India (MNN) — Despite the consistent growth of the Indian church, there are still millions of people in India living without access to the Scriptures.
"In fact, over 150 languages [in India] don't have one verse of Scripture," notes Bruce Smith, president of Wycliffe Associates. "It's actually the largest population of people in one country [without Scripture] –over 55 million people without Scripture."
No Christian is likely to argue that Scripture is unnecessary for spiritual growth, but it's easy to take for granted the entirety of its importance. Smith says that those who do not have Scripture translated into their heart language essentially can only understand Scripture so well. For it to really speak to their hearts, a legitimate translation is necessary.
"In order to do effective evangelism, and especially discipleship, you've got to have Scripture in the local languages. Otherwise that whole process becomes a foreign language training exercise," says Smith.
To solve this dilemma, Wycliffe Associates has committed to building a translation training center in northern India. The center will be built on the campus of a Bible school and will have primarily native Indians (mostly students from the Bible college) working on the various translations of the Word. This makes things a bit easier since many of those translating will be working with languages they already know.
Construction for the much-needed building will begin in the fall. In the meantime, supervisors are on site, and Wycliffe Associates is looking for volunteers.
"We want Christians to use their professional skills and experience to help this team be as effective as possible. Initially, that means people engaged in the construction process–anybody with construction trade experience that has some availability."
Even a wider range of experiences beyond construction is also needed. If you have a skill, Wycliffe Associates can probably use it.
"We're looking for people with everything from computer skills, to accounting skills, to teaching and English as a Second Language (ESL) training," says Smith. "All of those things are needed around this team to make it as effective as possible."
To volunteer to help with this exciting new project, click here or call Wycliffe Associates directly at 1.800.THE.WORD.