One Single Hand Cannot Break Open a Cola Nut

May 25th, 2015 by Nick

This month marked the 25th anniversary of SIL’s work in Chad. To celebrate the amazing work that has happened for the different language communities in Chad over these last 25 years, a ceremony was held and attended by representatives of local language communities, several government agencies, the university of N’Djamena, church partners, other NGOs and civil society organisations.

Group photo

It is an immense joy to give a sincere testimony regarding the partnership between the Federation of Associations for the Promotion of Guera Languages(FAPLG) and SIL Chad. SIL helped FAPLG be born and grow up in the difficult Guera region. — Mr Adjbane Akouna Djimet, Vice President of the Federation of Associations for the Promotion of Guera Languages (FAPLG)

I rejoice in all the accomplishments in the development of Chadian languages… the result of a fruitful collaboration with the Chadian state, national church organizations and other non-governmental institutions. Today we celebrate the proverbial truth that ‘one single hand cannot break open a cola nut.’ — Dr Michel Kenmogne, SIL International Executive Director Designate

Read the full story from SIL on the celebration of twenty-five years of partnership with Chad’s language communities.

Here at Wycliffe, along with our partner organisations such as SIL, we believe in partnering with local communities and translators to work together in bringing their languages into written words that they can read and understand. Ultimately we share the goal of bringing Scripture to people in a language that resonates with them the most – their heart language. As this celebration in Chad shows, by uniting and working together, by sharing our resources and committing to each other – amazing things can happen!

Find out how you can support and be involved in this amazing work.

Administrators: a critical need

May 22nd, 2015 by Jo Johnson

What is in a name? Names tell us a lot about a person, an organisation and even a place. Perhaps though, names can be misleading. For example, it’s easy to assume that everyone who works for Wycliffe Bible Translators are trained and gifted linguists, translating the Bible, but actually that’s not true.

A woman talking on the phone in her office.

A woman talking on the phone in her office.

Did you know that there are more unfilled positions for ‘support workers’ around the world than for roles which require linguistic skills and training? Overseas and at home, the need for administrators continues to grow as Bible translation and literacy work expands into new countries. At present administration is one of the most critical needs within the organisation.

We need people to carry out management functions such as planning, organising and coordinating staff within the context of a cross-cultural team. We lack people skilled at supervising and overseeing the training of expatriate and national staff. We require those able to run a regional office to enable language work to continue, and people with an eye for detail to write funding proposals for Bible translation and literacy projects.

Due to this shortage of administrators, posts are temporarily filled by those better equipped to serve God in other ways. Moreover as this area is often understaffed, administrators can often feel overstretched either in the short term or throughout long seasons of heavy workload.

Will you pray?

  • Pray for God’s grace and strength over every administrator feeling overwhelmed today by their workload.
  • Pray for God to call gifted administrators to serve with Wycliffe in worldwide.
  • Ask God to supply the right person for each of the roles detailed on our Vacancies in Administration page.

Interested in praying for those serving God in administration but not sure how? ‘Lord Bless Justin‘, an article in our resource ‘Focused prayer: Kingdom results‘ gives some ways we can pray for those working overseas without knowing up to date prayer needs.

The Two Week Stint 12-24th July

May 18th, 2015 by Nick

Do you have holiday plans for this summer? Why not consider the Two Week Stint? What is it? A holiday with an eternal and international impact!

Two week stintJoin Wycliffe Bible Translators and ATB France* along with people from across Europe for a bilingual, cross-cultural and productive holiday. These two weeks will also allow plenty of opportunity for time spent with God and some adventure thrown in too!

We asked Helen, who joined us for Two Week Stint 2014, what she had gained from it:

‘For me, the Two Week Stint was a wonderful time of learning more about cross-cultural mission, and exploring God’s call to serve overseas with Wycliffe. It was a privilege to meet and learn from participants of differing cultures, and to spend time worshipping God and praying together.

Each day we received Bible teaching, which focused on Acts and taught me about the Bible’s model of mission through exploring the experiences of the early Church. I appreciated the many opportunities for reflection, and times to have a quiet space with God.

I was part of the linguistic stream which developed my knowledge and skills in the linguistic area of Bible translation. In interactive sessions which included preparing a group presentation, we explored the processes and challenges involved.

IMG_2400I enjoyed the fellowship of sharing meals together, and welcomed the relaxed atmosphere including free time and trips exploring the beautiful surroundings.Last but not least, I found the leaders to be approachable and fun, and found their testimonies inspiring!’

Going on the Two Week Stint helped Helen decide to apply to join Wycliffe and she is now preparing for training. This year’s Two Week Stint is being held from 12th to 24th July, come along!

Find out more and register for the Two Week Stint.

*L’Association Traduire la Bible

Praying in unity: unleashing power.

May 14th, 2015 by Jo Johnson

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

We know that prayer changes things, but we now have an opportunity to experience the power of praying in unity with other Christians around the world. The Global Day of Prayer is being held on 24th May and it’s very easy to get involved.

