Local churches key for Bible translation

By January 1, 2021
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International (MNN) — With a great deal of Bible translation projects underway and many others still needed, Wycliffe Associates relies on local churches to undertake and facilitate translation.

Tabitha Price explains this effective model has helped translation work move forward during the pandemic.

(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe Associates)

“Wycliffe Associates in progress right now 777 projects. We are working specifically with the partners of each of those projects to help them accelerate the project and to really own it so they can take it to the next group,” she says.

“We have trained church leaders in various countries who are able to now take that training to the next country. Some of them are already able to do that [right now]. Some borders are open [but] others are not. How quickly that movement will grab hold is in the Lord’s hands, but we are seeing the motivation for it.”

Unexpected Fruit

Most of the time, those partnering with Wycliffe on Bible translation projects are believers. However, occasionally there are exceptions that lead to unexpected blessings.

“The local church is far more aware of what’s going on on the ground than we are. We certainly know that there have been training events where the local church has said, ‘this woman’s a believer, and we really want her to be a part of this translation. Her husband’s not a believer, [but] she said she will come if he can come, so we decided to bring them both.’ In that specific incident, the husband became a believer during the workshop,” Price says.

In one area, many people were hostile to the Gospel. However, no challenge is too big for God to overcome.

“We asked for God’s Word to transform lives, for the strength and the wisdom to reach into places where we face opposition,” Price says. “When they first started translating Scripture, four of the people that committed to helping with the Scripture were not believers, but they said, ‘we’ll come and see what you’re doing.’ They saw the Gospel of John in their own language, and within a week of seeing that, they gave their lives to Christ and were baptized.”

(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe Associates Via Facebook)

Another blessing is how instances like these can help change opinions in the local community.

“There have been so many times when we’ve seen God either to bring people to salvation or to even turn the tide of the mindset to ‘this is a good thing. This is something that even people in our community who are not explicitly Christian are supporting,’” Price explains.

Ways to Pray

In this new year, please continue to pray for Wycliffe Associates and their work.

“A huge prayer request is that God would bring an end to the pandemic and allow our teams to be able to go across borders again so there can be that partnership [and] face-to-face training that has really helped accelerate what’s going on in the field,” Price says.

Please also pray for the translators who face many hardships such as illness or persecution. To learn more about how you can pray and support Wycliffe Associates, visit their website here.

Header image courtesy of Sean Quillen via Unsplash