Wycliffe Associates seeking to answer avgas shortage with turbine aircraft for Cameroon Bible translation efforts

By September 14, 2010

(WAS/MNN) — What's it like to "rough it" in a jungle? Wycliffe Associates is hoping they don't have
to find out.

Having Bible translators slog
through underbrush on foot would cost the Bible translation process precious
days and hours. They will move forward on replacing the fleet as soon as possible.

The urgency is fueled by two things: 89 languages in Cameroon* that have yet to
have a Bible translation, and a serious shortage in avgas.

Wycliffe Associates President and CEO Bruce Smith
says, "The decreasing supply of aviation fuel has been on our radar for
about 25 years," but the shortage has become critical. Wycliffe needs to replace their entire fleet
in Cameroon with the lower maintenance Soloy Turbine Cessna
207 aircraft.

The new planes would be powered
by jet fuel instead of aviation gasoline. Right now, they are still about
$127,000 away from buying the new planes.

This is an expensive project, but
what would happen if they don't replace the fleet? "Unfortunately, it would mean that many
of these translations would come to an immediate stop. Many of them are taking
place in remote locations throughout the mountains and jungles of central
Africa, and people that are working in those environments are completely
dependent upon airplanes for the vital supplies that they need to survive

Nearly one million Cameroonians are
without the Bible in their own language.* Freezing the projects because of
transportation problems is a risk the
team is unwilling to take.

Smith says planes are used for everything
the translation team requires: "transportation of translators to and from
their villages and training centers, emergency medical evacuations, and the
delivery of vitally needed equipment and translation resources."

"As a pilot myself," adds Smith, "I've
seen firsthand how the right aircraft can really speed translation projects."

Wycliffe Associates is mobilizing more
than 5,600 volunteers to serve in 63 different countries building and renovating
facilities, constructing roads and airstrips, teaching Vacation Bible School,
helping with language development and much more. For details, visit

(*While English and French are the
official languages of Cameroon, there are 278 living languages–including 24
major African languages–in the nation. Today, 89 language groups in Cameroon
are without translated Scriptures, representing 922,875 people.)


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