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And now we’re off to Europe and Siberia! Many of the major languages of Europe have had the Bible for centuries, but there is still much work to be done on this continent.

This infographic shares some interesting facts about the languages and people of Europe. And make sure you check out our social media and follow our RSS feed to keep learning more!

July+28--Europe+infographic

 

Atara Koffi is a translator for the Akebu people in Togo, Africa. Though his family was heavily involved in traditional, pagan religion, Atara learned about Jesus and became a Christian early on. Now he wants his family and community to know the truth of the Gospel like he does. This is his testimony.

“I am from a family that doesn’t know Christ. My grandfather was one of the greatest fetish priests in the Akebu region. People came from various parts of our land and beyond to consult him. Some of the things that lead the Akebu to believe and devote themselves to the traditional gods are the fear of the invisible and of witches and wizards.

Atara

Photo by Marianne Harvey

“When I was very young, I stayed with my grandfather and participated in his practices. Though a fetish priest, he allowed me to attend the local Catholic church. I attended church, but still continued with the traditional religion. I was going to church without having a personal relationship with the Lord.

“At school, I passed all exams without much difficulty until I reached the last class in high school. I took the same exam many times without success. Then one day a colleague came to me and shared the Gospel with me. He encouraged me to accept Jesus as my personal Savior. I accepted, gave my life to the Lord, and passed the exam that same year. I joined a local church and got baptized some months later. I have been a Christian since then.”

Why Bible translation?

“After my conversion I was asked to stand by the preachers of the church to translate their preaching into our local language, Akebu. I used to do it with a great joy and devotion. Through that service I could see the importance of language in the communication of the Word of God. I also came to understand that many people in my church and in other churches in my Akebu region did not understand the message at all when it was not translated. Then one day the leader of an evangelistic group I was working with called me and said, ‘My brother, I wish you were trained to translate the Bible into your language!’ That started my desire to translate the Scriptures for my people.

“I was sent some years later to be trained as a Bible translator. I have chosen to devote myself to Bible translation because the Bible in the Akebu language will have more impact on my people. Non-Christians will come to Christ through their contact with the saving Word of God in our language, and Christians will be strengthened in their relationship with God, for they will know Him personally.”

Atara and many other translators need our support this summer, when giving tends to drop and their work is harder to sustain. You can help the Akebu translation keep moving forward by supporting Wycliffe’s summer campaign

In case you missed some of what we shared about the Americas area these last three weeks, here are some highlights:

“From Panama…”

“From Panama…”

-On our first day we learned many delightful facts about the Americas area from our awesome infographic.

-We were encouraged by the great lengths that people like Jerry Brown and his sons go to so they can have Scripture in their language.

-We met Kyle and found out how information technology plays a massive role in Bible translation.

-And we learned how impactful it is for people like the Kaiwá and the Dâw when they finally receive Scripture in their language.

 

Stay tuned for the next three weeks as we focus on Europe!

“…to Russia.”

“…to Russia.”

 

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Ed and Donna were long-time donors to Wycliffe Bible Translators. The Lord entrusted to them a parcel of pristine and highly appreciated pasture land. In their younger days, they spent many a weekend riding horses and camping with their children. Now the children have grown and the horses are long gone. The land had been unused for several years. After learning that people can give not only from their checkbook, but also from assets, Ed and Donna felt led to gift this land outright to Wycliffe to help fund Bible translation for people who do not have God’s Word in their heart language.

Working with a Wycliffe Foundation gift planning advisor, Ed and Donna deeded the property to Wycliffe. They received an income tax deduction of the property’s appraised value, avoided capital gains taxes, and had the immense satisfaction of making a significant gift to the work of Bible translation!

Passing on the JoyEd reflected on the donation, “We never thought we could make a gift of the size and magnitude that we did. God provided us with a beautiful asset from which we had many years of enjoyment. And now, He is using the proceeds from the gift of that asset to reach people for Christ. … We are so blessed!”

If the Lord has entrusted you with an appreciated asset such as securities, real estate, or business interest, prayerfully consider gifting all or a portion of it to Wycliffe to advance the work of Bible translation and impact God’s kingdom.

In addition to the outright gifts of assets, there are other charitable gifting strategies available, such as part-gift part-sale, donor advised funds, and charitable remainder trusts. The most appropriate option for you and your family depends on your particular situation and goals.

