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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

“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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For the 12 million Roma people living in Europe, discrimination has long been part of their history. Because of their mysterious and often nomadic lifestyle, the Roma can be misunderstood and treated like outsiders. In some cities, officials make settling difficult, which leads to dismal living situations, and makes work and education hard to come by.

In many ways, the Roma people are experiencing what the prophet Isaiah’s people experienced when they were in an oppressive, dark place in their life. In Isaiah 12:2, Isaiah called out to his people with hope in God’s purpose when he said, “See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory” (NLT).

Despite the challenging and troubling situations that are still a reality for many Roma people, they are expressing joy and confidence in their salvation, and are working toward sharing this salvation with others.

Roma men translating

A group of Roma recently had Easter passages from the Gospel of John checked by a consultant. The Roma men and women meeting there were full of life and love, and it was evident that they had tasted the salvation to which Isaiah 12:2 points.

The group participated with joy in the reading and discussion of translated Scripture, working with the translators to make occasional changes to the draft. While discussing one passage, a Roma man said, “I am going to explain this passage to other people. It is important.” While checking another passage, the group agreed they would like to use it to encourage people they knew. Lives are being transformed as the Bible is translated into the language they understand best.

The New Testament has been translated into five of the more than 20 different languages spoken by Roma people in Europe. Your support is needed to help provide training and support for Bible translators working among the Roma people in Romania and Bulgaria. To partner with these translations, please visit wycliffe.org/roma 

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Bennett is a Sudanese translator who experienced God’s hand of provision in a dramatic and miraculous way.

“God spared my life and the life of my family for translation work,” he says. And Bennett believes that God will make a way for every person in South Sudan to have Scripture translated in their own language.

Bennett’s story began when he dedicated himself to translating Scripture into the Baka language spoken by his people. But soon after, civil war erupted in Sudan and vicious fighting drove Bennett and his family out of their home in Maridi.

Almost everyone in his village was killed in the attack. Many others died on the 100-mile walk through the forests to a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite these terrible hardships, Bennett’s resolve to translate God’s Word did not waver. Soon others in the camp began to share his desire for Scripture translation.

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Word spread and Wycliffe had the great privilege to come alongside these Baka Christians to help provide training and support to move Bible translation forward in their language. With the help of generous partners like you, Bennett’s translation team worked in the Congo for seven years until the war ended in Sudan.

When Bennett was about to return home, he was arrested, torn from his family and forced to witness the execution of eight men. Then the soldiers came to kill Bennett.

That was the day a miracle happened!

“God entered into them,” says Bennett, and the soldiers suddenly changed their minds. In a moment they were transformed from grim executioners into bodyguards that accompanied Bennett on his journey back to Sudan.

With an unshakeable confidence in God’s provision, Bennett has overcome many other obstacles since that day. He knows beyond a doubt that God wants him to bring Scripture to the Baka people in the language they understand best — so they too can experience the transforming love of God.

You can help provide the Bible’s message of hope to war-weary people by mobilizing courageous South Sudanese translators like Bennett. Donations will be matched — dollar-for-dollar — to double in impact and bring God’s Word to more people in South Sudan, and bring it sooner. Visit wycliffe.org/SouthSudan to give 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.

Hope

 

 

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By Melissa Paredes

It’s always a privilege to come together to celebrate God’s faithfulness as more people groups receive his Word in their own languages for the first time. And here at the Wycliffe USA headquarters in Orlando, we try to do that once a year. Yesterday, on October 2, we got to do just that!

UntitledThis year’s Scripture celebration theme was Psalm 119:114b, which says, “Your Word is my source of hope” (NLT). As we rejoiced over 17 languages, in 14 different countries, who recently receiving God’s Word in their heart language — some for the very first time — we were reminded over and over again of the truth of that verse.

Bible translation is hard work, and it often takes many years of perseverance before a community finally receives the Scriptures in their heart language. Translation is a labor of love, and that love was fully realized by these 17 language communities over the last months as dedications were held around the world, honoring and celebrating the completion of translations in their language.

But it’s not just a labor of love by translators. A Bible translation can only succeed when people work together to see it through to completion. It takes those who contribute to the work through prayer; those who make sacrifices by sending their loved ones abroad to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are in need; those who sacrifice time, energy or money; and so much more. Bible translation takes teams, and we see that clearly when the end result — God’s printed Word — is placed in the hands of those who have waited.

Untitled2So as we were reminded over and over again this morning, God’s Word is our source of hope. And today we celebrate 17 language communities who are now able to cling to that source of hope for themselves.

Here’s a beautiful video that shares how all of us are needed to make translation happen.

Here are the 17 languages we celebrated today, listed in alphabetical order.

