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Posts Tagged ‘Wycliffe USA’

Wycliffe USA President Bob Creson and his wife, Dallas, thank all of those around the world who have played a role in furthering Bible translation through their partnership with Wycliffe. In their message, Bob and Dallas also discuss the life change that happened in the Bum people as a result of receiving the New Testament in their own language.

During their Scripture celebration, two Bum chiefs rejoiced over the arrival of the New Testament by bringing the Scriptures in on a throne-like bench normally reserved for men of their high position. This act represents the fact that the Bum now consider God’s Word to be their highest form of authority. Bob and Dallas express their joy over the fact that the Bum and many others now have access to God’s Word in their own language this Christmas and can personally know the Prince of Peace.

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By Melissa Stillman

I’d seen the statistic before — 90 percent of an American’s assets are non-cash. And, throughout my work with Wycliffe’s project marketing team, I’ve had to ask myself: “What does that statistic really mean?” After some research I can tell you, it means “stuff” — mountains of it! I read once that there are 300,000 items in the average American home.

The more I thought about it (and walked around my house counting things), the more it started to make sense. We’ve made a national pastime out of shopping, from malls the size of theme parks to warehouse stores for groceries. Even as kids, we learn that more is better with “collect them all” kid’s meal toys and Christmas wish lists longer than our arms. We love stuff.

And dealing with all this stuff we’ve accumulated can get stressful. A quarter of us can’t park in our two-car garages because they are bursting at the seams (yep, that’s me). And since our closets, attics and basements are also full, nearly 10 percent of us pay to rent a storage unit to house our extra stuff.

It’s estimated that we spend the equivalent of one year of our lives looking for lost items (!), and whole industries are built around helping us organize our stuff. Each January, I buy magazines that share advice on cutting the clutter, but 12 months later (… or maybe three), I’m right back where I started.

THE STORY OF THE GREEDY FARMER

We may think this is a new-to-us, “first world problem,” but in Luke 12:15-21 Jesus tells a story about a farmer in a similar situation. This farmer found himself #blessed by a terrific crop — so big he didn’t have enough room to store it. But instead of sharing the abundance of food, he decided to tear down his existing barn and build a bigger one to store his goodies. As often happens in parables, this didn’t end well for the farmer. He was busy congratulating himself, not knowing he would die that very night.

A BARN FILLED WITH GOD

How can we learn from the farmer’s mistake? It wasn’t the bumper crop that got him in trouble; it was the decision to hoard it. Scripture packs three big life lessons into these seven verses.

  1. Our stuff isn’t really ours.
    It was God who caused the farmer’s crop to flourish and God is still our source of provision today. When we change our perspective to see our stuff as God’s generosity, it makes it easier to understand how we should steward it.

  2. What we do with our stuff matters.
    We aren’t measured by how much we own. In fact, stuff was of very little importance to Jesus during his time on earth. Instead he invites us to give the resources he provided to help build something eternal — his kingdom. We know it’s “more blessed to give than to receive,” but what if we truly understood what it meant to share what we’d been given? To forgo our wants and help supply the needs of others?

  3. Stuff can fill a barn, but not a heart.
    Possessions can’t meet the needs of your heart, but it can sure create a false sense of security, driving a wedge between you and the one true Provider. The Message ends the passage in Luke 12:15-21 this way: “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with self and not with God.” How are you filling your barn?

DONATE YOUR STUFF

A young woman using her cell phone.

If you want to make room in your “barn” by sharing what God has entrusted to you, please consider giving those items to Wycliffe. We love stuff, too, because lots of items valued over $75 can make a difference in the work of Bible translation.

The jewelry you aren’t wearing could help introduce people around the world to the beauty of God’s Word in their language.

The boat you didn’t take out this summer, the RV in storage, the ATV or motorcycle taking up half your garage or the car you were thinking of trading in — giving your vehicle will make a lasting impact for Bibleless people groups.

