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Thousands without homes in Peru due to flooding

By April 2, 2010

Peru (MNN) — Between two massive earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, Peru saw flooding and mudslides in late January, which left as many 22,000 people homeless, according to Projects Abroad.

Because these floods took place around the time of other disasters, many of the victims were overlooked, and relief has been scarce.

However, Wycliffe Associates, who has had translation projects in Peru for 50 years, had a team on the ground when the flooding began. They were able to pitch in with disaster relief immediately.

"When these kinds of emergencies occur, the only thing we can do, actually, is just respond like a good neighbor and like caring Christians that we are," said Bruce Smith, Wycliffe Associates president and CEO. "That also then increases credibility and the acceptance of Scriptures after the emergency has passed."

With Wycliffe staff spread thin providing relief aid and orchestrating translation efforts, translation has slowed. Because of this, Smith asked, "Are translators going to be doing these other tasks? Or are they going to be able to focus on their language tasks? A team is always going to outperform an individual, so our role is just to provide support services for the language specialists."

Before the floods, Wycliffe Associates was working with their partner ATEK and helping with Scripture literacy in the Andes. Previously, they had also helped CILTA to construct their Linguistic Training Center in Lima and assisted AIDIA with translating the Bible into Apurimac Quechua, one of the local languages.

In order for these efforts and others to continue, however, help is needed, said Smith. Volunteers are needed in similar projects, as well as ongoing relief to flood victims.

Smith said because they have families serving long-term in Peru and a volunteer coordinator, volunteers can come to provide aid and manpower at any time. This flexibility opens doors for individuals or groups to travel to Peru at their own convenience.

Wycliffe Associates has eight teams scheduled to go to Peru this year.

Interested in relief efforts or translation projects? Visit the Wycliffe Associates Web site: wycliffeassociates.org for more information.

With every volunteer, translation quickens and more people have the chance to hear the words of Christ in their own heart language.

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