New plane to aid Bible translation efforts in Indonesia

By February 22, 2011

Indonesia (WAS/MNN) — Wycliffe Associates, an
international organization that involves people in the acceleration of
Bible translation efforts, is seeking to raise $1.5 million toward the
purchase of a Pilatus PC-6 aircraft for operation in Indonesia.

former missionary pilot, Wycliffe Associates President and CEO Bruce
Smith calls Indonesia "one of the most challenging mission fields on
earth." This remote and rugged chain of islands in the south Pacific is
among the least explored places on earth and among the hardest to
travel where people speak over 700 separate languages.

some of the harder-to-reach areas, multitudes are trapped in the
bondage of animism and spiritism. Poverty is epidemic. Many are living
literally on the edge of physical and spiritual survival.

takes specialized airplanes to keep Bible translators at work–planes
designed specifically to get in and out of the incredibly complicated
terrain: steep cliffs, narrow gorges, short runways carved out of thick
jungles," says Smith. "I've been in some pretty difficult situations as a
missionary pilot, and I can tell you that a dependable airplane is not
optional. An airplane is a lifeline."

by other means is extremely difficult, even dangerous. It can take as
many as five days traveling by bus, boat, and on foot to reach some of
Indonesia's language groups, while the same trip takes only two hours by
plane. One Bible translator working in the area says a plane is "like a
white-winged angel."

Associates is seeking to help replace 40-year-old planes that currently
serve the area and utilize avgas, an expensive fuel that is scarcely
produced and becoming more and more difficult to find.

Pilatus PC-6, also known as "The Pilatus Porter," is a utility plane
with unique short takeoff and landing capabilities that make it
especially suitable for the rugged terrain and high altitudes of

new aircraft will be a vital part of Bible translation efforts in the
region, where some 340 languages still need a Bible translation to

is not really about machinery: it's about eternity," says Smith. "A
single plane, over the course of its projected lifetime, will serve
hundreds of thousands of people."

Associates involves people 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 enable every verse of the Bible to be translated 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.

2010, the organization mobilized 4,381 volunteer and staff members to
accelerate Bible translation in some 59 countries. Additional
information is available at or by calling
1-800-THE WORD.

Leave a Reply

Help us get the word out: