IMB/Wycliffe link could speed Bible translation by 100 years
December 13 2002 by Mark Kelly , Baptist Press

IMB/Wycliffe link could speed Bible translation by 100 years | Friday, Dec. 13, 2002
  • About 13,000 people in one isolated people group were exposed to the gospel for the first time after the Jesus film was translated into their language, said Dickie Nelson, leader of IMB work in the Caribbean Basin region. About 425 made decisions for Christ and the first 82 believers have been baptized.
  • One man who was among the first to hear the gospel in his own language told a missionary: "When you shared with me, my heart said, 'That's it! That's what I've been waiting for!'" said Bill Bullington, leader of IMB work in the West Africa region.
  • When the Bible was publicly read for the first time to one people group, their leader exclaimed, "God speaks my language!" - and every adult present decided to follow Christ, said Gordon Fort, leader of IMB work in the Southern Africa region.

    Watters called for Christians to pray that God would call out missionaries to tackle the challenge of translating God's word for people groups that have never heard it.

    "There are 500 or 600 million Christians in the world who take the word of God seriously and have a heart to share it," he said. "All we're asking him to do is raise up 20,000 people in the next 25 years to see that God's word is translated into all the languages of the earth."

  • Friday, Dec. 13, 2002

    IMB/Wycliffe link could speed Bible translation by 100 years

    By Mark Kelly Baptist Press

    DALLAS, Texas - A new missions partnership could accelerate by 100 years the translation of the Bible for the estimated 1 billion people who still do not have God's word in their own language.

    Leaders of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) and Wycliffe International announced the agreement Nov. 1 in Dallas. Under the new plan, the IMB will appoint missionaries to fill needs for translators, share more information about church planting and translation projects and coordinate strategies for taking the gospel to unreached people groups.

    About 3,000 language groups have no access to the good news of God's love. At the current pace, translations for all of them could not be completed until 2150.

    "We have such a great need to get the Bible into the languages of the people around the world," said Avery Willis, IMB senior vice president. "Everybody deserves to have the word of God in the language they love, the language they cry in and get mad in and rejoice in.

    "If we are going to communicate the gospel to these last people groups, the Bible has to be translated into their languages."

    As many as 400 million people speak languages for which no one is even trying to translate the Scripture, said John Watters, Wycliffe International's executive director.

    "We have been asking ourselves what would it take to give every language community some access to God's Word by 2050," he said. "That would cut 100 years off the translation process that's already going on.

    "That's overwhelming. In fact, we recognize it is impossible for us. But it is not impossible for the Lord of the harvest. That's why partnership is critical. That's why we've been talking with the IMB about ways to effectively and cooperatively work together for the glory of God."

    Wycliffe's 5,000 missionaries have helped translate the New Testament into more than 500 languages and currently have another 1,400-plus projects underway. Their translations of Bible stories and the gospel of Luke speed the process of getting the gospel to people groups through Chronological Bible Storying and the Jesus film.

    The group's role as a Bible translation organization makes it an ideal partner for the IMB's focus on evangelism and church planting, and recent meetings between leaders of the two organizations have moved their relationship to a new level, said IMB President Jerry Rankin.

    Missionaries report that when people groups hear God's word for the first time ever, lives are changed:

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    12/13/2002 12:00:00 AM by Mark Kelly , Baptist Press | with 0 comments
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