You stashed old models of your electronic devices in the back of your desk drawer. Dig them out and give them to Wycliffe. Donating your laptop, smartphone or tablet means more funding for urgent translation projects.

Surplus inventory from your business can be donated and either placed in a translation project or sold, with the proceeds going to support the work.

To get started, you can visit www.wycliffe.org/donateyourstuff or call 1-800-992-5433. If you decide to give your stuff, we’d love to hear your story. Please email us at catalog@wycliffe.org.

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We are thrilled and honored that Wycliffe USA’s film, “Arop: Sacrifice, Tragedy, Transformation” placed third at the International Christian Film Festival last weekend! The documentary chronicles how God used a devastating tsunami to change the face of Bible translation in Papua New Guinea.

On July 17, 1998, three massive tidal waves struck the northern coast of Papua New Guinea, killing more than 2,000 people and destroying Arop and other coastal villages in a matter of seconds.

“Arop” is based on the book “Sleeping Coconuts,” the true account of Wycliffe translators John and Bonnie Nystrom, who had lived among the Arop people for 10 years before the tsunami hit. In the aftermath, the Nystroms and the Arop translation team members saw an opportunity to transform their approach to Bible translation. The new method involved local translators from 11 language groups working together on simultaneous projects.

“We don’t have enough translators like us to go around,” Bonnie explains in the film. “God is raising up local people to do translations in multiple languages so the expertise that we can bring can be multiplied.”

The full 30-minute film is available at www.wycliffe.org/arop. There you’ll also find an opportunity to receive related discussion questions for your family or small group.

3rd place Best Documentary award

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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 Hannah Weiand

In a recent conversation with a stranger, I mentioned that I was starting a writing internship with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Suddenly his eyes lit up and he shot up straight in his chair. He said, “Wow! What, do you speak, like, Hebrew or something?!” I couldn’t help but laugh as I told him that, no, I wasn’t a translator; no, I don’t know 15 languages; and no, I don’t speak Hebrew.

Peter Knapp's desk at Pacific Islands University, Guam.

While many incredibly gifted people at Wycliffe Bible Translators do serve as translators overseas, there is so much more to Bible translation than, well, translation. When some people find out that we work for Wycliffe, they often ask, “So, how many languages do you speak?”, and think that in order to work for Wycliffe, you have to be a linguist or a translator, but that’s not the case.  Some people come to work for Wycliffe after growing up with missionaries for parents, so they speak two or three languages. Others, as mentioned before, have experience in linguistics and have many languages in their repertoire. And then there are people like me, who are passionate about Bible translation and all that God is doing through it, but due to various circumstances, speak only one language. Here’s why:

Wycliffe needs more than just translators!

There is so much that goes into Bible translation, and we need people like you to help make it happen! Wycliffe needs translators, but it also needs teachers, writers, artists, marketing analysts, accountants, administrators, IT specialists, and the list goes on.  There are needs to be filled in many categories and in positions all over the world!

You might also be surprised to learn that Wycliffe is more than a translation agency. Yes, our vision is to see the Bible translated so that people all over the world can understand it in their own language, but Wycliffe’s heart isn’t just to translate text. We reach out through literacy programs, health programs, audio and video translations, and more to make an impact on the community. Everyone on the Wycliffe team may share a vision for Bible translation, but not necessarily share an in-depth knowledge and understanding of linguistics.

Ann Kuy (Philippines) interviews Patience Kasuwa Bwoi from Nigeria

So whether you are interested in translating the Bible or supporting Bible translation through other skills, we need you! In the end, each position with Wycliffe helps make Bible translation happen, and if you speak 1, 2, or even 20 languages, you can make a difference in reaching this goal!

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By Hannah Weiand

 

Wycliffe has so many amazing events and opportunities coming this spring! Opportunities include events, trips and internships. View full list

 

TOTAL IT UP!

Discover the field of linguistics and Bible translation at this five-day course. Build meaningful relationships, hear personal testimonies and learn how you can get involved!

