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Manjak Bible translators and literacy specialists in Senegal work in partnership to ensure that when the translation is finished, the Manjak people will be able to understand it and apply the Gospel to their lives.

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In honor of Bible Translation Day, we’re debuting a brand new video!

Learn how the Bible transforms people’s lives when it’s written in a language they can clearly understand, and discover how many language groups are still waiting for their own translation.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Earlier this year, Ivan and Jesse Dishman attended Wycliffe’s new missionary training and told the story of how they decided to serve God in Papua New Guinea. We enjoyed hearing it so much that we wanted to share it:

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David Bowden is a spoken word poet who recently witnessed a translation project happening in India. This poem is about his experience there. Find out more information at EndBiblePoverty.org, an initiative of our partner The Seed Company.

 

Trouble viewing this video? Click here to watch it at its original source on YouTube.

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This summer you can take advantage of a special matching gift opportunity. When you give to our First Words to Final Printing campaign, your gifts up to $175,000 will be matched dollar for dollar, thanks to committed Wycliffe partners who want to help bring God’s Word to the Bibleless!

Listen to Russ Hersman, Wycliffe USA’s COO, tell about the opportunity in this video:

Go to www.wycliffefirstwords.com to learn more!

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Every year Wycliffe’s summer matching challenge—First Words to Final Printing—brings in valuable resources to help advance Bible translation for language groups around the world. For these communities, having Scripture in their own language is monumental. Without it, they are unable to find the spiritual truths that can transform their lives.

Recently in a community in Southeast Asia, a mother-tongue translator named Sharon* got to witness transformation in the life of her friend Rose* when she started sharing with her the series of Bible stories that her team had crafted. Sharon would play a recording of a story several times, and then ask Rose questions to see if she understood the meaning. With each story, Rose grew more and more interested. Then, after hearing about Jesus’ birth, His baptism, and John the Baptist’s call to repentance, Rose began to reflect on her own life and need for forgiveness from past wrongs. She abruptly asked, “Could I become a Christian now?”

Sharon was caught off guard a bit. She really hadn’t expected Rose to consider a response of faith until she had finished sharing the whole set of stories with her. Excited, she quickly got her thoughts together, and then began to explain more in-depth what it meant to be a Christian. Sharon invited Rose to church, and in the following weeks, as Rose heard about Jesus’ ministry, suffering, death, and resurrection, her faith in Christ grew deeper.

The work going on in Rose’s language group is just one of several projects needing funds through the First Words to Final Printing matching challenge. And this summer is a great time to give because every gift (up to $175,000) will be matched by generous donors who are excited to participate in bringing God’s Word to people who don’t have it in their language!

Go to www.wycliffefirstwords.com to give towards:

  • Specific training opportunities and resources for translation programs in Papua New Guinea, Southeast Asia, and Sudan.
  • Moving translation forward for projects in Kenya, Burkina Faso, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Printing costs of four New Testaments.

*Names are pseudonyms

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By Richard Gretsky

expolit

Every year at Expolit—a conference for Spanish-speaking Christians from around the world—the conference organizers pick a project to highlight and support.

This year, they selected a Wycliffe project.

Members of the media, artists, publishing houses, and Christian professionals from all over the world converged on the Convention Center at the DoubleTree Hotel at Miami Airport May 2–5 to check out Christ-honoring products available in Spanish and see what was new in their various industries.

And because of the spotlight on Wycliffe, everyone who attended also got a front row seat to learn about Bible translation.

Expolit showed a special Wycliffe video in Spanish and enabled us to set up a booth to tell people stories about how lives are changed through the process of Bible translation. In addition, Expolit graciously used that platform as an opportunity to raise money for a Wycliffe project to translate the Bible for the Ico* people of Colombia. The patrons were encouraged to give to the project, and Expolit agreed to match whatever was raised. On top of that, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of a new Spanish Bible translation by Holman Bible Publishers will be donated to Wycliffe.

And that spotlight paid off.

By the end of the conference, tens of thousands of dollars were raised for the project and other general Wycliffe funding; but what’s more, people were amazed at the relevance of what we do. Many were previously unaware that there are nearly 7,000 worldwide languages, and that—though we’re working on 1,500 language projects currently—there are still almost 2,000 languages with no translation.

