Tag Archives: Bible Translation

Vision 2025: Now. Is. The. Time.

“By 2025, together with partners worldwide, we aim to see a Bible translation program begun in all the remaining languages that need one.”

This is the core of Vision 2025.

We have over 400 English versions of the Bible, while hundreds of millions of people wait for a single verse.

Can we be ok with that?

Wycliffe USA and our partner organizations believe the answer is a resounding, “No!” Now, now is the time for God’s people to mobilize.

If you have 5 minutes, please watch the video below from one of Wycliffe’s partner organizations to learn more about Vision 2025 and why we believe it is so crucial.

Longing for the Word

Two ladies read from their Wuvulu-Aua NT during the Wuvulu Scripture Application and Leadership Training (SALT) course. Used with permission, Wycliffe Bible Translators, David J. Ringer.

Two ladies read from their Wuvulu-Aua NT during the Wuvulu Scripture Application and Leadership Training (SALT) course. Used with permission, Wycliffe Bible Translators, David J. Ringer.

Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
I am sojourner on the earth;
hide not your commandments from me!
My soul is consumed with longing
    for your rules at all times…

Your testimonies are my delight
they are my counselors…

Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works…

I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O LORD;
let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!

Psalm 119:19-20, 24, 27, 30-32

Do we understand what it means to consumed with longing  for the Word of the Lord? May our delight in God’s testimonies prompt us to pray, give, and go on behalf of those who are saying, “Hide not your commandments from me!”

Here in our place, we want the Bible too, but we don’t have anyone to help us. Can you tell your bosses to send someone to help us? – Papua New Guinean man to Wycliffe translator

 

Join the Team – Pray for the Bibleless!

I will pray

It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions. – John R. Mott

The above video is from The Seed Company, one of Wycliffe’s partner organizations. Will you pray?

Reaching the last language groups with the power of God’s Word is only possible through Christ’s body working in unity, with many people fulfilling a variety of roles. One essential role is that of prayer warriors, who will pray diligently for specific missionaries, specific countries, and specific people groups.

David and I have been blessed to be a part of the Bibleless people prayer project since early 2006. We received a simple card with the pseudonym of a people group, without any access to God’s Word. We began praying that God would reach this people group. That He would raise up workers. We prayed. And we prayed. In 2011, we received more information about this people group, along with the wonderful news that two different couples were headed to work among them! It is our great privilege to continue to pray for these missionaries, for God to equip and raise up more workers, and make Himself known in a powerful way.

This is what Wycliffe’s Bibleless people prayer project is about. You receive the name of a real people group, and commit to pray diligently for them. Wycliffe has seen God answer these prayers in mighty ways!

Often, especially in America we pray the little prayers… The little things that we think might happen, without the power of God… When we pray for missions, pray for big things to happen! Pray for entire language groups… when it seems impossible.

You can sign up to join the Bibleless people prayer project here!

May He Grant: May 27th

May 27: Pray for the thousands of Papua New Guineans who are hearing God’s Word in their language through audio recordings. Pray that the truth would be clear to them and that they  would turn to the Lord.

In many cultures, truth is still understood best when it is heard, rather than read. Wycliffe works to get Scripture to people in many different forms, and in Papua New Guinea, audio recordings are a powerful tool that is often used in conjunction with printed Scripture.

Please join us in praying that as the Word of Life are listened too, they would soak into people’s hearts and minds, and that God would use them to draw many to Himself.

We listen to it daily. At noon we listen to it. We listen to it before going to sleep. Then we pray. Then we sleep.— Papua New Guinean man speaking about audio Scripture

Read more about the power of audio recordings in Papua New Guinea on the Wycliffe USA blog.

May He Grant: May 16th

May 16: Ask God to grant opportunities for many home meetings and speaking engagements during May and June so that awareness of Bibleless people groups and the amazing things God is doing through Bible translation will be increased.

It’s Day 16 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

We live in an exciting time for Bible translation, when the number of language groups still needing a translation is rapidly going down! We could see the last Bible translation for the last language group started in our lifetime! Praise the Lord, for He has done mighty things! So many people for so many years have poured out their hearts on their knees for that day to come!

