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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!

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Introducing Around the World with Kate & Mack4

It’s always exciting to see that moment when something clicks with kids about the importance of Bible translation. So when Wycliffe received a letter from nine-year-old Alena about “From Akebu to Zapotec,” a book that talks about Bibleless people groups from around the world, we couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Alena addressed the author, artist and researcher of the book, writing, “Thank you for writing the book, From Akebu to Zapotec. My family has had your book for several years. I enjoy reading it. My name is Alena. I am nine years old. I love to draw people. My mom thinks I am very gifted. Here are some pictures that I drew. I am tall. I have greenish-brown eyes, olive skin and brown hair. My dreams are to be an artist, a missionary and a mom. Can I join you in illustrating the next book of Bibleless peoples? If not soon, maybe one day.”

What an encouragement it was to hear from Alena and receive the beautiful pictures she sent us. But perhaps the most exciting part was the timing of Alena’s letter. Little did she know that when we received her letter, we were in the final stages of creating an updated version of the book. In this edition, kids will travel with Kate, a Wycliffe missionary kid, and her best friend, Mack. Alena played a special role for us by reading through the new book and letting us know what she thought.

“I love the book and all of the people in it,” Alena wrote. “I especially like the way the illustrator was able to put his drawings over real pictures. Kate and Mack are so cute! I learned a lot about different languages and countries by reading this book. I hope everyone in these countries gets the Bible in their heart language. Melissa and Ben are both very talented. I would not change a thing. I love the last picture that shows everyone and their place in the world. I can’t wait to have a copy of it!”

Introducing Around the World with Kate & Mack3

Introducing Around the World with Kate & Mack2Introducing Around the World with Kate & Mack1

“Around the World with Kate & Mack: A Look at Languages from A to Z” shows today’s kids how God is working all over the globe. They’ll meet kids from other countries, learn about their language and culture, and find out if they have any of the Bible in their own language.

So keep your eyes open for the book, which becomes available in October. You won’t want to miss out!

 

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Earlier this year, Ivan and Jesse Dishman attended Wycliffe’s new missionary training and told the story of how they decided to serve God in Papua New Guinea. We enjoyed hearing it so much that we wanted to share it:

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By Katie Kuykendall

Seimat Genesis March 2013

Another Scripture dedication has happened! We thank God that the Seimat people of the Ninigo Islands in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been celebrating the completion of the New Testament in their language since Tuesday! The dedication comes to a close today.

In addition to the New Testament, the Seimat translation team has started on the translation of Genesis and has been working for many years producing other literature for the Seimat people, including story books for elementary students, an HIV/AIDS information booklet and story book, and a Seimat-English picture dictionary.  They’ve also been training several community members in basic computer skills and other tools to continue the work.

Seimat NT shipment OR March 2013JPG

Recently the team hosted a presentation about the Seimat Bible translation and literacy project during SIL International’s* biennialconference in Ukarumpa, PNG. Several Seimat men shared about their culture and the things they’ve learned by participating in the project.

One man, Rudolf, said that reading God’s Word in English

is like “swimming on the surface of the sea when you can’t really see what’s down there beneath you.” Now that Rudolf can read God’s Word in his own language, he said it’s like “putting on a diving mask, swimming down deep, and being able to see clearly everything that is there.”

Praise God for His provision in this project and that Rudolf and other Seimat people can now know God better! Please pray with us that the completed New Testaments will be shipped safely and that the dedication will bring glory to God.

*SIL International is Wycliffe’s primary strategic partner.

Seimat

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JAARS will celebrate a miracle airplane  at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-in & Expo in Lakeland, Florida. You’re invited to celebrate the new plane with ‘refreshments under the wing’, storytelling, and a prayer of dedication! The JAARS exhibit is part of the IAMA Fly4Life Mission Aviation Exhibit in the Southeast Aircraft Exhibit, Lot 1 & 2, at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida.

Kodiak N77KQ will be on static display the week of April 9-14 at the SUN ‘n FUN event. The airplane will be the fourth aircraft of its kind that JAARS has sent to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to serve in support of Bible translation. 

kodiak1

Wondering about the miracle?