The leaders of the Tarikhi ya Haakhi (Way of Truth) Fellowship meet together to worship and pray.

The leaders of the Tarikhi ya Haakhi (Way of Truth) Fellowship meet together to worship and pray.

The Global Day of Prayer website explains further:

‘United by a Prayer for the World, Christians from all over the world, from different cultures and denominations, from many diverse streams will gather in their homes, or where appropriate, assemble in stadiums, public auditoriums and open squares and many will devote portions of their Sunday morning Service to united prayer.

Some meetings will be small. Others will be large, but each one will be praying with the same vision of repentance and hope. As at the first Pentecost, we’ll worship God openly in Christ’s name and pray for the healing and blessing of the nations. As much as possible, we are seeking to gather in places beyond the walls of our church buildings.

On this day we are all praying WITH the world as we pray FOR the world.’

We can all participate; globaldayofprayer.com has resources, videos and PowerPoints to help you pray. All you need to do is gather with other Christians and pray. There are prayers you can use and if you would like to be involved in a 10 day preparation for the Global Day of Prayer or a 90 day response to the Global Day of Prayer they have guides for that too.

The Global Day of Prayer takes place on Pentecost. Please pray that as Christians around the world repent and pray, the Holy Spirit will fall and thousands will hear the gospel and respond to God, just as they did on the first Pentecost.

If the global day of prayer has caught your interest and you’d like to pray for the world more often Operation World is a great resource to help you on your way to a ‘praying for the world habit’.

Learning and Liberated – Word Alive 2015

May 11th, 2015 by Nick

Our friends over at Wycliffe Canada have launched their summer edition of their magazine – Word Alive. For this issue the Word Alive team adventured to the Peruvian Andes to see the important work that is being undertaken by ATEK – a Bible translation and engagement agency with which Wycliffe Canada is a partner.

For more than a decade, God has been using a homegrown ministry in South Peru to strengthen rural churches and families. Based in the tourism mecca of Cusco, the small partner organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators has distributed thousands of copies of mother tongue Scripture, established literacy programs throughout the region, and trained hundreds of Quechua [KETCH-wa] pastors and Sunday school teachers.

Through the ministries of ATEK – an acronym that means ‘The association that shines the gospel to the Quechua-speaking world’ – poor and marginalized Quechua people are improving their lives through literacy, and growing in their understanding and application of God’s word

Find out about this amazing work in Word Alive – Learning & Liberated

Stepping out in faith

May 8th, 2015 by Jo Johnson

You may have noticed that almost all of Wycliffe’s members are not salaried, but funded by individuals and churches who support them. Raising support can start out as a real challenge, only to turn into a faith-building adventure as God provides, often from unexpected sources. Churches and Christian friends all have the opportunity to be part of this adventure with God, either by going themselves, or by supporting someone who is!

In the West, we have an historic understanding of this pattern of support. But it’s another story for our colleagues from other parts of the world. They have the same needs, but face the additional challenge that the church there is more used to receiving missionaries than sending them.

A woman gives for the missions offering at her churchTwelve of our colleagues from Nigeria are in this exact position. Pam Hollman, a Wycliffe UK member in Nigeria, explains further:

‘This month is a very important one for twelve of our Nigerian colleagues working with SIL Nigeria – 15% of the group’s staff. They are “Nigerian Missionary Staff” (NMS). That means they are seeking to be supported by their local churches and individuals just as we are from the West. Ultimately this is the only way to sustainability for the language development, translation and Scripture engagement work. However, the idea of local church support for missionaries is a fairly new concept here and these colleagues have not been finding it easy.

So, starting today (Monday 4th May) and during the whole of this month a specific course has been arranged to help them with this – to provide ideas, tools, help with making contacts with possible supporters and so on to encourage them along. They will not be doing their normal work but will be able to concentrate wholly from Mondays to Fridays on this activity. Coaches are available to work with them and support them and each one has at least one designated prayer supporter behind them. From mid-June to mid-September they will be putting into practice what they have learned with the goal of raising their support. ‘

Please pray:

  • that the training course will be very useful and faith will rise as a result.
  • for local churches to gain a full understanding of the importance of their support of  ‘national missionaries’, whether financial and prayer support or in other more practical ways.
  • that God will abundantly provide for the twelve who are taking this step of faith.

Read ‘the elephant in the room’ and discover the challenges Wycliffe members face in raising their support.

Summer Events 2015

May 4th, 2015 by Nick

It’s the bank holiday and as things are ramping up towards the summer, we’re getting excited about the number of events we have planned over the next few months! Which will you come along to?

To kick it off we have: The Next Step 29-31 May, Manchester.

