris presided, and Cam arranged for Britton Goode, the Apache who had helped the translators, to present the Scriptures to him and Congressman Ben Reifel. A Sioux Indian from South Dakota, Reifel had witnessed firsthand the impact that owning the Bible in her heart language had on his mother, who spoke only broken English and used the Sioux Bible to teach her children about God.

Several people gave speeches that day, including both Senator Harris and Congressman Reifel. Cam’s speech was, as always, one that left the group in attendance encouraged and inspired.

“We are making history. By God’s grace and with His help, we are taking part in a tremendous enterprise,” said Cam, as he began his speech. “The enterprise is Bible translation; the goal is hearts changed by God and disciples equipped to lead others to Christ. But before any translation can be done, before any change comes in a heart, we must overcome physical and language barriers.

“The language barrier is difficult to overcome. But it must be done. The Holy Spirit, speaking through John says, ‘After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb’ (Revelation 7:9, NIV). We believe God has called us to help make this verse come true. …

“This is not an impossible task. If it were, God would not have given it to us. But it is difficult. It takes hard work, dedication, perseverance, and commitment. Teachers at Wycliffe’s schools have helped thousands of students learn translation and literacy principles, but we lack people who are willing to go. Many don’t realize how Bible translation is still needed around the world.”bible Translation Day2

In the years since Cam first started Wycliffe, 518 language groups have received the entire Bible and 1,275 have the New Testament in the language they understand best. Additionally, over 1,500 Bible translation projects are currently in process.

Today, Wycliffe continues to carry on the tradition of celebrating Bible Translation Day. With unwavering focus towards the unfinished task at hand, Wycliffe seeks to pursue the goal that Cam so eloquently laid out in his speech—that of bringing the translated Word of God into every language that still needs it.

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Wishing you a Spirit-filled Christmas full of joy from Bob and Dallas Creson, and all of us at Wycliffe Bible Translators!

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