Complete Bible

  • Jula — Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso (2,550,000 speakers)
  • Obolo — Nigeria (260,000 speakers)
  • Pennsylvania Dutch — United States and Canada (200,000 speakers)
  • San Blas Kuna — Panama (57,100 speakers)

New Testament

  • Arop-Lokep — Papua New Guinea (3,000 speakers)
  • Bodres (name changed for sensitivity purposes) — South Asia (100,000 speakers)
  • Kwaio — Solomon Islands (20,000 speakers)
  • Makonde – Mozambique (360,000 speakers).
  • Mankanya – Senegal (65,000 speakers). The Mankanya also received Genesis.
  • Maskelynes – Vanuatu (1,200 speakers).
  • San Antonio & San Jeronimo Tecoatl Mazatec – Mexico (34,000 speakers).
  • Muyang – Cameroon (30,000 speakers).
  • Mwani – Mozambique (120,000 speakers). The Mwani also received portions of the Old Testament.
  • Okphela – Nigeria (180,000 speakers).
  • Seimat – Papua New Guinea (1,500 speakers).
  • Tolaki – Indonesia (330,000 speakers).
  • Wapishana – Guyana (6,000 speakers) and Brazil (1,500 speakers).

 

 

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coverIn his book, “The Finish Line,” Wycliffe President and CEO Bob Creson shares story after story that will open your eyes to the incredible ways God is changing lives through Bible translation.

Stories include a Tennet man’s journey walking 1,000 miles to make sure his people group gets a Bible they can understand, and Lee and Tammi Bramlett’s amazing account of how one word brought a radical new understanding of God in Cameroon.

Join Bob Creson on a conference call on Monday, Sept. 29.

Bob will be speaking with Lee and Tammi Bramlett about the incredible impact of Bible translation among the Hdi people in northern Cameroon. There are two times available, and both of the calls are live so that you can ask questions.

You can also participate in our social media contest after the event to win a free, autographed copy of “The Finish Line.” Tune in to the conference call, and follow along via our Facebook page or tweet at us using the hashtag #FinishLineBook. The first person to answer each of our questions correctly wins their autographed copy of the book!*

bob and bramletts

Left to right: Lee Bramlett, Tammi Bramlett and Bob Creson

To join the call, choose a time that’s most convenient to you and dial in:

(855) 756-7520 ext. 25593 at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CST, 6 p.m. MST, 5 p.m. PST)

OR (855) 756-7520 ext. 25594 at 10 p.m. EST (9 p.m. CST, 8 p.m. MST, 7 p.m. PST)

 

*Your social media posts must be public in order to participate in the contest. Answers via Facebook must be in the comments on the question we post. Tweets should include “@wycliffe_usa” and the hashtag #FinishLineBook. Limit one free copy of “The Finsh Line” per person. If you win, we’ll ask you to send us your shipping information in a private message.

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By David Anderson with Matt Petersen

“As I waited outside one of the local morgues in Yaoundé for the ‘levée du corps’ (removal of the body) to take to the church for the memorial service … I was amazed at the number of people that were there during the work day,” said David Anderson, who serves with Wycliffe in Cameroon, Africa.

Sadly, the wife of one of David’s Cameroonian colleagues had just passed away. Following local custom, David was at the morgue to pay his respects and to show his love and support for his friend.

Hope at the Morgue“I found it hard to imagine hundreds of people standing outside in the States waiting with you for a loved one’s body to be released,” said David. But here in Cameroon, a crowd outside the morgue is a common sight, “along with all the vendors who walked by offering to sell nuts, tissues, a piece of gum, or even an egg sandwich.”

“There were easily three times more people there than those who went to the actual church service,” David continued. “We waited about an hour and a half, and then they carried her coffin to the car that would transport her to the church. I didn’t go to the final burial. … It was ten hours away from where I live. They drove all night to get there to bury the body the next day.”

Many at the morgue were part of the Oku language community, which recently celebrated the completion of its New Testament translation. Another colleague of David’s had brought a copy of the translation to give to the colleague who had lost his wife, and, while they waited, she asked an Oku woman sitting beside her to read from it so others could listen and be encouraged. The woman agreed, but, although she spoke Oku, she’d never read in the language before.

“As we sat under the overhang outside the mortuary,” David said, “she had her first literacy lesson in Oku.”

The woman began by reading 1 Corinthians 15:20, “But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died,” (NLT).

Although their hearts were heavy with the loss of a loved one, hearing this Scripture in their mother tongue was a huge encouragement to the Oku Christians gathered around—a reminder of the eternal hope we have in Christ Jesus.

The woman then read Revelation 7:17, “For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes,” (NLT).

Finishing the verse, she said, “Reading this took away my tears.”

That’s just the sort of thing we love to hear!

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