“Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.” – Psalm 57:5 (NLT)
This verse wasn’t just the theme for this year’s Scripture Celebration –– it was also the prayer and longing of the hearts of everyone in attendance.
On September 30, a Scripture Celebration took place not only at Wycliffe USA Headquarters, but all around the world, thanks to live-stream! (If you missed the celebration, you can watch it here.). It was a morning filled with rejoicing through worship, video testimonials, photos and stories as we celebrated with sixteen different language communities around the world who have recently received Scripture. On a vibrant display at the front of the stage were copies of Scriptures from each language community — some now have access to the Psalms or the Book of Luke, while others have complete Old or New Testaments. And some now have the entire Bible in their own language!
Testimonies from a few of the language communities represented were shared throughout the morning as well. There were stories from the Culina in Peru –– a group who waited 60 years from the time translation began until the time the New Testament was delivered into their hands in July of 2015. One Wycliffe couple, Dick and Nadine Clark, have been praying for this particular translation project for 40 years!
“I hope I have the opportunity to pray for something for that long,” Hannah Weiand expressed as she talked about the Culina from the stage. “Be it just one translation project or be it this work in general, I want prayer to be part of my legacy. … We need to continue praying, because the work is not done. And at the same time we’re praying, we can rejoice because of all of the translations we have today.”
There were also stories from the Kandawo in Papua New Guinea, a relatively small language community who number around 5,000. In a video, the Kandawo expressed their joy at receiving the Scriptures in their own language through a skit. This skit depicted what it feels like to receive God’s Word in a language that is not your own and doesn’t speak to your heart. But then, the Kandawo exemplified, through the acting of the skit, what happened when they received the Bible in the language that spoke to their heart: joy, hope, thanksgiving and defeat over their spiritual enemy. It was a beautiful display of what God’s Word truly means to those who receive it in their language for the first time.
Amid worship songs, testimonials and beautiful photographs, the Scripture Celebration reminded everyone in attendance of the reason the lives and hearts of so many have been changed –– prayer. The event was rooted in prayer for language communities around the world –– both those who have already received the gospel in their own language, and especially those who haven’t.
Praise God for events like the Scripture Celebration that remind us to pause and take time to be thankful for how he continues to work in the lives of people around the world. May his glory shine over all the earth!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged 2015, 30, Bible, celebrate, Celebration, day, glory, language, may, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Scripture, September, shine, Translation, translators, Wycliffe |
“The Quechuas … did not only want half a Bible. They wanted the whole thing.”
When Rick and his wife Melanie moved to Peru in 1981 and started translating the Wanca Quechua New Testament, they couldn’t imagine that 25 years later, they would be celebrating its completion. After living in Peru for so long, Rick and Melanie then decided to move to California where he now teaches linguistics courses at Biola University. It would seem like the end of his translation story, right?
Not quite. In fact, Rick continues to work with the Quechua team via Skype on a translation of the Old Testament. And as time has passed, something amazing has begun to happen –– the team is growing! Today it includes students in Rick’s capstone course who are working with the Quechua team virtually to edit and translate text. The entire experience is powerful to watch unfold. “Students participating in this way, it’s the difference between reading a recipe and cooking and eating the banquet,” Rick said. Because of the project, some of Rick’s students have even taken time out of their schedules post-graduation and accompanied him to work with the translators in person — all the way in Peru!
For Rick and his team, the translation project is more than just a job. “There is a knowledge that comes to us as North American translators from afar that we might not have had, had we not had the interaction with the Quechuas,” he explained. One particular passage — the parable of the lost sheep — took Rick’s Quechua co-translator, Amador, by surprise.
“Nobody would just abandon all their sheep to search for the one that was lost,” Amador, said regarding the part where the shepherd had counted 99 sheep and noticed that one was missing. Amador explained that since sheep are the livelihood for his people, even his mother who is illiterate and cannot count would know if a sheep was missing from the flock.” Puzzled, Rick asked how this could be. Amador said that even though his mother cannot count, “she knows each and every sheep,” because she has an intimate knowledge of her flock.
The Quechua people taught Rick something new about God’s character through that famous parable. “Rather than being a numerical issue or a statistical issue with God [and the parable], it’s a relational issue,” Rick said. “[God] knows each and every one of us. … He knows us in ways that we can’t even imagine. But the Quechuas can.”
Rick was amazed by this newfound knowledge and view of God! “[We came] away with a perspective on the Scriptures and a perspective on [our] relationship with God that we did not expect.” And as he continues to work with the team, Rick is reminded that the work they do is important and life-changing, not just to those reading the finished translation, but to those translating too.
