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Company started by Wycliffe Bible Translators works with nationals in translation

By October 26, 2009

Nigeria (MNN) — For over 75 years, Wycliffe Bible
Translators has headed Bible translation efforts in countries across the
globe. Under Wycliffe's family of organizations, The Seed Company is an
organization aiding in those efforts.

"Wycliffe Bible Translators started The Seed Company as a
strategy to accelerate Bible translation by empowering our national colleagues
to actually be the translators," said Roy Peterson, president of The Seed
Company.

For the past 15 years, Peterson said, The Seed Company has
equipped believers around the world to translate the Scriptures into their own
language. The company's vision is to "creatively network God's people around
the world to translate the Bible into every language for His glory."

According to their Web site, their goal is: "God's Word for
every language–in this generation."

Even though they have already done much in the last 15
years, Peterson and those associated with The Seed Company and Wycliffe see how
much more has yet to be done.

"Around the year 2000, we became aware that the historic
model of sending someone in from the outside to do translation had served and
accomplished a lot.  But if we depended on that model … it was going to take
another 150 years [to translate the remaining languages without Scripture] at
the pace we were going. And we said, 'That's just too long,'" Peterson said.

Thus, the Wycliffe family of organizations developed their
Vision 2025 initiative, with the goal of translating the Scriptures for every
people group yet to have the Bible in their own language in 25 years, instead
of 150.

Peterson said it has been nine years since they began this
task, and so far, they have seen incredible success. Since the initiative began,
over 650 translation efforts have been started, and they are now on pace to
complete translation by the year 2038.

However, they need to increase their efforts if they want to
finish by 2025.

Therefore, as The Seed Company partners with nationals, they
can greatly expand their efforts.

Through their partnerships with nationals, Peterson said, The
Seed Company empowers nationals by training them, delivering technology, praying
and supporting them financially.

However, Peterson said they try to do as little as possible
so the project is truly the nationals' own.

"We want to try to discern what's needed for them to be successful,
bring that amount of resources and then watch God work," Peterson said. Through
this strategy, The Seed Company has impacted over 500 languages since they
began.

"We've seen our national colleagues all over the world do an
incredible, high quality job to the very same standards that Wycliffe has used
over the 75 years of its existence," Peterson said.

One nation in which they have watched this take place is Northern Nigeria.

"If a people group, a language group, does not have the Scriptures
in its language, then the majority religions of that country … will sweep
across any area where the Scriptures have not been translated," Peterson said. "But
if the people have the Word of God in their heart language … then the people
group is much more discipled, much stronger to resist some of the dominating
religions of the world."

In fact, a prominent church leader in Northern Nigeria
agreed.

"Where the church wasn't that strong, Islam came and swept,"
he said. "Even today, it is difficult for one to preach in that place."

This church leader also asked, "Looking at the onslaught of
Islam, the poverty, the disease, the underdevelopment, the corruption of the
government, the strife and battles and wars, how can we survive it? How can we
live?" He responded: "We can only live by the power of the Word of God
because the solution–the power to resist these ills and onslaughts of Islam–can only come from God."

And as The Seed Company helps nationals translate God's Word, the people
of Nigeria and other countries began to understand this power.

"When somebody stands and declares the Word of God in the
language of the people, you are not just using words: you are speaking to the
hearts and minds of the people. And their response will come from the heart,"
the church leader said.

As Scripture is translated into the mother tongue of a people, it
brings about a new understanding, and these people are given the Scriptures in
their own language for the first time in history.

The Nigerian leader said, "When that understanding comes, it
comes with power. It comes with commitment … They will be ready to die for the
Lord; they will be ready to help their neighbor. They will be ready to
challenge the things that are going on that are not acceptable."

Not only are individual lives are  transformed, but whole communities
are transformed as they learn about and accept the power of Christ.

"God, through His Word, has brought communities and individuals
together, making peace," the church leader said. "We have seen this at work,
breaking down walls of hostilities within the tribes, inter-tribal
disagreements and quarrels. Through the process of this work of translation,
much has been done. We have seen communities and individuals being
reconciled, and we give glory to God."

As individuals and communities are reconciled, they began to
thrive spiritually, economically, educationally and socially.

The Nigerian leader said the believers in Nigeria "are very
grateful because this is … the opportune time of God, and we cannot need it
anymore than at this time," speaking of the help they have received from The
Seed Company.

He said that all that has taken place so far in Northern
Nigeria could not have been done without the help of The Seed Company.

"What The Seed Company is doing is very great: helping
people to have the Word of God in their own language, to respond to God from their
heart, and be able to own and stand as people created in the image of God. Many have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and are children of God, testifying to Jesus and
living in the hope of His return. That is a great contribution," the church
leader said.

However, The Seed Company cannot continue their work without
the help of people like you.

Peterson said Christians all around the world can help in
translation efforts by adopting a people group or becoming involved in their OneVerse
program.

By adopting a people group, The Seed Company links
individuals or churches with a language group. The individuals and churches
pray and support this people group. The Seed Company then sends quarterly
updates, prayer requests and answers to prayer, which allow people to see the progress
their adopted group is making. Visit theseedcompany.org to learn more.

The other way individuals can get involved is through
visiting oneverse.org and agreeing to sponsor one verse a month for $26 a
verse. On average, Peterson said  it costs $18,000 each year for one translation
effort. The OneVerse program is a way families and individuals can help, while learning about the people group's language and culture at the same
time.

Pray for the church globally to feel a sense of urgency as The
Seed Company continues their work.

"These people groups have waited long enough. It's been 2000
years, and the church today has all the resources–technology, prayer, and people available.
Let's come together as a body of Christ and say, ‘They've waited long enough'
and finish," Peterson said.

And pray that as these people groups receive the Scriptures
a vibrant church would rise up and began discipling people to live for
Christ today.

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