Marcos Crespo, a graphic designer at Wycliffe USA, facilitated the booth at the conference and was encouraged by the response of pastors and church members from all over the globe.

“People were very perceptive…(and) it was easier for them to be in touch with understanding that people who need the Bible live close to them (wherever they live),” Marcos said. “Some were in tears knowing that the people we service are people near them that they, too, are trying to reach.”

On the whole, the conference was a big hit for Wycliffe, as people learned more about Bible translation. Many have already sought to partner with us to help people all over the world have the Bible in their own languages.

*A pseudonym

Give to the Ico project at: http://www.wycliffe.org/Give/expolit.aspx

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Click here to read Part 2: Alune

On March 14, Wycliffe USA staff gathered in Orlando to celebrate sixteen recent Scripture translations. Three staff members shared stories about some of the translations featured. We have been posting the scripts for each of these stories on our blog. Here is the third and final story, by Jannah Welcome, who works in the Wycliffe Discovery Center:

The Gamo New Testament, Ethiopia

Gamo

Greetings everyone! My name is Jannah Welcome, and I would like to share with you a little about an Ethiopian cluster project involving three people groups that recently celebrated their New Testaments. This is a Seed Company project that was officially launched in October 2003, and the goal was to take the Wollaiyta Bible and use it to translate the Gamo, Gofa, and Dawro New Testaments.

This cluster strategy is a relatively new approach that has been speeding up Bible translation in many parts of the world. By having local translators of related languages work side-by-side on their translations, they are able to help each other with faster, more accurate translations. You should go read John and Bonnie Nystrom’s new book Sleeping Coconuts if you want to learn more about how they work!

We’re excited to celebrate the Gamo, Gofa, and Dawro New Testaments from Ethiopia today. Though all rich in testimonials, the one I’d like to highlight here is the Gamo New Testament dedication.

The Gamo dedication was held on June 10, 2012, on the public square of Ch’ench’a, a town located on the mountains of southwest Ethiopia, west of Lake Abaya, where the Gamo people reside. There are over a million Gamo people, and ten ethnic sub-groups among them, who speak Gamo.

Not only do we celebrate today with the Gamoyans for receiving the Word of God, but the history of the location where the actual celebration took place is absolutely a tremendous testament of the restorative power of God at work. The dedication took place on the same grounds where communists brutally persecuted Christians just one generation ago. Many of the people’s possessions, including Bibles, were burned during the Derg regime from 1974–1991, and many believers were put in prison during that time.

The main translator for the Gamo New Testament—Pastor Tesfaye—spent two years in prison himself during the communist persecution. At the New Testament dedication, he was asked to offer an introductory prayer. But when he got up to speak, all he could do was cry. He told about the bloodshed he witnessed from his youth, and how they weren’t allowed to preach or even mention God’s name. They could only pray in their hearts or meet in people’s homes at night.

The dedication happened in the town’s main square, but years ago, that location was actually a police station—the same station where Pastor Tesfaye was imprisoned for three months before being hauled off to prison for two years. It’s also where many Christians were flogged and beaten for their faith in 1949 and 1950. More arrests followed, and the Christians were forbidden to care for their fellow brothers and sisters in prison, so many suffered and some even died.

One thing that I find encouraging is that, though these brothers and sisters were being persecuted to the point of being homeless, they were more frightened by the almost total crop failure. This would mean if they did escape persecution, that starvation was another factor to consider. I was deeply moved by their story and am so grateful they don’t have to go through this anymore. You can imagine what it must have been like for Pastor Tesfaye and the Gamo people to not only be free to follow Christ now, but to also have God’s Word in their own language for the first time. And as Pastor Tesfaye, now older and wiser, held his new Bible in his hand, he said to the crowd, “God has taken vengeance with His love.”

To see pictures and a two-minute video of the Gamo dedication, click here.

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When the Knochel family visited a Bible translation project they were financially supporting in the Solomon Islands, their hearts were overjoyed to know they were part of the team.

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By Rodney Ballard and Elyse Patten

My Heart’s Desire from Wycliffe Global Alliance on Vimeo.

Diane Lovell is an Australian serving as a Bible translation consultant-in-training in Southern Africa with The Seed Company, a Wycliffe partner organization. Diane shares how God provided her a way to continue in her work after having a baby girl while balancing it with the responsibilities of being a new mother.

This story was created by the Wycliffe News Network. 

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