There is still much to be done. Almost 2,000 language groups are waiting for a Bible translation to begin. Almost 300 of those language groups are in Papua New Guinea. At Wycliffe, we are asking God for Vision 2025 – with the goal that a translation project will be started in each of these remaining languages by the year 2025.

You may not realize it, but we have already begun the work of our missionary roles with Wycliffe. Our current assignment is not only to complete our partnership team, but more importantly to raise awareness about Bible poverty in our world. So many people have no idea how much work there is still to be done in Bible translation. We consider it a great responsibility to do all we can to arrange places where we can speak and encourage people to become involved in missions, whether in homes of people we know, children’s Sunday school classes, or speaking to churches.

Pray that the Lord would open the doors, and that He would use us to build a vision and passion within the local church about missions, for the sake of His name!

May He Grant: May 7th

May 7: Pray that the Lord would meet the urgent need in Ukarumpa for Children’s Home parents for the 2014‐15 school year (beginning in June).

It’s Day 7 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

Translators in Papua New Guinea spend part of the year in Ukarumpa and part of the year in the village of their language group. When they go to the village during the school year, their middle school and high school students are able to stay in Ukarumpa in a Children’s Home. Please pray that God would meet the need for “parents” for the Children’s Home quickly!

Here is a great video about this need:

 

May He Grant: May 5th

May 5th: Ask the Lord to provide 5 new monthly partners this week. May He give them a vision of Rev. 7:9-12, and an excitement to be a part of people from “all tribes and peoples and languages” praising the Lamb!

It’s Day 5 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

As most of you know, Wycliffe missionaries are each sent by a team of prayer and financial partners who are partnering with their specific ministry. Prayer partners are an invaluable part of the team – thank you for joining us in this way!

We also cannot go to PNG without folks willing to commit to give towards our monthly Wycliffe ministry budget on a regular basis. These gifts can be monthly, quarterly, or annually.

We have an amazing team of regular financial partners, and we are so thankful for each one of you. Currently we have 52 individuals or families, and 3 churches, that are part of Smiths on a Mission in this way – you are so important to this work! Please spend time today thanking God for all He has done to lead each of these people to join our ministry!

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12

This work, this team? It’s not about us. It’s not primarily about Papua New Guineans. It’s about God’s glory. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might are all His!! Forever and ever! His Word promises that people from every language will worship Him. We get to be a part of that, and we have the privilege of inviting others to be a part of that with us!

 

12 Crucial Weeks and How You Can Help

If you receive our newsletter or keep up with us on our Facebook page, you may have noticed that over the last few weeks, we have been feeling an increased sense of urgency. We’ve been planning and praying to leave the country in January of 2014. We knew we needed to be at 100% of our monthly ministry budget a little before that in order to plan and to order plane tickets. We had some other goals in place, but January did feel a little far away.

Then we found out a few weeks ago that we need to have 50% of our budget pledged in order to start the process for our Visas. That process needs to be started in June. Since we are still at less than 10%, 50% by June was eye-opening and urgency inducing.

The following week we found out that one of our mandatory trainings, which we thought was in September actually starts the middle of July. This training focuses on cross-cultural living, lasts for a month, and takes place in North Carolina. And we have to be at 50% of our support by May 28th to complete our registration process and attend. If we don’t attend the course in July, we can’t attend again until January, which pushes us back to August 2014 before we can leave for Papua New Guinea.

Today is March 1st, which means we have just over 12 weeks to get from less than 10% financial partnership to 50%. I’ll be honest, that feels like a really, really big mountain! We are confident that God has called us to serve with Wycliffe and speed Bible translation in Papua New Guinea. We long to see Him glorified in all the languages of the earth, and we are heartbroken to think of people dying every single day without the chance to hear His word in the language they understand best. We also trust that He is sovereign, powerful, and that His ways and timing are perfect. So we are diligently working and actively trying to rest in Him at the same time.

If we are going to be at 50% of our budget by May 28th, we have three major needs, and three ways that you can help us:

1. Prayer

We mention this one a lot, and there’s a reason we do! Prayer is crucial to this or any ministry. We need your prayers, desperately! For provision, open doors, and protection from discouragement.

