Information Technology in Missions: Introduction

Computers are being used to speed Bible translation.

Computers are being used to speed Bible translation.

How does Information Technology (I.T.) serve in the area of missions? How can nerds / geeks make a difference in Bible translation? Sometimes it is difficult to see how God can use geeks to reach Bibleless people in this area of technology. After all what can someone who sits on a computer all day actually do to help translate God’s Word into a language that previously did not have God’s Word? How is it that God can use geeks with computers to reach people for Christ and his Word? Well these questions and this difficulty of seeing are why I am going to write a brief series of posts to give you a broad stroked overview of I.T. in Bible translation. Since it will be broad it will miss various details, and even whole fields within I.T. My ultimate goal with this series is to whet your appetite for how God can use geeks in Bible translation. I am going to cover five support roles within Information Technology. They in no way complete the whole picture of I.T. in Wycliffe (or any other missions organization). Mixed in will be my own thoughts and research into these areas highlighted by my own quirky since of humor. In other words have your salt shaker ready and take it with a grain of salt. These are the areas that I hope to cover:

  1. Technical support for missionaries, national translators, and expat translators. 
  2. Translation tools that are used to help speed up Bible translation projects. These tools of course will focus on those used on the computer.
  3. Engineering of fonts just so that translators can use computer software to do their work. Not to mention having the ability to print the Scriptures after their completion.
  4. Distribution of Bibles in digital format, and why this is a growing and important area of Bible translation.
  5. Why there is a need for business applications (an application is a program or suite of programs on a computer) in the process of Bible translation.

Now if you are an I.T. guy or gal you’ll notice this does not even begin to cover all the areas of Information Technology or where it could go. This is just a bit of a tease :D. My hope is that once you walk away from these posts you will have a better idea of the things that Melissa and I will be involved (as well as have the opportunity to be involved) in when we arrive in Papua New Guinea!