Our World Needs God’s Word
Hardly a day goes by that Wycliffe Associates doesn’t receive a heartbreaking request for help from a church . . .
The heart of these believers is good; their passion and devotion is clear. But they know they cannot fully serve God or advance the Gospel with only their faith.
They need a Bible in a language they can read and understand, preach and teach from, and use to bring others to faith, too.
One small group of believers in a far-off part of Southeast Asia with no Scriptures in their own heart language were confused about the most basic, foundational elements of Christianity.
Their church was torn by conflict and discouragement because they weren’t exactly sure about how someone was saved.
Their pastor knew the answers would be found in Scripture, but without a Bible he could understand, he was simply not sure of the answer. He began praying God would send someone to explain the Word to him . . .
God answered this pastor’s prayer through the support of other caring Christians who provided one of Wycliffe Associates’ Bible Translation Acceleration Kits (BTAKs) to this group of believers. Their eager translation team went right to work, bringing God’s Word to life where it has never existed before.
Through translated Scripture, they learned exactly how someone is saved and exactly how to lead someone to faith. They learned of God’s promises and the commands to live by. Today, this church is thriving . . . it’s a beacon of hope in a place where hopelessness has held multitudes in spiritual darkness for centuries.
Why Is It So Hard to Have Access to a Bible?
There are pockets of isolated believers throughout Southeast Asia now who are facing so many obstacles that prevent them from having God’s Word in the language of their hearts.
Poor infrastructure is a huge challenge. No electricity and/or no internet means people can’t access the technology or electronic conveniences we enjoy here in the United States.
We can log onto computers, pick up a phone or tablet, or use e-readers any time we wish. We can commune with God over our devotional or prayer guide and access Scripture in seconds—no matter where we are!
Christians in other areas of the world, who don’t have a Bible in their own language and can’t read or study God’s Word online, have to draw from memory!
So when it comes to translating Scripture, churches face huge obstacles because they can’t grab their computer, access specialized software, work on their translations, and save their work to the cloud. Other churches tell us they have been working on their translations for years by hand, while some have to navigate spotty internet using a beat up computer that only works half the time.
Poverty and Persecution Are among the Biggest Challenges Bible Translation Teams Face
Many people groups continue to suffer intense persecution. In regions where Christianity is illegal or just dangerous, churches are underground, and any translation work had better be a well-kept secret or lives could be lost. Famine, drought, and natural disasters contribute to the crushing poverty that makes it difficult for believers to survive, much less to devote the time needed to see a Bible translation project through.
There are ways to get past the obstacles!
Through the gifts of many faithful Christians, Wycliffe Associates is equipping local churches and Bible translation teams with the technology and training they need to start their own Bible translation with the promise that they too can bring alive God's Word in a language they wholeheartedly understand!
This is being accomplished with Bible Translation Acceleration Kits (BTAKs), which include a satellite connection, internet router and modem, and a solar-powered generator. This means translators can work together, work more quickly, and store their work in the cloud!
One BTAK costs $2,500. Right now, Wycliffe Associates has requests for 15 for a total prayerful goal of $37,500.
A Call to Action—Help Launch Bible Translation Projects!
Please give generously and spread the word to other believers so those who are waiting and praying for the tools and training they need can receive a BTAK that will help them translate God’s Word like never before.
With BTAKs, national Bible translators can work in areas of intense persecution safely and secretly, under the radar of hostile authorities.
Your support will be an answered prayer for people who have long felt forgotten or isolated from the outside world. Imagine their joy as they accelerate their translation efforts through internet connection and, for the first time in their lives, are able to read and understand God’s Word in their heart language!
The Miracle of a BTAK, Repeated Over and Over
In this nation in southeast Asia, over 80% of the country is without electricity. Without solar panels that are included in our BTAKs, teams would not have the ability to use or recharge the computers needed to advance translation.
Says a Christian serving on a BTAK-equipped Bible translation team: “In the daytime, we charge. In the night, we translate!”
In fact, this team uses solar-powered lighting to work deep into the nighttime hours!
Your generosity today will also supply training so eager translators can put the technology to work immediately with little or no learning curve. The software has been crafted specifically for this work: it’s extremely user friendly.
One of the translation team leaders shared that in Papua New Guinea, ongoing support for translation teams has been the most impactful thing to help projects move forward. Without ongoing support, projects fall away and lose the fire, but as we have been able to have ongoing relationships with projects, they have stayed motivated.
Followers of Christ in this largely Muslim Asian nation are among the most persecuted people in the world. But that doesn’t stop believers from risking all to translate the Bible into their own heart language.
“We are deeply grateful for the translation supports. We, name hidden, believers are having difficulty in Bible translation. However, we are now able to overcome the challenge through oral translation assisted by Wycliffe Associates’ methods. Thank you so much for the tablets because they enable us to record our voices instead of writing on paper, thus making it easy for us. We would like to express our gratitude and also testify that the tablets are tremendously helpful in our works. May God bless Wycliffe Associates!”
Marama Language Translation Project in Africa.
“‘The world is a global village connected together because of technology.’ This is what the leaders have told us, but we in the Marama community were not part of this because of lack of technology and connections. Only a few of us who live in the city got the opportunity, but now we praise the Lord for Wycliffe Associates . . . through Bible translation, we have an opportunity to experience firsthand technology.
“The tablets provided to us have really made the work so easy; translation of our Bible could not be possible without the tablets and software provided to us. The translation of the New Testament took us 10 months because of technology, and now, we have started the Old Testament thanks to technology! The truth be told these machines have helped the translators train one another on how to use tablets, hence we have now empowered community members to go on with the work.”
Keiyo Language Translation Project in Africa.
“It would have not been possible to do a Bible in 10 months or two years, writing it on paper, because it’s impossible. The technology provided by Wycliffe Associates is a game changer in translation. Their laptops and software made work easy and shaped the whole process. We are grateful, [and] we are gladly starting the Old Testament because of the technology provided to us.”
West Africa Language Translation Projects.
“It is really a very big impact for a Bible translation team to receive the translation technology equipment for the very first time. They feel considered and trustworthy, and this makes them more engaged in the translation work. In my opinion, the Bible translation training is like a fulfillment of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. But the tech training and the technology come like Acts 1:8, “the empowerment.” The Great Commission is enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit. So the technology is the empowerment that Wycliffe Associates gives to the translation teams.
“Without the technology that is provided and the tech training, people could not have translated the Bible and [made it] available. The more the team acquires a good technical training, the faster it advances in the Bible translation.”
Our goal is to equip more churches this Easter season. One BTAK costs $2,500—so to provide BTAKs for 15 language groups, we need to raise $37,500.
Thank you for giving generously now so more language groups can start their translation work.