International (MNN) — Have you ever thought about the role of Bible translation in the Great Commission?
"Bible translation is fundamental to church planting, to evangelism, to discipleship; so, having Scripture in these languages is really a vital first step," says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.
While Bible translation used to take decades to complete, Smith says a new wave of technology is pressing the fast-forward button.
Two years ago, Wycliffe Associates created a Bible Translation Acceleration Kit. Consisting of a portable netbook computer, satellite communication terminal, solar panel, battery and power supply, the kits run on solar power, making them ideal for remote locations.
"It's made a dramatic difference in the communication and collaboration between translation teams," says Smith.
"Over the past two years, we've provided these for about 250 language programs around the world. It's having a huge impact on accelerating the pace of Bible translation as a result."
In Nigeria, where there are over 300 languages without any Bible translation activity, Wycliffe Associates' kits have connected 47 translation projects to the Internet. For the Etulo people of Nigeria, the Bible will be the first thing ever written in their language.
Etulo translators are making tremendous strides as they use the kits to work on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Book of Acts.
This technology is especially critical in remote regions, where travel is difficult and sometimes dangerous.
"Keeping [translators] at home, keeping them in a low-profile mode of operating definitely improves the safety for the translation teams," says Smith.
Wycliffe Associates needs to send between 500 and 600 kits to the field this year. Can you help? Click here.
"Pray that God would continue to raise up people from the language groups that can be key participants and leaders in the translation process," Smith requests.