Partnerships are helping speed up Bible translation

By February 25, 2004

USA (MNN) — A new partnership between four organizations is expected to help speed up Bible translation for the remaining languages that don’t currently have God’s word. Campus Crusade For Christ International, Wycliffe International, International Mission Board and Youth with a Mission have formed what they’re calling the “Epic Partnership.”

President of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA Bob Creson says there’s a very important reason why they joined together. “Of the 2,737 languages that are left, we recognized a large portion of these people are currently illiterate,” says Creson. He says, “They come from oral societies. And, it’s a great way of introducing the scriptures into a society and give them a chance to hear the Good News of the Gospel and then transition them into a literacy program.”

All four of these organizations have a strong desire to see the number of languages expand. Creson says, “One of the commitments we all have is to get the Good News of the Gospel to people as rapidly as we can. We really believe we’re living in a time where we feel a sense of urgency about doing that. And, we’re all committed to doing that.”

Forming a partnership is just one step in the process. Creson says there are major obstacles ahead. “Many of these remaining Bible translation needs are in areas of the world that are (in countries that are) very, very challenging (in terms of) access,” says Creson. He says, “So, we’re going to have to work in very, very creative ways to know what the needs are, much less to get people to those needs.”

Young people are being recruited for this new partnership. They’re encouraging volunteers to commit to a two-year term. This will allow enough time to begin training nationals to do the work.

Creson says this partnership will ultimately help Wycliffe in their Vision 2025 program. That’s the goal of having a translation program in progress for every language that needs one by 2025. That means prayer for additional funding is coveted. Creson says God is answering those prayers because great progress is being made. “The word has averaged over 60 translation program starts per year. That is unprecedented. In the past it’s been down around 25, so this is more than doubled. So, there are huge financial needs.”

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