The Kodiak is a unique, powerful aircraft with the ability for short takeoffs and landings essential for the mountainous, rugged terrain of Papua New Guinea. It has an external cargo pod that increases cargo capacity and requires significantly less maintenance per flight hour. With this plane, pilots are able to deliver essential equipment such as solar panels to provide power for translators’ computers and printers, transport staff to remote villages where they can work with on-site translators, and provide emergency medical evacuations. This Kodiak and the others already deployed in PNG will ensure the next generation of Bible translators, literacy specialists, and Scripture Use workers can have safe, cost-effective air travel.

When JAARS realized the need to purchase this aircraft, hundreds of friends came alongside the organization– praying, giving, and spreading the word about the seemingly impossible goal. Wycliffe Associates also contributed funds toward the cause. Toward the incredible generosity of others, JAARS was able to raise the funds needed in just twelve days!

This event will be a chance to see the Kodiak firsthand before it sets off to serve in Bible translation.

kodiak2

About JAARS

JAARS is a non-profit ministry that helps organizations around the world get practical, day-to-day support for Bible translation. It focuses on five main types of practical support: aviation, land transportation, water transportation, information technology, and media services. Visit https://www.jaars.org/ to learn more.

 

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Click here to read Part 2: Alune

On March 14, Wycliffe USA staff gathered in Orlando to celebrate sixteen recent Scripture translations. Three staff members shared stories about some of the translations featured. We have been posting the scripts for each of these stories on our blog. Here is the third and final story, by Jannah Welcome, who works in the Wycliffe Discovery Center:

The Gamo New Testament, Ethiopia

Gamo

Greetings everyone! My name is Jannah Welcome, and I would like to share with you a little about an Ethiopian cluster project involving three people groups that recently celebrated their New Testaments. This is a Seed Company project that was officially launched in October 2003, and the goal was to take the Wollaiyta Bible and use it to translate the Gamo, Gofa, and Dawro New Testaments.

This cluster strategy is a relatively new approach that has been speeding up Bible translation in many parts of the world. By having local translators of related languages work side-by-side on their translations, they are able to help each other with faster, more accurate translations. You should go read John and Bonnie Nystrom’s new book Sleeping Coconuts if you want to learn more about how they work!

We’re excited to celebrate the Gamo, Gofa, and Dawro New Testaments from Ethiopia today. Though all rich in testimonials, the one I’d like to highlight here is the Gamo New Testament dedication.

The Gamo dedication was held on June 10, 2012, on the public square of Ch’ench’a, a town located on the mountains of southwest Ethiopia, west of Lake Abaya, where the Gamo people reside. There are over a million Gamo people, and ten ethnic sub-groups among them, who speak Gamo.

Not only do we celebrate today with the Gamoyans for receiving the Word of God, but the history of the location where the actual celebration took place is absolutely a tremendous testament of the restorative power of God at work. The dedication took place on the same grounds where communists brutally persecuted Christians just one generation ago. Many of the people’s possessions, including Bibles, were burned during the Derg regime from 1974–1991, and many believers were put in prison during that time.

The main translator for the Gamo New Testament—Pastor Tesfaye—spent two years in prison himself during the communist persecution. At the New Testament dedication, he was asked to offer an introductory prayer. But when he got up to speak, all he could do was cry. He told about the bloodshed he witnessed from his youth, and how they weren’t allowed to preach or even mention God’s name. They could only pray in their hearts or meet in people’s homes at night.

The dedication happened in the town’s main square, but years ago, that location was actually a police station—the same station where Pastor Tesfaye was imprisoned for three months before being hauled off to prison for two years. It’s also where many Christians were flogged and beaten for their faith in 1949 and 1950. More arrests followed, and the Christians were forbidden to care for their fellow brothers and sisters in prison, so many suffered and some even died.

