(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that involves people in the acceleration of Bible translation efforts, is stepping up its efforts to support Bible translation work in South Sudan amid growing civil and political unrest in the region due to fighting between rebels and government forces since South Sudan gained independence in July, 2011.
“Our partners on the ground tell us that growing political unrest, skyrocketing fuel and food prices, and rising uncertainty could close the window of opportunity to translate God’s Word,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “We must speed Bible translation while there is relative peace.”
“Nearly one million South Sudanese are waiting for their first word from God in their language,” Smith says. “In Juba, the growing capital of South Sudan, Sudanese Christians are anxious to put their newfound religious freedom to immediate use.”
Recently, a group of Christian pastors attended special meetings held by tribal leaders of a hostile religious group in South Sudan. The meetings were designed by the tribal leaders to win more converts to their faith. The pastors brought along portions of the New Testament that had been translated into the language of the tribal leaders, and because the Scriptures were in the leaders’ language, they accepted them and also requested copies to take home.
God used that moment to advance His gospel even though it was planned and organized by a religious group in opposition to Christianity. Amazing! Now an entire group of people will have hope for eternity.
Wycliffe Associates hopes to see additional opportunities like this through the acceleration of Bible translation projects in South Sudan.
“There are so many more people in South Sudan waiting to hear the hope of the gospel in a language they can understand,” Smith says.
Wycliffe Associates involves people in accelerating the work of Bible translation through their time, talents, and treasure. Because millions of people around the world are still waiting to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as they can to translate every verse of the Bible into every tongue to change every heart. The organization partners with nationals, mother tongue translators, staff, volunteers, and supporters to direct and fund these efforts, as well as provide logistics, networking, and technical support. Through a growing global network, Wycliffe Associates is striving to overcome local limitations of time and resources to achieve the goal of beginning the translation of God’s Word in every remaining language that needs it by 2025.
Last year, the organization mobilized 3,103 volunteers and staff members to accelerate Bible translation in 73 countries. Additional information is available at www.wycliffeassociates.org or by calling 1-800-THE WORD (1-800-843-9673).