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Posts Tagged ‘Scripture’

In the late 1980s, John and Bonnie Nystrom came alongside several men from Arop village in Papua New Guinea to translate the Bible into the local language. But a decade later, a massive tsunami took the lives of many in Arop village, including one of the translators.

Wycliffe Bible Translators is proud to present this short film about the Nystrom family and the sacrifice, teamwork and faith of the Aitape West Translation Project team in the face of tragedy. We encourage you to set aside an evening to watch it with your family, or share it with your church and other members of your community. Grab a cup of coffee or some popcorn and enjoy this film together! And don’t forget to download the accompanying discussion questions so your group can further engage with the Arop story.

Visit wycliffe.org/arop for more information about the film and translation project.

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By Melissa Paredes

Over the next few days, Wycliffe has a lot of reasons to celebrate!

September 30 is Bible Translation Day, which the U.S. Congress set in place in 1966. For almost 50 years we’ve been celebrating this opportunity to honor the work of Bible translation around the world. To learn more about Bible Translation Day, read the history here.

Reasons to Celebrate2October 2 we’re hosting a Scripture celebration at our Orlando headquarters, rejoicing with 19 languages that have received God’s Word in their heart language this year. We’ll share photos and updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts that day, and we’ll blog about the experience on October 3.

These two days are definitely worthy of excitement, and we want you to join us! That’s why we’re offering free admission to Wycliffe’s Discovery Center from September 29 to October 3. During your visit you’ll encounter people, languages and cultures, and you’ll see firsthand the impact that Bible translation is having around the world. Bring your kids, friends, family, neighbors or anyone you know who is looking for a fun, free day spent together in Orlando.

Reasons to CelebrateSo join us this week in celebrating what God has done throughout history and what he is doing today. His name is being spread throughout the world, and hopefully one day soon all peoples will know that he speaks their language too.

To see pictures from the Scripture celebration, or to stay updated on what’s happening with Wycliffe’s work around the world, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Introducing Around the World with Kate & Mack4

It’s always exciting to see that moment when something clicks with kids about the importance of Bible translation. So when Wycliffe received a letter from nine-year-old Alena about “From Akebu to Zapotec,” a book that talks about Bibleless people groups from around the world, we couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Alena addressed the author, artist and researcher of the book, writing, “Thank you for writing the book, From Akebu to Zapotec. My family has had your book for several years. I enjoy reading it. My name is Alena. I am nine years old. I love to draw people. My mom thinks I am very gifted. Here are some pictures that I drew. I am tall. I have greenish-brown eyes, olive skin and brown hair. My dreams are to be an artist, a missionary and a mom. Can I join you in illustrating the next book of Bibleless peoples? If not soon, maybe one day.”

What an encouragement it was to hear from Alena and receive the beautiful pictures she sent us. But perhaps the most exciting part was the timing of Alena’s letter. Little did she know that when we received her letter, we were in the final stages of creating an updated version of the book. In this edition, kids will travel with Kate, a Wycliffe missionary kid, and her best friend, Mack. Alena played a special role for us by reading through the new book and letting us know what she thought.

“I love the book and all of the people in it,” Alena wrote. “I especially like the way the illustrator was able to put his drawings over real pictures. Kate and Mack are so cute! I learned a lot about different languages and countries by reading this book. I hope everyone in these countries gets the Bible in their heart language. Melissa and Ben are both very talented. I would not change a thing. I love the last picture that shows everyone and their place in the world. I can’t wait to have a copy of it!”

Introducing Around the World with Kate & Mack3

Introducing Around the World with Kate & Mack2Introducing Around the World with Kate & Mack1

“Around the World with Kate & Mack: A Look at Languages from A to Z” shows today’s kids how God is working all over the globe. They’ll meet kids from other countries, learn about their language and culture, and find out if they have any of the Bible in their own language.

So keep your eyes open for the book, which becomes available in October. You won’t want to miss out!

 

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Words and photo by Rodney Ballard

Featured Photo From the Field--Celebrating God's Printed Word

Urs Ernst smiles as he inspects the newly completed Makaa New Testament, in print for the first time. Urs, who joined the project in 2000, was the translation consultant working with Dan and Teresa Heath who have served as exegete and linguist respectively since the project’s beginning in 1978. This is a celebration of the completion of the typesetting, with two copies of the New Testament having been printed in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The main printing will be in South Korea and is expected to arrive in Cameroon for the New Testament’s dedication in 2015.

 

 

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By Richard Gretsky

Simply Faithful - Farefare PrimerSome people think of missionaries as super-human—leaping the entire breadth of the Atlantic Ocean in one bound, leading entire countries to Jesus, all while dodging flights of arrows. But that’s not what they are. Most are pretty normal, actually; except that they’ve committed to roll up their sleeves, travel far from home, and serve however they can.

Such is the case with Bob and Nancy Schaefer.

They were both raised on dairy farms in the Ozarks, but didn’t meet until college. Then, in the summer of 1969, they got married and joined Wycliffe.

Assigned to Ghana in 1971—the same year their son Paul was born—they moved to the Farefare village of Zuarungu in April 1972. Later, they welcomed two more children into their family—one in 1974 and one in 1977.

Bob and Nancy acclimated quickly to a life of translation in the village, as the diligence necessary for it closely mirrored the “farmers’ hours” they experienced growing up in Missouri and Arkansas.

