Posts Tagged ‘new testament’

“The Quechuas … did not only want half a Bible. They wanted the whole thing.”

When Rick and his wife Melanie moved to Peru in 1981 and started translating the Wanca Quechua New Testament, they couldn’t imagine that 25 years later, they would be celebrating its completion. After living in Peru for so long, Rick and Melanie then decided to move to California where he now teaches linguistics courses at Biola University. It would seem like the end of his translation story, right?

Not quite. In fact, Rick continues to work with the Quechua team via Skype on a translation of the Old Testament. And as time has passed, something amazing has begun to happen –– the team is growing! Today it includes students in Rick’s capstone course who are working with the Quechua team virtually to edit and translate text. The entire experience is powerful to watch unfold. “Students participating in this way, it’s the difference between reading a recipe and cooking and eating the banquet,” Rick said. Because of the project, some of Rick’s students have even taken time out of their schedules post-graduation and accompanied him to work with the translators in person — all the way in Peru!


For Rick and his team, the translation project is more than just a job. “There is a knowledge that comes to us as North American translators from afar that we might not have had, had we not had the interaction with the Quechuas,” he explained. One particular passage — the parable of the lost sheep — took Rick’s Quechua co-translator, Amador, by surprise.

“Nobody would just abandon all their sheep to search for the one that was lost,” Amador, said regarding the part where the shepherd had counted 99 sheep and noticed that one was missing. Amador explained that since sheep are the livelihood for his people, even his mother who is illiterate and cannot count would know if a sheep was missing from the flock.” Puzzled, Rick asked how this could be. Amador said that even though his mother cannot count, “she knows each and every sheep,” because she has an intimate knowledge of her flock.

The Quechua people taught Rick something new about God’s character through that famous parable. “Rather than being a numerical issue or a statistical issue with God [and the parable], it’s a relational issue,” Rick said. “[God] knows each and every one of us. … He knows us in ways that we can’t even imagine. But the Quechuas can.”

Rick was amazed by this newfound knowledge and view of God! “[We came] away with a perspective on the Scriptures and a perspective on [our] relationship with God that we did not expect.” And as he continues to work with the team, Rick is reminded that the work they do is important and life-changing, not just to those reading the finished translation, but to those translating too.

Story by Jennifer Stasak
Photo by Katie Kuykendall

Read Full Post »

We often underestimate the power of prayer to change the world around us. But as the examples in this video show, our prayers can help change people’s lives in significant ways. And just by praying, you can help people get a Bible translation in their language.

Visit wycliffe.org/prayer to learn how you can start impacting lives through prayer today!

Read Full Post »

By Melissa Paredes

The Advocating ChiefJohn Sethy is a husband, a father, and the chief of his small village of Nivenue on the island of Epi in Vanuatu. Those responsibilities all keep him busy, but recently he took on a whole new responsibility—becoming the advocate for the Bible translation in his own heart language of Lewo.

It took several years for John to reach this point of helping his people receive God’s Word in the language they understand best. In 2010, members of the Vanuatu Building for Tomorrow group (VBT) and the SIL* team came to John’s home village to hold a literacy workshop and record some of the Lewo New Testament. They came in response to a request from Kapiapo, one of the village’s church elders and long-time lead translator for the Lewo project. Kapiapo wanted his people to become more aware of the translation work in their language—work that had been ongoing for the last twenty years.

While in the area, the team members attended a Sunday church service. During the service, John stood up and read fluently from 1 John in the Lewo language. Everyone was impressed with John’s abilities, his humble attitude, his cleverness, and his passion for God’s Word.

Three years passed. VBT and SIL planned to host a workshop that would help equip people across Vanuatu to read, understand, and teach the Scripture. As they thought of potential participants, John was one of the first people who came to mind.

John would be difficult to get in touch with, because his village is in a hollow, and contacting him by mobile phone would be a challenge. But the team decided to try, so they called another man from John’s village to see if he could help them get in touch with John.

Amazingly, John was standing right next to the man when the team called. He accepted their offer with excitement.The Advocating Chief 3

With great enthusiasm, John attended the workshop and absorbed as much as he could during his time there. He was particularly enthralled by the study of God’s Word through learning more about the historical and cultural context of the Scriptures, and ways to deepen his understanding of it. With this approach, he’d be able to help learn about the true meaning of the Scriptures and could then help teach his people about what the Bible was saying.

