The Best Gift This Christmas: The Tools and Training to Translate God’s Word!
This Christmas season, with a brand-new year upon us, it is painful to see how much of our world is still living without God’s Word. There are isolated people—entire language groups—who live in spiritual darkness.
Believers blossom among them and long to have God’s Word in the language they wholeheartedly understand so they can grow in their faith and share the truth with others among them who are unreached. These believers gather to hear the Christmas story shared from the memory of an elder because that is all they have.
Other people groups who come to faith face overwhelming earthly challenges that include poverty, marginalization, persecution, arrest . . . but they also long to have God’s Word in the language of their hearts. They will gather to hear the Christmas story shared from memory because that is all they have.
"And the Spirit of God Was Hovering over the Waters. (Genesis 1:2)”
One such group is clinging to life in Southeast Asia. They were already a marginalized and outcast people group because of their language and culture, but their faith only served to make them more hated.
Forced out, they took to their boats to try for a fresh start elsewhere. But without money or resources, they found themselves with no choice but to live on boats at sea.
One of Wycliffe Associate’s friends, a pastor, met these believers and began ministering to them. “Going to church with these Christians is a wonderfully unique experience,” he says. “They circle up and tie together, boarding one of the boats for a special time of worship and fellowship.”
This is how the pastor learned of the extreme challenges the people face living on boats and fishing for a living—a subsistence lifestyle that is utterly without comforts.
We asked how we could help, imagining a long list of basic necessities from medicine to water purifiers to food, clothing, and tarps. But the pastor said—
“They ask for just one thing—the tools to translate the Scriptures for their people!”
Despite their hardships, these Christians are willing to do whatever it takes to translate Scripture because God’s Word is the thing they long for most . . .
All they want are the tools, training, and technology . . .
Some use pencil and paper. Others have an ancient laptop which runs off of an equally ancient generator. This might be a step up from pencil and paper, but probably not much when you consider that when fuel runs out, the generator dies, old computers crash and their batteries die, and they still have no access to the internet. Just as concerning, their Bible translation project is moving very slowly, and they’re not confident their translations are accurate.
The great news is that Wycliffe Associates has TNT, which is short for Technology for National Translators . . .
We can reach believers in challenging locations with highly specialized computers loaded with translation software plus other equipment, so even believers living on boats can start and sustain their translation projects!
National Bible translators can also access a library of translation resources to ensure accuracy and connect with other translators across borders for collaboration. This allows national Bible translators to continue their work remotely on a closed network and save it electronically so there is a digital backup in case their work is discovered or destroyed.
Support from many caring friends is what makes the tools and training available to language groups who may have no other way to translate God’s promises into their heart language.
It costs just $1,500 to equip a translator with TNT, but with so many language groups waiting and hoping and praying for the opportunity, our goal is to raise a total of $90,000 so we can say YES to every team who is ready to begin.
We rejoice because generous friends have provided a Matching Challenge fund of $40,000 that will double every gift we receive up to the total $90,000 goal. This moves us so much closer to our goal of providing TNT to groups like those living on the water in Southeast Asia!
- I ask you to unite in prayer with me for our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been pushed to the fringes of existence, who are living on a boat yet ask for nothing but the tools to translate God’s Word!
- I ask you to give to provide the specialized computers they need with a long-life battery, with the software they need to confidently translate, and with the capability to connect to an internet signal.
- And spread the word to other believers to help, equipping translation teams so they can read the Christmas story to their loved ones next December—in a language they can understand—for the very first time!
Together, we can help these people groups get God’s Word into the language of their hearts—especially while a $40,000 Matching Challenge fund doubles the impact of every dollar donated and helps us reach our total $90,000 goal!
Thank you for giving generously while your gift is doubled by the Matching Challenge. You are a key part in providing translation tools and training to believers who are praying for this chance to translate God’s Word into the language of their hearts, as well as bringing the unreached to faith in Christ.