What do you think of when you hear the word ‘translate’? If you are like most of us in the United States of America, your mind envisions a text in English which has been rewritten in another language such as French, Spanish, or German. You may encounter these three languages in the instruction and/or care manuals for your newly purchased household appliance, your cookware, or your smart digital bathroom scale. You have even more choices of written languages with your medical E.O.B. (evidence of benefits) paid by your medical insurance.
However, not everyone can interpret information through standard written words. Think of interpreters who sign news, weather, speeches, and religious sermons for the deaf. We have become so accustomed to seeing these interpreters in a visual block on our electronic screens or monitors that we may have learned how to ‘sign’ a few words or phrases ourselves.
Today I would like to introduce you to Wycliffe Bible Translators,* an association which has taken as its mission providing the Word of God to peoples all over the world in a form which each language group can understand whether the finished product is tactile, audio, or visual. Thus, they are reaching the blind, the deaf, plus those who are both blind and deaf as well as those who see and hear. The Holy Bible is transforming lives as Wycliffe provides it in languages which speak to their hearts.
On every continent Wycliffe, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2022, is obeying what we call The Great Commission to “go and make disciples of all nations (Holy Bible, Matthew 28:9 NIV—New International Version). Trained indigenous individuals use Bible Translation Acceleration Kits which are solar-powered satellite communication kits with secure Internet connections. They upload their finished work to Wycliffe’s online depository for translated Scripture. Then Print-On-Demand equipment turns translated Scriptures into attractive print Bibles. With technological advances and God’s guidance Wycliffe is overcoming the obstacles of translation even in remote areas around the globe.
According to Wycliffe, there are almost 2,000 languages which have no alphabet. The many people speaking these languages live in oral cultures where their language is spoken but not written. Some of their neighbors consider them inferior because they have no written language. However, God does not consider them inferior! They are precious to Him, and he wants them to know and believe His story.
Not all areas are safe for the translators. Christian believers suffer persecution and even death if they are apprehended in many parts of the Middle East. They live in constant danger. But out of the frightening circumstances in which they find themselves have come miraculous stories of God’s intervention and protection.
If you would like to know more about the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators, I invite you to click the following link: https://wycliffeassociates.org/.
*I am not affiliated with Wycliffe Bible Translators, nor have I been asked to endorse their work or products.
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