Diversity + Scripture = Wycliffe Associates

By November 3, 2011

Papua New Guinea (WAS/MNN) — Papua
New Guinea, which occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea in the
South Pacific, is home to over 10% of the known living languages on the
planet–that's roughly  860 languages.

Another
interesting fact concerning the region: although
English is the official language of Papua New Guinea, few people speak it. That's why Bible translation is critical to
the people groups living there. While
175 Bible translation projects have been completed in Papua New Guinea and 200
current projects are in place, more than 300 language groups remain without
even a single verse of Scripture.

Enter: Wycliffe
Associates. They involve people with
Bible translation efforts, to help them move forward.  Right now, the ministry is getting ready to
launch a Bible translation training center and provide technology resources to
equip national Bible translators in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea.

Indigenous Bible
translators are deeply involved in all aspects of Bible translation in Papua
New Guinea. At the National Training Center in Ukarumpa, 40 nationals are
trained together and then sent out to their target language groups for
literacy and translation work. Because Ukarumpa is still a great distance away
from some language groups, small, regional centers provide additional
logistical and translation support to missionaries and national translators.

In the Milne Bay
Province, Wycliffe Associates plans to establish a translation training center
in the provincial capital of Alotau, located at the most southeastern point of
Papua New Guinea. The training center will serve at least 16 language groups that currently are without any Scripture in their languages.

"We can speed
translation efforts in Papua New Guinea and around the world through training
and technology," says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates,
adding that "national translators sacrifice so much to bring God's Word to
their people. Many have little time for regular paying jobs or tending
gardens. They get by on little money for household essentials, school
fees, and medical expenses. But they do it joyfully to share Scriptures."

The organization
is working to raise $165,000 for the establishment of the Bible translation
center in Alotau and to provide technology resources to indigenous Bible
translators in Papua New Guinea.

One national
translator, Wabele Fuga, said, "We believe in God, and faith alone will make
this work happen. Where we don't have the knowledge, God provides it."

Another national
translator, Selby Otire, remains committed to the work of Bible translation
despite a number of obstacles: "I have seen hard times with my health, family,
and child-related issues. But that does not shake me from the work of
Bible translation. I am compelled by the work, and I have come to the point of
dedication, commitment, and perseverance. As long as proper, adequate
facilities are available, I long to see more men and women get trained and get
into the heart of translation work."

Wycliffe
Associates involves people in accelerating the work of Bible translation
through their time, talents, and treasure. Because millions of people around the
world are still waiting to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart,
Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as they can to translate every verse
of the Bible into every tongue to change every heart. The organization partners
with nationals, mother tongue translators, staff, volunteers, and supporters to
direct and fund these efforts, as well as provide logistics, networking, and
technical support. Through a growing global network, Wycliffe Associates is
striving 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.

 

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