 

EXPLORE WYCLIFFE

Here’s a one-day session with long-term impact! Find out more about Bible translation, explore opportunities and meet Wycliffe missionaries who can answer all your questions.

 

RACE TO 2025

Raise your heart rate while raising support for Bible translation! This is the ultimate three-day team adventure, filled with the adrenaline rush of extreme sports and challenges in support of Bible translation.

 

DISCOVER

Discover short-term service with long-term impact through these internships and international trips! Each offers an amazing opportunity to dive in and experience what it’s like to support Bible translation. Trips offer three tracks to match your interest level. Click for details about tracks and opportunities.

Track 1

  • Tanzania, Africa | June 2 – June 25| Focus: Information Technology Click for details
  • Papua New Guinea | July 20 – August 15 |Focus: Education, Medical Service, and more Click for details
  • Southeast Asia | July 20 – August 15 | Focus: Translation, Linguistics Click for details
  • Germany | August 6 – August 25 |Focus: Children’s Education, Linguistics, Translation Click for details

Track 2

  • Papua New Guinea | June 7 – August 3 | Focus: Translation and a variety of service roles Click for details
  • Southeast Asia | June 10 – August 7 | Focus: Linguistics and a variety of service roles Click for details
  • Benin, Africa | June 25 – August 5 | Focus: Linguistics, Bible Translation and a variety of support roles Click for details

 

Internships

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By Hannah Weiand
Hannah is a Wycliffe USA intern, attending Oral Roberts University. Hannah will graduate with a degree in Writing in May 2015.

People sometimes ask, “Why not just translate the Bible using Google Translate? Wouldn’t that save you a lot of time, money and effort?” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

In today’s world, where technology is advancing rapidly and information is more accessible than ever, it’s important to realize that Bible translation is more than just a process of word substitution. There are approximately 7,000 languages in the world, and just under 2,000 of those languages are completely without Scripture. As intriguing as it might seem to use a tool like Google Translate to provide the Bible for those remaining languages, it simply doesn’t work.

Here’s why:

First, according to Google Translate’s website, Google Translate uses a process called “statistical machine translation.” Google explains this process as the computer detecting patterns in documents on the Internet that have already been translated by human translators. The problem here is that language groups that still need a Bible translation are typically underdeveloped, at best, and some don’t even have an alphabet. So little-to-no material appears on the Internet in those languages. And even for those languages that Google Translate does serve, Google states that “For some languages, however, we have fewer translated documents available, and therefore, fewer patterns that our software has detected. This is why our language quality will vary by language and language pair.

Second, there is a problem with the lack of languages that Google has to offer. While its program continues to grow, it currently only has 80 languages in its repertoire, making its benefits very exclusive.

Mainly, however, there is more to the process of translation than what tools like Google Translate can or cannot do. One thing that a computer tool like Google Translate cannot account for is culture. The process of translating the Bible for people who have never had it in their own language requires an understanding of their way of life. Only through that understanding can we properly communicate the complex, powerful concepts found in the Bible.

Steve Pillenger lives in Johannesburg, South Africa and works as a type setter.

For example, we love God with all of our hearts and accept Jesus into our hearts. But in many cultures around the world, the heart is not considered the center of the emotions. Consider the Awa people of Papua New Guinea, who express feelings and importance with the liver. They wouldn’t say “I love you with all of my heart”; they would say something along the lines of “I love you with all of my liver.”

Cultural context aside, we must also consider the many complexities of language. For example, some languages have multiple ways to describe something that may be a single-word concept in English, while other languages may not have a word for that concept at all. And some languages take entirely different forms, like those that are whistled or signed. (There are nearly 400 different sign languages in the world, and most of them are without the Bible!)

All of these factors help explain why Bible translation takes so much time, dedication and personal investment. And in the end, nothing can replace that personal connection.

This post is part of our Wycliffe 101 series. Click here to read the previous post, or here to start at the beginning.

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