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Published on 14 October, 2013

Technology opportunities accelerate Bible translations

Oceania (MNN) — What if you could help with the Bible translation process in
an immense way?

Wycliffe Associates is stepping up its support of national,
mother-tongue translators who are at work on Bible translation projects
for their own people, and you can help.

The project, the Pacific Advance, focuses on providing national
translators with resources and training to quicken the work of Bible
translations in a region where 350 Bible translating projects are under way and 404 projects are waiting to begin. 

It is vital to get the untouched projects started as Papua
New Guinea, specifically, holds 12% of the languages on earth. Other
areas in the Pacific to be reached include: Indonesia, the
Philippines, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Micronesia. President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates
Bruce Smith says, "Just about 20% of the remaining translation needs in the world are in this
area, and so this is why it's in our focus and in our strategy."

Wycliffe Associates is equipping Bible
translators with training and technological tools in the form of Bible
Translation Acceleration Kits (BTAKs), consisting of a small, portable
netbook computer, satellite
communication terminal, solar panel, battery, and power supply. 

Smith says, "Our particular emphasis over the past five
years has been to develop a national training center in Papua New Guinea to
equip the local people so that they can lead this work and take this initiative
themselves." 

One of the challenges that slows Bible translation in the Pacific is accessibility: some areas can be reached only by boat or plane. Wycliffe Associations has repaired remote airstrips, upgraded airplane hangars,
and helped purchase a new aircraft through funds provided by donors which
provides a "safety net" of air support for translators and their families.

During the last half of the 20th century, there has been tremendous progress made in getting the message out. The people reached by Wycliffe have been responsive. "But what you have now,
are literally millions of Christians who've come to Christ on the milk of the
Word, but don't have the meat of the Word in order to grow," explains Smith. This is why the
challenge of getting the Word out to remote locations is key, so these young
believers can continue to grow on the "meat" of the Word.

As Wycliffe partners with mother-tongue translators, the
goal is 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.

What can you do? "We have an opportunity to be a part of the completion
of getting God's Word to the rest of the world," says Smith. "It can really happen in our
generation. With technology, with new transportation, with new communication
tools, even with new translation strategies involving more and more people in
this process, I really believe this is going to happen in the next decade." For
more information on Bible translation, click here.

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