Wycliffe Bible Translators was founded by William Cameron Townsend in 1942 with the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to read the Bible but the reality is that many could not, not because they were illiterate or because they did not have access to the Bible, but because a Bible translation in a language they could understand did not exist. In 1951, Wycliffe celebrated its first completed Bible translation and over the next 50 years saw 500 more. Yet still today, many people are faced with the same challenge that motivated Townsend in 1942.
There are currently over 7000 recognized oral and signed languages, and over 2000 of those still have no Scripture. Recognizing this huge opportunity gap in Bible translation, Wycliffe adopted a new challenge at the turn of the century: Vision 2025. Its goal is to see a Bible translation project started in every language by the year 2025 so that all peoples have the opportunity to discover Jesus and be transformed through the Word of God in their own language.
In 2016, CBC partnered with Wycliffe for the first time to fund a Bible translation project for one of these remaining languages. That year, we set a goal of funding a project every year until all languages have the full Scripture. Since then so far we have funded three different translation projects.
Last year, CBC partnered with Wycliffe project to complete the translation of the New Testament for the SW Tengir People, a people group of over 2 million in Eurasia. Read on to hear an exciting update about the progress of this project!
At the time CBC adopted the SW Tengir project, translation of the four gospels and the book of Acts was already complete. Since then, an additional 17 New Testament books have been translated. While some of those are still being consultant checked, 75% of the whole New Testament is now published digitally in text and audio formats for the SW Tengir people. Currently, the translator is working through Hebrews and 1 and 2 Corinthians, with only Romans and Revelation remaining next.
God is already working supernaturally through the translated portions of Scripture to comfort the SW Tengir community. After the region was hit hard by COVID-19, verses such as 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you,” offered them great hope. During a season when we all need to remember that God sees us and cares for us, what sweet encouragement it is to know God’s word is ministering to the SW Tengir people now too!
Pray for the SW Tengir people. Pray that they will be impacted by God’s Word in their language. Ask God to heal those in the region who have COVID-19 and to keep the translation team healthy so they may continue their steady progress.
And Praise God for his Word. Praise God for the revelation of himself through it. Praise God for our access to know him through it today. And Praise God for Bible translation so many more may know him soon.
For more information about Wycliffe or Bible translation, visit www.wycliffe.org. Through updates like these, our hope is that you would be motivated to pray for the nations, celebrate the work of the gospel, and consider how God is inviting you to join in His global mission.
–Whitney Reed, Missions Mobilizer