John returned to his village, excited to test out his new skills with members of his community. People really enjoyed the new insight he could provide. John shared, “I started [using my knowledge] with my family and that was good. But I am a chief, and I see that these skills in working through problems directly apply to my work. … I can help people to analyze the problems now as I ask them questions. It makes my job much easier!”

Since the first workshop, John has attended several more. He’s also taken over the Lewo translation project with another man. Elder Kapiapo chose John as his replacement on the project team when he learned that he had liver cancer. He passed away in 2013—the same year the team first asked John to attend their workshops. But John has faithfully taken up the torch in Kapiapo’s place, helping to bring the Scriptures to the Lewo people.

John is continuing to learn more about God’s Word and how it can impact both his life and the lives of people in his village. “I see that people are mixing belief and traditional thinking, but I have seen through this course that everything depends on belief in Christ,” John said.

???????????????????????????????It’s that belief that is helping him deepen his knowledge of God’s Word. The Lewo New Testament is still waiting to be published, so pray that it would be printed quickly and distributed among the people. John isn’t just the chief of his village; he’s also working to teach and explain the truths found in Scripture, and to help his people learn how to really use it for themselves.

*One of Wycliffe’s primary partners

Read Full Post »

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).



Read Full Post »

Words and photo by Rodney Ballard

Featured Photo From the Field--Celebrating God's Printed Word

Urs Ernst smiles as he inspects the newly completed Makaa New Testament, in print for the first time. Urs, who joined the project in 2000, was the translation consultant working with Dan and Teresa Heath who have served as exegete and linguist respectively since the project’s beginning in 1978. This is a celebration of the completion of the typesetting, with two copies of the New Testament having been printed in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The main printing will be in South Korea and is expected to arrive in Cameroon for the New Testament’s dedication in 2015.



Read Full Post »

Photo credit: Heather Pubols

Photo credit: Heather Pubols


By Elyse Patten

In southwest Ethiopia, a rough road carrying more pedestrians and cattle than vehicles runs past this dry landscape with its round houses. When these children’s parents were their age, no books had been written in their language –Guji-Oromo. Today, Guji speakers have a translation of the New Testament, literacy primers, and some health and cultural materials all in their own language. And a translation of the Old Testament is in progress! Thanks to the tireless work of educators and literacy specialists, children like these will be among the first in Ethiopia to have the opportunity to learn to read their language at a young age. You can imagine the implications of such opportunities for the nation of Ethiopia.

Read Full Post »

God’s Word brings change to three language communities.

The Ubangi Cluster project serves three language communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Mono, Ngbandi-Ngiri, and Pagabete. In addition to supporting this translation work, gifts to the Worldwide Projects Fund also support literacy training and the production of vernacular materials like song books. Although full New Testament translations are not yet complete, the impact of God’s Word in the mother tongue can already be seen in each community.Unity

Mono translators receive regular encouragement from local churches. One Christian brother wrote, “May the Holy Spirit Who guided the authors of the holy Scriptures be with you so that God’s voice can be heard for the salvation of our people by this great translation project.”

A Mono woman named Mado Mowuyo Yokane was overjoyed after attending a Ubangi Cluster literacy course. She said, “I was married with four children, but my husband rejected me because I couldn’t read and write. So my children and I went back to my parents. When I found out that the Mono project included literacy without any age restriction, I went along for the adventure with those younger than myself. I thank God—the Lord of time and opportunity—for blessing us with this project.”

In Ngbandi-Ngiri, the translation is breaking down clan barriers and uniting members of various denominations. One individual said, “Truly the Word of God translated in Ngbandi has become very clear, even without anybody explaining it.”

Mr. Kombele, who is involved in checking the Pagabete translation, said he was delighted by one outcome of having Scripture in his language. “Encouraged by friends, I have begun to pray in Pagabete, which for me was difficult,” he said.

Please join us in praying for the Ubangi Cluster project as it nears a completion date of September 2014. Translation teams are encountering challenges that include a lack of electricity, physical illness, and unrest in their language areas.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: