(File footage courtesy Wycliffe Associates)
Nigeria (MNN) ― "Violence continues to escalate in Nigeria and across Africa, and we don't have much time before some locations could close to Westerners," says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. "Together, we can use today's advancements in technology to translate God's Word more efficiently and safely."
Nigeria's population of more than 170 million is comprised of approximately 50% Muslims and 40% Christians, with the remaining population following other religions or traditional beliefs.
Recently, Nigerian Christians have been the target of terrorist attacks. On June 3, a suicide bomber killed 12 worshippers at a church in northern Nigeria, and another 15 worshippers were killed in April when they were attacked by gunmen in the city of Kano in northern Nigeria. In February and March, suicide bombers struck churches in Jos, killing a total of 5 people and wounding 38.
The technology that Wycliffe Associates provides to Bible translators makes it possible for translation work to continue, despite the violence.
While English is the official language of Nigeria, half of Nigerians cannot speak it. There are more than 500 languages in the country, spoken by 250 people groups. And currently, more than 300 languages are without any Scripture.
"It is not the time to give up," says Smith. "Rather, we must stand with them and pursue Bible translation efforts with an even greater urgency."
The organization provides Bible translation workers with translation acceleration kits that consist of a portable netbook computer, a satellite communication terminal, a solar panel, a battery, and a power supply. These kits will reduce, by years, the time it takes to complete a Bible translation and allow Bible translators to communicate in real time with translation consultants located hundreds, even thousands, of miles away.
Wycliffe Associates also supports Bible translation efforts in Nigeria and through Africa by involving volunteers in service opportunities to fill key needs for translation teams, by raising financial support for ongoing ministries there, by establishing training centers, and by training national translators.
Wycliffe Associates involves people in accelerating the work of Bible translation through their time, talents, and treasure. Because millions of people around the world are still waiting to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as they can to translate every verse of the Bible into every tongue to change every heart. The organization partners with nationals, mother tongue translators, staff, volunteers, and supporters to direct and fund these efforts, as well as provide logistics, networking, and technical support. Through a growing global network, Wycliffe Associates is striving to overcome local limitations of time and resources to achieve the goal of beginning the translation of God's Word in every remaining language that needs it by 2025.