Are you interested in being a part of God’s mission in making the Bible available in everyone’s heart language, but not sure how? come along!  #wynext

 

Then: GOfest! 19-21 June, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire

One of the big events of the year, either camp for the weekend or join us for a day. There’s a packed programme of speakers, seminars, worship along with exhibition space and youth and children’s programmes. All with the aim to inspire global vision by giving you opportunities to explore and celebrate what God is doing worldwide. Register now at gofestival.info  #go_festival @go_festival

 

To top it off is the Two Week Stint 12-24 July, Valence, France

page-8-tws5This is a holiday with an eternal and international impact!  Join us with people from across Europe for a bilingual, cross-cultural and productive holiday, with plenty of opportunity for time spent with God and some adventure thrown for good measure! Oh, and did we mention that it’s in the south of France too?! Sign up for the Two Week Stint  #wystint

 

So – it’s time to get packing!  See you soon for a fun and inspiring summer!

Keeping pace with technological development

May 1st, 2015 by Jo Johnson

We live in a digital age. Increasingly technological development is becoming vital, and not just useful, to the efficient and timely translation and distribution of Scripture. Software development is needed to facilitate the work of linguists and translators. Mobile phone apps and memory cards, websites and audio recorders give audio and visual access to translated Scripture, all of which are so important in sensitive areas and oral cultures.

Scripture appA key group of people who lead language technology development recently met:

‘We  spent a few days in meetings together to look carefully at the ways we do software development and how we prioritise our efforts. We’re terribly short-staffed, and cannot possibly meet all needs. We certainly don’t want to overburden key team members.

Please pray for the Father to provide a significant increase in our full-time software development staff. In particular, we need experienced web developers (php, javascript, responsive design), UX experts, mobile developers (both for apps and the Android core), and communications/support people. Pray also that we would understand the limits of what we can offer to do.’

Please join us in praying for the language technology development team:

  • Pray for the leaders to have wisdom to know what areas to focus their limited resources on.
  • Pray that God will give strength to persevere and grace not to become overwhelmed.
  • Ask God to send the team several people gifted with the right skills for the work and the right passion and vision to be used to bring God’s kingdom through technology development.

Find out more about serving God and using your IT skills at the same time.

The method of writing tone

April 27th, 2015 by Nick

Translating the Bible is just one part of what is needed to bring God’s word to a community. Another important aspect is to teach people to be able to easily read what has been written!

Many languages are tonal – the sounds of vowels can be high and low (and sometimes in between).  Making sure that a writing system denotes this clearly is critical for the fluent understanding of the readers.  This is where Tone Orthography Workshops come in. To put it simply, tone orthography is the method of writing tone. These workshops help translators develop accurate writing systems so that people can read the Bible fluently when a translation is finished.

This brilliant video from Cameroon gives you a glimpse into life as a Bible translator and a brief look at what happens in these Tone Orthography workshops.  Have a watch and share with your friends.

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Find out more about the work of Bible Translation and how you can help.

Trials and testing

April 24th, 2015 by Jo Johnson

Many translators work in very difficult situations. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been through years of civil war and rebel activity. Such insecurity has a ripple effect into everyday life impacting the availability of food, good medical provision and schooling, to name just a few things.

Omi team and Kabucungu

Kabucungu (back) with the Omi team

Just recently Congolese translation consultant Kabucungu and his colleague Sarah visited the Omi project, in the DRC, to check some of portions of the New Testament that the team have drafted. Sarah describes just a few of the issues they face:

‘The Omi translators work in an isolated situation and have faced big challenges in recent years, including insecurity caused by rebel activity, and the departure of a series of leaders from the project. Last year the two most experienced translators in the team suffered big health setbacks. Pario was off work for several months because of an operation for cancer, and Alimadri has just come to the end of a six month absence caused by a heart condition. Their computers were paralysed by viruses for several months – a very poor internet connection meant that they were not able to update anti-virus protection. A lack of available translation consultants means that Omi drafts of various New Testament books are stacking up waiting for the necessary checks. Translating the New Testament can sometimes seem like a test of endurance in the desert.’

Despite all this the team continues work and progress is being made. Back to Sarah:

‘Our time together was intensive and uplifting. Kabucungu and I took turns to lead the checking sessions with the team, and we managed to complete the books of 2 Thessalonians and 1 Timothy. It was a great bonus to have Kabucungu with us. His own experience as a translator in tough conditions, his pastoral heart and his infectious sense of humour were a huge help in encouraging the translators to keep persevering in challenging conditions.’

Please praise God for the checking that Kabucungu and Sarah were able to do with the Omi team.

Please pray:

  • for perseverance, protection and continuing progress for the Omi translators.
  • for more translation consultants to work with the Omi and other teams in DRC, so that translation drafts can be finalised.
  • for opportunities for more Omi people to hear God’s Word in Omiti, and that it will bring new life and faith.

Find more ways to pray for the DRC using our Frontline Prayer module.

IMG_4788Sarah Casson is a translation consultant and spends most of her time training translators at Shalom University, Bunia. To better equip her for this work, she is currently based in London and doing doctoral studies. She loves cricket and beautiful gardens.