DRC (MNN) — The conflict and civil war which has recently
raged through the Democratic Republic of Congo is currently in a lull,
especially in the northeast part of the country.
Wycliffe Associates and their teams in the area are taking
advantage of this interval of peace.
"There's a window of peace, of security. If we move quickly,
we can establish a permanent translation center. The Christians of the
Democratic Republic of Congo are begging for this opportunity to not be missed,"
said Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.
This center will not be the first translation efforts in the
area, but it will accelerate the process of translating the five native tongues
of the region.
In addition to this, the center will be to train local
Christians to continue the translation effort even after the lull in violence
ends or volunteers leave.
"It's a challenge that's larger than the local people can respond
to just by themselves," says Smith. "It's certainly not something that we can just go in and
do by ourselves. So we have to work together to enable God's Word to continue
to go forth there," Smith said.
Thus, through the combined efforts of the local Christians
and volunteers coming from North America and around the world, the message of
Christ can be heard more people in the DRC sooner than ever.
"Scripture can begin impacting both the growth of the Christian
population in terms of their own walk of faith, but also be impacting those
that are still beyond the reach of Christianity and need to hear the good news
for the first time," Smith said, speaking of how much the movement will be sped
up with the new translation center.
Because there is no indication of how long this pause
in violence will last, the translation center is an immediate
priority of Wycliffe Associates. The goal is to have it finished within a year.
Once the center is completed, the natives can be trained. If
the violence picks up again, the people of Congo can still continue the work as they
are accustomed to the conditions in their country. In addition to this, their
translation efforts are quicker than that of volunteers from another country because they are aware of the culture and know the language so well.
As translation efforts are sped up and the Scriptures become
available to more people in the area, Smith hopes this brief peace will eventually lead to extended peace.
"We believe that God's Word is part of the long-term
security solution in that environment, and as people's hearts are changed and
as people learn to love their enemies and forgive people that have wronged them
in the past, these are the kind of things that are going to lead to the resolution
of the conflict ultimately," he said.
In the meantime, Wycliffe Associates needs people who are
willing to volunteer in the DRC for short or long-term projects. For information
on how to help Wycliffe Associates' efforts in the DRC, click here.
Also, please pray for current volunteers and the natives,
on whom Wycliffe Associates relies for translation to continue. Pray for God's
protection and for the growth of these Christians and new Christians in the
area. And pray for God's Word to have power as it spreads throughout the area
and ultimately brings true peace.