Ethiopia (MNN) — Wycliffe Bible Translators is working all over the world in communities developing reading and writing systems in languages that do not have any. They also help translate Scripture for them. As they translate God’s Word in Ethiopia, Wycliffe also recognizes the need for literacy classes to help Ethopian women read the translated Word.
It’s important for women around the world to be literate because women tend to be more economically disadvantaged, according to Wycliffe’s, Kelly Chesnut. There are more than 30 million girls primary school age around the world who are not being educated.
Wycliffe wants to come alongside these girls to help them gain access to Scripture and have the truth of God’s Word undergirding every area of their lives.
Chesnut told us a story about a woman who believed that the Bible was only written to men and was only for men because she could not read it. After she was invited to literacy classes that taught her about women of the Bible, she realized that God loves her and died for her personally. She started putting into practice what it means to be a woman after God’s own heart.
“The transformation of her heart and mind equips her to take those steps towards needed change in her own life…. Literacy fulfills the promise of Bible translation by making Scripture accessible to all people in a language that speaks to their heart,” Chesnut said.
The spiritual transformation that takes place is one of the most important things about the Wycliffe literacy program, Chesnut said.
“We are called to care for all people because we are created after His heart,” Chesnut says. “For Wycliffe it means translating His Word into their heart language,” she explains, so that individuals “can access the truth of God’s Word so that we see hearts and minds transformed…. We see transformation taking place among families, within neighborhoods and communities, and ultimately, within cultures and countries.”