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BTAKs enhance safety of Bible translation

By September 17, 2015
(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe Associates)

(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe Associates)

International (MNN) — The life of a Bible translator can be stressful.

Many translators in hostile areas, such as the Middle East and North Africa, are consistently on the run. They must keep their work inconspicuous to avoid being persecuted or even killed.

That’s why Wycliffe Associates started Bible Translation Acceleration Kits (BTAKs). The kits may contain a laptop computer, satellite communications terminal, solar-powered charger, battery, and power supply. They’re enhancing the safety of the translation process and making it possible to continue work on the go.

“It provides a reliable power source in places where there are not existing electrical infrastructure,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “For the translation teams that are using laptops and using electrical resources, the ability to provide them a reliable solar power system on their location is the first thing that enables them to just do their work on a daily basis.

“The second thing is that it provides them communication capabilities so they can connect with resources that are beyond their local village, so that they can be in contact with consultants [and] access online resources to help their Bible translation quality assurance process.

“But the third thing, in light of the insecurity…is these things are all portable and small. We’ve got lots of stories of our partners who basically just put them in a backpack, put them on their back, and take them with them when they have to migrate because of the threats that are around them.”

One would think that seemingly endless threats of violence and having to relocate so many times would take its toll on the Bible translators. But Wycliffe Associates says Christians aren’t giving up.

“Just last year in both Northern Nigeria as well as the Central African Republic, because of the terrorist activities that are going on in both of those places, we’ve had teams that had to essentially abandon their homes, abandon their offices with a suitcase and with a backpack, and just grab their kids’ hands as they started walking and heading away from the violence,” Smith says.

(Photo courtesy Wycliffe Associates)

(Photo courtesy Wycliffe Associates)

“The fact that they care enough about God’s Word, that this is one of the first things that they take with them when they have to abandon their homes, is a huge testimony to their own commitment to getting God’s Word to their people.”

But these kits aren’t just beneficial during times of chaos. Advancements in technology have accelerated the Bible translation process as a whole.

“Just by connecting them with good power and reliable communication has in many cases doubled the pace of Bible translation, just because it has removed the delays that previously were in place when they couldn’t recharge their computers,” Smith says.

In the past few years, Wycliffe Associates has already installed about 515 of these kits around the world. Throughout the next year, it’s looking to install 250 more at $3,967 apiece. Can you help provide these resources to those who greatly need them? Click here to see how you can help.

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