USA (MNN) — Wycliffe Bible Translators, or Wycliffe USA, has a new CEO and president. Dr. John Chesnut, who has worked within the organization for the past 18 years, officially took over the leadership role at the start of April.
Chesnut came into the position following a year-long journey of prayer and extensive interviews. The installation of Wycliffe’s new leader took place on October 10.
As CEO and President, Chesnut’s vision for the ministry is to get the Bible translated into every living language.
“Well, one of the things, as we look ahead, is there’s still some 2,100 language communities out there with no scripture at all. And so, that is our primary focus as we move forward. How might we see, through partnerships and working with other ministries and churches around the world, how can we see God’s Word come to those communities,” Chesnut says.
“My hope and desire is that every language coming around the world would have access to the full context or all of scripture in a language or form that they can understand.”
Nurturing a Passion for Bible Translation
Chesnut’s passion for Bible translation developed when his church adopted an unreached people group. It was then that the need for translations of God’s Word became a reality for him.
“As I engaged as a pastor and began to realize that there’s a huge need out there [for church planting]…How can that happen if God’s word is not present in a language that people can understand?” Chesnut recounts.
The task at hand is huge, and Chesnut knows this. But through partnerships within the global Church, by God’s providence, his goals are achievable.
Chesnut believes God is “pouring out His spirit, maybe as never before in history right now”. According to him, it is an exciting time for Bible translation; the completion of Scripture translations in every current living language is within sight.
This is why Wycliffe is asking for prayer. Ask God to continue and protect the work of completing remaining Bible translations.
“I continue to believe that one of the greatest threats to the work as a whole is really what Christ challenges His disciples [with] in John 17 is that we would be one…And I really feel like, from a prayer perspective, that that’s one of the areas that we are regularly asking for prayer for is that God would maintain the unity of these working relationships around the world so that His work can continue—often in very difficult circumstances, already,” Chesnut says.
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“God is doing some fantastic things around the world to see that picture that we find in Revelation 7:9 of people from every tongue, tribe, and nation coming around the throne,” Chesnut says.
“I believe it’s very possible that we would see the reality of every language community having access to God’s word during our lifetime.”
Header photo courtesy of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA via Facebook.