To explore options for the gifting of assets, or other giving strategies, please visit the Wycliffe Foundation website at www.wycliffefoundation.org or contact us by phone at 1-877-493-3600.

Kaiwa BibleThis is Pastor Dorival and his wife, Estela. They are dedicated members of the Bible translation project for the Kaiwá people in Brazil. Do you remember the Kaiwá people? We recently shared a story about them finally receiving the Old Testament in their language after many years of work. Well, now the translation team is going back to revise the New Testament, which was published almost thirty years ago. Once they are finished, they will publish the entire Bible as one grand book! Pray for the Kaiwá people and the translation project that is so important to so many in Brazil.

Learn about a wonderful translation project.

Estimates suggest that at least one hundred thousand people speak Mexican Sign Language (LSM), but only one-percent have ever attended a church service where their language was spoken. And there are only a few dozen small Deaf churches or churches with outreaches to the Deaf throughout the country of Mexico.

The vast majority of Deaf Mexicans, whether they attend church or not, currently have no practical access to God’s Word, but the LSM translation team reports that Deaf Mexicans have responded quite positively to the books of the Bible that have been translated so far.

Mexican Sign Language2The primary goal of the Mexican Sign Language translation project, which began full-time work in 1999, is to reach Deaf Mexicans with the Gospel and to facilitate the growth of an indigenous Deaf Mexican church by translating and widely distributing the entire Bible in LSM.

Another major goal is to enable Deaf Mexican children and adults—as well as interpreters, parents, and teachers of the Deaf—to gain more fluency in LSM. This will permit Deaf Mexicans to understand the LSM Scriptures better and have a higher overall quality of life.

You can help bring Scripture to people like the Deaf of Mexico in the language they understand best. Go to www.wycliffe.org/summercampaign to learn how.

 

 

By Melissa Paredes

A man working on his MacBook Pro.

As a young boy, Kyle Edwards had aspirations of being a missionary. “I had visions of parachuting into the jungle, reaching legions of lost souls, and distributing Bibles and truth as I dashed from one Jesus-filled adventure to the next,” Kyle shared.

But like many childhood dreams, Kyle’s life didn’t turn out like he had planned.

Growing up in a Christian home, Kyle gave his life to Christ at the young age of four years old. But during high school, he began to question the validity of his faith and lost interest in having an intimate relationship with God.

It wasn’t until Kyle was married with two children that he began attending church again. “Personally, I had a rather negative attitude towards the church,” Kyle shared, “but I didn’t want that to stand in the way of my children learning about God. Sunday after Sunday, I would reluctantly attend, but I wasn’t growing or actively pursuing God.”

Eventually Kyle began to get more involved in the church by joining the worship team. Around the same time, he and his wife joined a small group for new attendees of the church. There they met a family that helped reignite Kyle’s childhood dream of serving God as a missionary—the Hennums.

Doug and Jenny Hennum had recently begun serving with Wycliffe, and one night they were sharing about their new role in Information Technology (IT), an important and crucial role in translation work.

“At that moment, an explosion happened in my mind,” Kyle shared. “For so long I felt that I had missed my calling to missions, but the revelation that IT could be used to reach millions ignited a flame in me. I knew that I had to get involved.

“God spoke to me in that moment and I didn’t know how, when, or where, but I knew that I was being called to serve with Wycliffe.”

It turned out that there was an opening for a network administrator in Orlando, and after doing some research, Kyle and his wife flew down to Florida to check out what Wycliffe is all about in person.

Feeling God’s presence and a confidence that this might be where God was leading them, Kyle decided to apply for the position in IT, even though he felt underqualified. Not long afterwards, Kyle was offered the job. So he and his family packed up their life in Minnesota and made the trek down to Florida, leaving what they knew because they felt a calling from God to serve Him in missions.

Jobs in IT are much more critical to the work of Bible translation than you might believe. People like Kyle help maintain, improve, and update computers, networks, programs, and so much more—and it’s all vital to the work of translation. In a day when technology is increasingly significant to the impact of people’s everyday work, IT positions are constantly in demand.

Now Kyle gets to do a job he loves for a God he loves. He may not be parachuting through the jungles of some foreign country, but he’s helping to further the work of Bible translation on a global scale. And that’s a Jesus-filled adventure.

IT roles are one of Wycliffe’s greatest staffing needs. If you have a passion for seeing God’s Word available to everyone still waiting for it in a language they understand best, and are interested in helping through IT, visit www.wycliffe.org/go/information-technology today.

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