(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe Associates)
Papua New Guinea (WAS/MNN) ― New Ireland, a remote island off the coast of Papua New Guinea, is home to a culture of witch doctors and ancient spiritual customs.
15 of the 23 languages and dialects spoken there still don’t even have a translation of the New Testament.
Wycliffe Associates is currently supporting translation teams at the New Ireland Translation Institute that are working to complete Bible translations in the last 15 languages of the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea.
It normally takes an average of 15 to 25 years to translate the New Testament into a complex language. With the help and support of Wycliffe Associates, the Bible translators in New Ireland hope to complete the New Testament translations in all 15 languages within 8 years.
“National translators from all over the New Ireland Province regularly trek from their village homes--sometimes sailing across the perilous open sea--to the New Ireland Translation Institute for the work of Bible translation,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “These national Bible translators rely heavily on our support for everything, from food during training to the computers and pens they use to write their translations.”
It costs $18,000 to fund an entire language’s Bible translation work for a full year, with a yearly total of $270,000 for all 15 languages in New Ireland.
A donor has established a matching challenge for the organization’s constituents, doubling every dollar given to Wycliffe Associates in support of Bible translation in the New Ireland Province.
One translator, commenting on how having the Bible in her language has impacted her life, says, “Now I can understand the Bible more clearly. Now I can eat and sleep good and recognize that it is very true that God is good. I think forward, for what is in front of me is eternal life.”
Through a growing global network, Wycliffe Associates is striving to begin the translation of God’s Word in every remaining language that needs it by 2025.