(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe Associates)
Sudan (MNN) ― Wycliffe Associates wants to finish a translation center in Southern Sudan before a peace agreement expires in 2011. Its buildings are dilapidated after hostilities forced translators to leave for nearly 18 years. Squatters occupied the buildings until translation teams returned in 2005.
"With the expiration date of the peace agreement looming, we must establish a permanent translation center to ensure that Sudanese nationals will be equipped to translate God's Word into the remaining languages that need it," said Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.
The teams lived in mud huts until housing and office space could be repaired, but space is still limited. Rent for a typical apartment is prohibitively expensive at $3,000 a month. Translation training classes are filled to capacity, and more facilities are needed.
Over the course of 2009, five teams of volunteers repaired plumbing, electrical wiring, and structural issues at the translation center in the city of Juba. The buildings are now functional, but much more needs to be done.
"Though much has been accomplished, there is so much work left to be done to provide these committed Bible translators with living quarters, classrooms, offices, and workstations," Smith said.
In Southern Sudan, over a million people in 25 language groups do not have a translation of God's Word in their heart language. Translators hope the power of the Gospel could help bring peace to the region.
"The work of Bible translation in Southern Sudan has the power to bring hope, peace, and rest to a nation that has suffered upheaval and violence many times in its history," Smith said.
Sudan branch director Elizabeth Newport agreed, saying Sudanese Christians feel the same way.
"The Sudanese translators and literacy workers
want to be part of peace-building as Southern Sudan is rebuilt," she explained.
"True peace will only be lasting if the teachings of the Prince of Peace are at
the heart of the nation -- having a stable base in Juba to support the mother-tongue
translation teams will bring that goal closer."
A generous donor has provided a $30,000 matching fund challenge. You can help match that amount and bring the peace of the Gospel to the tribes of Sudan.