Bible translation campaign draws millions in support

Published 14 April 2009  |  
The world's largest Bible translation organisation has received over $117 million in gifts, pledges, and other commitments since launching a billion-dollar effort late last year.

Starting in November 2008 with a $50 million gift - the largest single donation in its history, Wycliffe Bible Translators has been pressing ahead with its Last Languages Campaign to provide literacy, life-saving health information, and the Bible to all the world's small language groups in need of language development by 2025.

"Helping a mother become literate can make a more lasting impact on a community than providing a doctor," says Bob Creson, president of Wycliffe Bible Translators.

"While a doctor can fight disease and sickness with medicine, mothers - and ultimately communities - are better served through literacy programmes that help mothers read prescriptions, medicine bottles and educate themselves on healthcare," he adds.

Over the next 16 years, Wycliffe looks to reach the remaining one-third of the world's language groups (some 200 million people) through the Last Languages Campaign in hopes of enhancing millions of lives around the globe.

According to the organisation, the provision of critical community development often starts with Bible translation and the language development that is foundation to it.

In Africa, for example, Wycliffe's staff and the African translation teams have translated booklets for an Aids education programme into the heart language of scores of communities in Africa, providing easily understandable Aids education for the first time in most of the communities.

The booklets, called "Kande's Story", are currently being developed or used in 11 countries and 80 language communities in Africa.

"Being part of a translation team and having a background in nursing, I believed Wycliffe could have an impact on Aids in communities where language development was underway," reported Kathie Watters, developer of Wycliffe's Aids programme and co-author of the "Kande's Story" materials.

Currently, Wycliffe has plans to recruit 3,000 additional personnel to press ahead with its billion-dollar campaign, which has drawn impressive support despite the US facing the weakest spending environment in 17 years.

Since its founding in 1942, the Florida-based charity has been responsible for more than 600 Scripture translations.

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