Creative support for Bible translation

By February 20, 2015
Photo Credit Wycliffe

(Photo credit: Wycliffe USA)

USA (MNN) — Want to know a way to get involved in Bible translations and missions without selling your house or giving your cash?

Most people aren’t thinking about the necessities and support Bible translation requires. But as translation methods and technology are becoming more unique and innovative, so are people’s ways for contributing to it.

Wade Remer, Director of Gifts in Kind with Wycliffe Bible Translators, says, “Cash is something that people will always ask for, but Gifts in Kind–that’s what we call donated items–is more unique. It’s something a person might own; they might not know how to sell it or what to do with it, and they realize it has value. So they’d like to donate it, and we’d like to receive it and either use it on the field or sell it.”

Some of the gifts people have given are laptop computers, motor cycles, here was even a man who donated his old Corvette. Some of these gifts were sent to Gospel workers, and others were liquidated and the money used to support the Bible translation efforts.

In some of the regions of Chad, 99% of people either haven’t had any formal education or have had very little. This results in very low literacy rates and the related problems of poverty, such as inadequate hygiene, poor health, low self-esteem, and minimal women’s rights.

Through this program, Wycliffe is able to help in more ways than just translation. “There was a dentist in Arizona who offered three dental chairs. They downsized their office and contacted me. I picked up the chairs, and instead of just selling them, I decided to contact Wycliffe clinic in Papua New Guinea and see if they could use three chairs. Today, those three dental chairs are serving not just missionaries, but nationals, as well, with their dental needs,” Remer said.

There was also a man who had 139 commercial-grade laptop computers: Wycliffe was able to use them for literacy programs around the world. “He contacted me because what do you do with these computers? They were about 3 years old and not worth a lot on the market. But they can be used for literacy programs around the world, and that’s really what we did. We received these computers, and they are around the world today,” Remer said.

The donor of a gift also gets the benefit of a tax write-off, but “the real motivator is that he has this item that can be used to promote and spread the Bible translation efforts around the world,” says Remer. “It’s a way for people to get involved in Bible translation in a non-cash way.”

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