Prayer is not preparation for the work of God, prayer is the work of God. – E.M. Bounds.

2. Financial partners

We can’t go to Papua New Guinea on our own. We need individuals, families, and churches who are passionate about God’s glory and people having access to His Word who will send us out. God describes His church as a body, and whether He calls us to go or to stay and send, we can all be a part of His plan to reach the nations.

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent… Romans 10:13-15a

3. Advocates

Another huge need we have right now is for advocates. An advocate is someone who is excited about Bible translation, and wants to help us get the word out! An advocate might:

  • Host a home meeting with some of their friends
  • Invite us to speak with their Sunday School class, small group, women’s or men’s Bible study
  • Introduce us to their missions committee or pastor
  • Share our newsletter, Invitation to Partnership brochure, facebook page, or blog

These are just a few of the ways an advocate might help spread the word about the need for Bible translation and help us find new financial and prayer partners. Whether you live in Mississippi, Alabama, or somewhere else, we would love to talk to you about advocacy!

The next 12 weeks are crucial in determining when we will go to Papua New Guinea. We are so grateful to those of you are praying diligently with us! If you’ve been considering financial partnership, but weren’t sure when you should commit, pledging now will be a huge blessing and help ensure we are able to meet the necessary deadlines to go in January. If you would like to find out more about being an advocate or know of somewhere we can share, please contact us!

Why do Bible Translation at all?

This is actually a very good question for several reasons. Let’s first take a look at ourselves (meaning English speakers). What do we have in way of Bible translations? Well according to American Bible we have some roughly 900 translations. Now there are some issue with this number as they explain.

I am afraid no one can give you an exact number for the English translations and paraphrases of the Bible printed since Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526. In part this is due to the difficulty of determining what should be defined as a new translation as opposed to a correction or a revision of an existing translation. There is the additional question of how we should count translations that include not a complete Bible or Testament, but just a group of books or even a single book. And then, of course, there is the difficulty of sheer numbers. With all these caveats in mind, the number of printed English translations and paraphrases of the Bible, whether complete or not, is about 900.

 If you were to go to the above link and read on you would find that they do site a reference called Catalogue of English Bible Translation. In the section of canonical books are 806 pages. Now they didn’t say how many translations there are, but I assume by the wording that each translation is represented by a single page. So another count of 806 English Bibles.

Arguably you do not have access to all 800+ translations. So let’s take a look at that. Assuming you had over $1,600 worth of change laying around, and if you were to buy for instance Logos’ Scholar’s Library: Platinum then you would have 47 English translations available. But for the sake of argument let’s just say that you are a little bit thrifty. Let’s say that you use Bible Gateway. I counted that at the time of this writing you would have access to 30 different English translations for the cost of getting on the Internet. Or you could even go to Bible.is and listen to 3 English translations (very well done I might add). Ok so the take away is that essentially free of charge you have access to at least 30 English Bibles and the ability to listen to 3 of those in very professional grade audio form.

“Ok, so what,” you might say. Let’s take a look at the stats for other languages of the world. Currently we believe that 6,837 languages are in use. Of these 6,837 languages Bible translation is progressing in this manner (remember English is just one language):
Complete Bible:  471
New Testament: 1,223
Just Portions:      1,002 (defined as one or more books)
That’s a total of 2,696 of 6,837 languages with some to complete Scripture.

As of the 2011 Survey there are 2,040 languages that likely need a translation that have no one at this present time working on translation. Here is a map of the world representing the distribution of these numbers.

For more information visit Wycliffe.net.

Here is an excellent vision of the point I’m trying to make.

So the next time you go to do your Bible study, and you have multiple versions to help you comprehend the meaning and context of Scripture do a couple of things. First, thank God for his mercy on you to have an abundance of resources to understand His word. Resources meaning not only translations, but also Bible dictionaries, commentaries, handbooks, audio Bibles, maps, books, etc. Second, pray for the people groups of the world who have little or no Scripture available in their heart language. Pray specifically that God would raise people up to go and do this hard work, including the people who play support roles, like we hope to do. Pray that they will also have people rise amongst them to write these other Bible study resources to help their people understand God’s word.