Story by Jennifer Stasak
Photo by Katie Kuykendall
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Americas, Bible, college, new testament, perspective, Peru, project, Quechua, Rick Floyd, South America, student, Translation, unexpected, university, Wanca |
September 30 is Bible Translation Day, a holiday officially recognized in the United States since 1966. It was during that time that Wycliffe founder Cameron Townsend shared an idea with Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris, his friend of several years. “September 30 is St. Jerome’s Day. He’s the first translator of the whole Bible. I thought maybe we could get the House and Senate to pass a resolution calling for the president to proclaim September 30 as Bible Translation Day.” The motion was approved, and now, almost 50 years later, we want to take a moment to look at how far Bible translation has come through this series of pictures titled, “Bible Translation, Then and Now.”
View the full slideshow.
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The staff at Wycliffe Bible Translators USA extend our heartfelt congratulations to Bishop Claude Alexander, Jr., his wife, Dr. Kimberly and their two daughters, Camryn and Carsyn on the 25th anniversary of his pastoral ministry at The Park Church.
Bishop Alexander is a member of the board of directors of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA.
Posted in Uncategorized |
Don’t forget to RSVP for Wycliffe’s Scripture Celebration, taking place on September 30 at 10 a.m. EDT! Visit wycliffe.org/celebrate to RSVP and be sure to bookmark this page, as it will be where the live-stream celebration takes place.
We also encourage you to invite your family and friends to participate in the celebration as well! This will be a time of rejoicing and worshipping God for all that he’s done around the world. We will have the opportunity to hear stories about God’s faithfulness and provision from language communities who have recently received Scripture in their languages.
This is a celebration that you don’t want to miss! Share this event invitation with everyone you know so that they can experience the joy that comes from knowing God, too.
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Park and Betty Kriner were introduced to Wycliffe in 1962 at a missions conference. While there, they met Arlo and Vi Heinrichs, a couple serving as Bible translators in Brazil. The Heinrichs stayed with the Kriners for a time and a friendship began. “When these people stayed in our home, we became like family with them. Knowing Arlo and Vi and their kindness and zeal got us excited, especially when we heard the story of how Wycliffe was founded. We had specific information about many tribes that hadn’t been reached and how many were being translated at that time. That got us interested in giving.”
A particular aspect of Wycliffe’s work closely matched their interest: aviation. So in 1965 the Kriners, along with their pastor, raised $120,000 to purchase a Helio Courier for Wycliffe. Park says, “I’m a pilot so I was interested in the jungle aviation and radio part of Wycliffe’s ministry. We went around to little churches where we lived in Idaho and took faith promises. In one year we bought the aircraft and sent it down to South America. We named it ‘The Spirit of Idaho.’”
Right away Park was impressed with Wycliffe’s stewardship of donated funds. “Through our research we found that Wycliffe is very frugal with spending the money that they’re given — they don’t waste it. A very high percentage goes right to the mission field to support people on the front lines who are sharing the gospel. We’re business people so we thought that was a good place to invest in eternity.”
So when it came time for estate planning, Park and Betty — who now live in Glenallen, Alaska — met with a Wycliffe Foundation representative and chose to include Wycliffe Bible Translators in their bequest. “When we go on to our eternal home, a portion of our estate is going to Wycliffe. We feel really comfortable with that. We think it’s one of the best organizations in the world. They’re getting the job done in places where nobody else will go.”
Park thinks giving is one of the greatest rewards you can experience as a Christian. He says, “What a blessing it is to give! We’re the ones that receive the blessing, not those that receive the funds. God supplies the money and we do with it what we think he wants us to do. So that’s what we have enjoyed through the years, giving to Wycliffe. Instead of just sending a check off every month, Bible translation became part of our life. Having that association with Wycliffe has really been a spiritual blessing to both my wife and me.”
If you’d like to learn more about including Wycliffe in your own estate plans through a will or trust, or by way of a beneficiary designation on an account, retirement plan or life insurance policy, please contact us (toll-free) at 1-877-493-3600 or visit wycliffefoundation.org.
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“Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth” (Psalm 57:5, NLT).
Did you know that Wycliffe will be hosting a Scripture Celebration on September 30 at 10 a.m. EDT? This celebration will take place in Orlando, Florida, but you can join us, no matter where you live, through live-stream on our webpage.
You might be wondering what exactly a Scripture Celebration is, so we’ll tell you! As communities receive the translated Bible — whether in part or in whole — they plan big celebrations to mark the occasion. It’s a time of rejoicing and praising God for the amazing gift of being able to understand what his Word says in their own language.
So on September 30, we’re hosting our own Scripture celebration in Orlando to rejoice with those who have recently received God’s Word in their own languages. And we want you to be a part of it! During the celebration, you will hear stories about God’s faithfulness, see pictures of different dedications and watch videos from various language communities around the world. The most exciting thing about this event is that we get the opportunity to rejoice, as the body of Christ, with our brothers and sisters who have received God’s Word in their own language. And that’s definitely something worth celebrating!
We encourage you to share information about the event with your friends, supporters and family members so they have the opportunity to join us through the live-stream as well. Encourage them to RSVP at wycliffe.org/celebrate so they can receive a reminder of the event as it gets closer. You won’t want to miss out on this amazing event!
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