For forty-two years, the Schaefers passionately worked with local Ghanaian translators to provide Bibles for multiple people groups.Simply Faithful - Bob and Buli

Their down-to-earth, diligent effort translating Scripture has paid great dividends for the local people: in 1986, the Schaefers and their local team finished the Farefare New Testament, followed by the Buli New Testatment in 1996, the Birifor New Testament in 2006, and the full Farefare Bible in 2008. They expect to finish the full Buli Bible in 2015.

To this day, they still live there (as does their son, who works with a neighboring people group) helping to translate the Scriptures. Since 1983, their job has slowly shifted from strictly translation to primarily serving as consultants for local translators—something they speak fondly of.

“You have to be prepared not to seek position for yourself, but rather to help others be in the position to do the work of Bible translation,” Bob said.

“In most of our work, more or less, we are offering shoulders to stand on,” Nancy added. “[And] the thing that stands out to me is absolutely how much you can learn from the people that you work with.”

Simply Faithful - Zindo ClassWith the help of those people, these selfless farmers-turned-translators have enabled many more people to access God’s Word in their own language. So when talking about missionaries’ success, this couple may not be super-human, but they’ve played a major role in leading people to Jesus, and that’s super enough for them.

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coverIn his book, “The Finish Line,” Wycliffe President and CEO Bob Creson shares story after story that will open your eyes to the incredible ways God is changing lives through Bible translation.

Stories include a Tennet man’s journey walking 1,000 miles to make sure his people group gets a Bible they can understand, and Lee and Tammi Bramlett’s amazing account of how one word brought a radical new understanding of God in Cameroon.

Join Bob Creson on a conference call on Monday, Sept. 29.

Bob will be speaking with Lee and Tammi Bramlett about the incredible impact of Bible translation among the Hdi people in northern Cameroon. There are two times available, and both of the calls are live so that you can ask questions.

You can also participate in our social media contest after the event to win a free, autographed copy of “The Finish Line.” Tune in to the conference call, and follow along via our Facebook page or tweet at us using the hashtag #FinishLineBook. The first person to answer each of our questions correctly wins their autographed copy of the book!*

bob and bramletts

Left to right: Lee Bramlett, Tammi Bramlett and Bob Creson

To join the call, choose a time that’s most convenient to you and dial in:

(855) 756-7520 ext. 25593 at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CST, 6 p.m. MST, 5 p.m. PST)

OR (855) 756-7520 ext. 25594 at 10 p.m. EST (9 p.m. CST, 8 p.m. MST, 7 p.m. PST)

 

*Your social media posts must be public in order to participate in the contest. Answers via Facebook must be in the comments on the question we post. Tweets should include “@wycliffe_usa” and the hashtag #FinishLineBook. Limit one free copy of “The Finsh Line” per person. If you win, we’ll ask you to send us your shipping information in a private message.

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By Melissa Paredes
Photos by Marc Ewell & Heather Pubols

Every language needs the Bible in a format that people can clearly understand, whether it’s oral storytelling, written text, audio recordings or video. While the number of languages still waiting for Bible translation is progressively decreasing, none of the Deaf communities around the world have a full Bible in their own respective languages. Some have books and some have portions, but most have nothing at all. Deaf people worldwide are still waiting for a full Bible that they can understand.

Japanese Sign Language is one of those languages. Although multiple Japanese Bible translations have been published, they cannot be used to reach the Deaf community. Many Japanese Deaf only learn written Japanese as a school subject, never hearing it spoken to learn it naturally; a translation must be done specifically for the Japanese Sign Language community.

The Word UnderstoodThe “JESUS” film is already available in Japanese Sign Language, but the Deaf community still needs more—they need access to the Scriptures in their own language, one that speaks directly to their hearts.

That’s why they’ve been working on a Japanese Sign Language Bible. Deaf signers are bringing the Scriptures to life on a video screen. They aren’t just translating the words from the Japanese Bible; they are creating an entirely new translation, and every draft is done through recorded video. The team then goes back — often multiple times — to ensure that the signed footage is presenting the Bible passage clearly, accurately and authentically.

Roughly 20 percent has already been completed, and while work on the JSL Bible is still ongoing, the team is beginning to see the results of their labor.

Mr. Ogata does IT work for the ViBi team. He’s a hard worker, putting in long hours to make all the equipment work, but he’s not easily excitable. On one particular day, though, he was ecstatic.

“Last week I was alone at the office and we got a Skype call,” Mr. Ogata shared. “ViBi had had a visitor from another part of Japan who was so excited about the Japanese Sign Language Bible. He took three full DVD sets with him, and one went to a gentleman on the coast (where the tsunami and nuclear meltdown wreaked havoc).

“Well, it was that gentleman who called. He’s from [a church that doesn’t allow the ViBi translation], and he was so excited. ‘I’ve been a Christian more than forty years, and could never understand the Bible. I just had to try and do what the pastor said. I knew I should read the Bible, but I never ‘got it.’ This is totally different. It’s so clear! Now I can really know what the Bible is saying.’”The Word Understood2

That’s why Mr. Ogata and others on the ViBi team do what they do—for that moment of clarity when suddenly, everything clicks into place and the truth of the Scriptures is finally made clear. And what a beautiful thing it is when God’s Word speaks directly to hearts in the way they understand best. It’s definitely something worth feeling ecstatic about!

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