Breaking Down Obstacles to Bible Translation
For more than 50 years, Wycliffe Associates has worked to equip and train national Bible translators with the specialized tools and knowledge needed to bring God’s Word to people groups and languages where it has never existed . . .
But over those decades, we have seen that there are as many obstacles to Bible translation as there are souls called by God to do the translation work! Factors ranging from persecution to poverty can bring even the most committed church and translators to a screeching halt.
Eliminating obstacles and getting Bible translation projects started and restarted so Scripture can continue to come to life is often a combination of prayer, funding, determination, creative problem solving, and action.
Some examples of seemingly insurmountable challenges took place in a country in Southeast Asia—a country which cannot be named or translators and other believers could be in grave danger.
Wycliffe Associates held a training event for five language groups who were longing for the tools, training, and technology they needed to begin translating God’s Word into the language of their hearts.
These language groups represent vast numbers of unreached people, many of whom live in remote areas or in militarized zones. Some translators shared how they have suffered, first losing their homes and livelihoods, then being forced into refugee camps.
Another man shared that it was truly an epic journey for him and his fellow translators to arrive at the training event—
“We had to walk seven days to get to a center to catch a bus. We had to carry all our food and water with us and look out for tigers when sleeping under trees at night.”
These faithful believers gathered eagerly, despite the many hardships they endured. An astonishing 81 translators made the journey, and to their delight, three New Testament and two Old Testament projects were launched at this event.
But there was yet another obstacle that threatened to keep them from bringing Scripture to life for their language and people groups . . . poor vision.
It’s true that eyesight can be a real obstacle for even the most impassioned translator. For much of the world, it’s not possible to afford eyeglasses, people have no access to an eye doctor, and there are no stores where glasses are sold.
This is especially heartbreaking for a believer who has been called by God to translate Scripture into a language where it does not exist . . .
But God is great and moves in many hearts to breakdown obstacles! At this event, the daughter of one of the national Bible translators blessed the attendees by sharing her compassion and professional skill as an optometrist to fit 10 of the believers with eyeglasses, bringing God’s Word within reach—and in focus for the eager translators!
The life-changing power of eyeglasses also changed everything for a group of believers in Peru who could not read God’s Word because of poor eyesight and no access to corrective lenses. Your support for Bible translation helped bring hundreds of reading glasses to this indigenous people group in Peru. That day, 440 Christians were suddenly able to see, read, and understand God’s Word!
Please pray and give as you are able to help break down obstacles, both great and small, for Bible translators around the world. It’s wonderful when translation teams and churches receive tools and training from Wycliffe Associates to begin work, but sometimes they need a little extra help . . . help that God facilitates through the caring hearts of Christians like you.