Wycliffe Associates to Expand Christian School in Asia

By September 15, 2004

Southeast Asia (MNN) — Responding to a critical need in Southeast Asia, Wycliffe Associates will be building 15 classrooms to help accommodate an expanding student body of over 440 students in a region of the world that claims less than .5-percent of the population as Christian.

As part of an overall effort to translate the Bible for over 250 languages, the school serves missionary families who are there to train hundreds of nationals to conduct translation work of the Scriptures in many parts of Southeast Asia inaccessible to western missionaries. Millions who do not have the Scriptures will benefit from this long-term effort.

Started only five years ago with 175 students, the school now enrolls over 440 students with a waiting list of over a hundred. As Vision 2025, a worldwide effort to begin translation work in every remaining language of the world, takes shape, this school is seeing an annual growth rate of 10 to 20 percent.

To accommodate the school’s phenomenal growth, classes are being held on racquetball courts and on gym floors wherever they can “create” classrooms. With more families soon to arrive, many in support of Vision 2025, expanding the school’s capacity becomes even more critical. They estimate that once constructed, the school can accommodate up to 150 more students, representing 70 additional missionary families.

Bob Pittman, International Children’s Education Coordinator for SIL, says “You can’t do Bible translation without missionary families. If the children’s education needs aren’t being met, the families aren’t going to stay in the field. The missionaries have enough challenges. If we can increase the capacity of the school, we will increase the number of translators and linguistic experts who are mobilizing nationals to complete the task. Expanding the school is a critical need to keep families on the field.’

Because of Vision 2025, a major global missions strategy shift is taking place with an increased mobilization and training of nationals, who are more than willing to reach out to these unreached language groups. Southeast Asians have excellent language abilities. Many speak more than one language, and the tongues they do speak are often closely related to the languages into which they will translate the Scriptures. Almost 250 people groups, mostly tribal peoples with strong animistic backgrounds, could be affected through these efforts.

Organized in 1967 by friends of Wycliffe missionaries, Wycliffe Associates is a ministry that supports Bible translators through various volunteer programs. For more information visit www.wycliffeassociates.org or call 1-800-THE-WORD (1-800-843-9673).

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