One thing that I find encouraging is that, though these brothers and sisters were being persecuted to the point of being homeless, they were more frightened by the almost total crop failure. This would mean if they did escape persecution, that starvation was another factor to consider. I was deeply moved by their story and am so grateful they don’t have to go through this anymore. You can imagine what it must have been like for Pastor Tesfaye and the Gamo people to not only be free to follow Christ now, but to also have God’s Word in their own language for the first time. And as Pastor Tesfaye, now older and wiser, held his new Bible in his hand, he said to the crowd, “God has taken vengeance with His love.”

To see pictures and a two-minute video of the Gamo dedication, click here.

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Click here to read Part 1: Nawuri

On March 14, Wycliffe USA staff gathered in Orlando to celebrate sixteen recent Scripture translations. Three staff members shared stories about some of the translations featured. We have been posting the scripts for each of these stories on our blog. Here is the second story, by Melissa Chesnut, who works in Wycliffe USA’s human resources department:

The Alune New Testament, Indonesia

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It has been a long journey for the Alune people to receive the Word of God in their heart language. The Alune people live in Indonesia on an island that is part of the Maluku archipelago. There are around twenty thousand people in this language group. Once known as fierce warriors, a powerful Alune leader came to know Christ in 1920 and influenced many of his people to do the same. However, it wasn’t until 1986, when two Alune men sought help from foreign linguists, that the translation work of the New Testament was started.

During those twenty-six years, the translators faced many hardships. And in 1999, they had to evacuate to Australia due to civil unrest. Two full-time mother-tongue translators continued to receive further training and carry on the work, despite many hardships that they encountered along the way—bombs, life threatening experiences, illness within their families, helping others to deal with trauma, and countless more.

alune2Moi was one of the mother-tongue translators for the Alune project. His journey towards working as a translator was also filled with obstacles, both personally and professionally. After years of perseverance, the translation work was finally completed—the Alune people were to receive God’s Word in their heart language for the very first time. But it wasn’t without its difficulties. Moi was working on transporting the New Testaments to two places for the dedication. On the day he had arranged for a truck to come to the office, he waited the entire day, but the truck never came. Frustrated that the day was not going as planned, Moi’s stress was heightened by the rain that was pouring down, seemingly heedless to his ardent prayers for good weather. The team had spent a lot of time putting the boxes filled with New Testaments into plastic bags, but it was rainy season and the rain just kept coming down. Moi prayed that the rain would stop, but the more he prayed the harder it rained. “Lord, why are you not answering my prayer?” he asked. “You want this to go forward, right? Why is this happening?” Moi was upset because it seemed that God was ignoring his prayers, heedless to the difficulties that they faced with the packing and transporting of the books during the bad weather.

Finally, after hours and hours of waiting, the truck arrived. The team managed to load about 200 boxes filled with 4,300 Alune New Testaments, and Moi left with the truck to the island of Seram. When the truck got off the ferry at Seram, Moi received a text from his wife, Mey, saying, “Do not come to the bridge, because earlier today a big truck broke the bridge and you can’t pass on it. Come on another road.” Immediately, Moi knew that God had been protecting the New Testaments by sending the rain and delaying the truck. “It could have been our truck that broke the bridge, and all the books could have been wet,” Moi said. “Oh, Lord, now I know You had a purpose for delaying the truck. I am sorry that I was upset and didn’t keep trusting you in all circumstances. Thank you, Lord.”

That wasn’t the only difficulty that Moi faced with distribution of the Scriptures. Last alune3August, the translation office was flooded during a storm, bringing mud and water into the rooms until it was waist-deep. The storage room where the Scriptures were kept was also flooded, and thousands of New Testaments were soaked. But even this God used for His good purpose, as people in the neighborhood heard about the Scripture portions and came to the office asking for them. Every last one of the Alune New Testaments that was damaged that day was given away to Alune speakers who took them and laid them out to dry. Praise be to God, who sovereignly fulfills His promise to use all things for the good of those who love Him.

James 1:2–4 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (NLT).

After twenty-six years of trials and perseverance, the Alune people are finally able to hold the finished work of their perseverance—God’s Word in the language of their heart.

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