WYCLIFFE Associates has announced it will provide funding and support to Bible translators who live and work in Southeast Asia, where Christians often face persecution and even death. Despite the potential risks, a group of local Christians has joined efforts to begin translating the Bible into their own language, even with minimal resources to carry the work forward.
They live in a nation where Christians make up less than 2 percent of the population. Even traveling within their own region can put their lives at risk.
“When Christians in desperate situations are willing to risk everything for God’s Word in their language, we must help remove any and all obstacles in their path,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “It’s incredible to see how God has already prepared the way. He has raised up Christian leaders and churches throughout the region with a passion for Bible translation.”
Wycliffe Associates has committed to helping these Christians with training, technology, and resources to translate the Scriptures into this region’s 35 languages that are without any portion of the Bible. Wycliffe Associates will train national translators and provide technology, equipment, and other support, including the Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation (MAST) program. MAST rapidly accelerates the process of Bible translation using new training and translation strategies, making it possible for mother tongue translators to draft significant portions of Scripture over a period of weeks rather than years.
“This is one of those times when I had to ask myself, ‘If not us, then who?’ The answer is obvious—so we have accepted the challenge,” Smith says.
Describing the reaction of these Christians to the opportunity to have the Bible in their own language, one ministry partner of Wycliffe Associates said, “There is this sense of disbelief which, honestly, humbles me. It’s a positive disbelief, in terms of great joy at this unexpected gift.”