Baby boomers needed as Bible translation accelerates

By October 10, 2007

USA (MNN) — Wycliffe Associates' Volunteer Mobilization Center in Orlando, Florida, will be complete in the next 30 days.

"It's purpose really is to support our recruitment efforts for other volunteers around the United States and to support them administratively as they go to serve in countries around the world to advance Bible translation," said Bruce Smith of Wycliffe Associates. 

For this task, the center would like to utilize the growing number of baby boomers entering retirement. Every day, up to 2,500 baby boomers turn sixty years old. That is a large potential volunteer force, according to Smith. "That increased supply of manpower, experienced people, spiritually mature people ready to serve, has coincided for us with an acceleration strategy that's part of the whole Bible translation movement right now,. We're trying to get translations begun in a another 2300 languages by the year 2025."

The demand of this goal has made this new facility a necessity. "We've got to gear up administratively through our own systems and even our facilities in order to be able to meet that need," said Smith.

Last year they had 1,300 volunteers working in 40 countries, and by 2010 they envision 5,000 volunteers in 60 countries. 

The 16,000 square foot mobilization center has materialized mostly under the direction of volunteers. "Its design, inception, construction and completion has predominantly been done by volunteers.  All the engineering, all the architecture,
most of the construction work itself have been done by volunteers," said Smith. The total cost of the project was $6.5 million which was cut nearly in half to $3.5 million because of the work provided by volunteers. 

When this project is complete, says Smith, they will turn their "sights again to the horizon" of Bible translation. He asks you to pray "that we can effectively use this tool in a way that engages Christians here from the United States in these service opportunities in multiplied ways so that this acceleration of translation can take place."

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