Exodus To Friendly Country Saves Bible Translation Work

By March 4, 2005

South Asia (WA) — Wycliffe Associates, a ministry that supports Bible translation, is taking on the task of expanding a translation center in an undisclosed area of South Asia to accommodate missionaries who were forced out of unfriendly countries. Working in places hostile to Christianity, 20 Bible translators and their families needed an alternative location to continue the work of translating Scripture into languages representing hundreds of thousands of people.

There’s an area nearby that’s an oasis separated from the chaos and distractions that missionaries experience in regions where their language projects exist. In some parts of South Asia, kidnappings, assaults on Christians, and revoked travel visas are the normal difficulties of conducting translation and missionary work.

“It’s important to realize that (this area) is a unique place that has greatly impacted the progress of Bible translation,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Several years ago, when circumstances led many Bible translators to the center a number of them came “kicking and screaming” (their words!). They thought all was lost,” stated Smith. However, to their pleasant surprise, the translators found this Oasis to be an environment that was safe.

Free from instability and numerous distractions, the pace of translation has accelerated. Over half of the language branch’s translations now have been completed there, six in the last three years, for a total of 17. This means that 17 language groups in a nation that is hostile to Christians now have access to the Word of God in the language of their hearts

Over the next six months, Wycliffe Associates will be expanding the facility by building additional office space for the coming translators, and housing for volunteers, short-term workers, and nationals. The impact of the expansion means that hundreds of thousands who have not heard the Gospel will have the opportunity to hear and read God’s Word for the first time in their heart language.

Organized in 1967, Wycliffe Associates is a ministry that accelerates Bible translation by involving Christians in essential support services. During 2004, 1138 Wycliffe Associates volunteers served in 27 countries as part of the worldwide Bible translation team. For more information visit www.wycliffeassociates.org or call 1-800-THE-WORD (1-800-843-9673).

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