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Wycliffe Associates Seeking to Make the Bible Accessible in 69 DRC Language Groups Using Rapid Translation Method

Location of  Democratic Republic of the Congo  (dark green) - Wikipedia


(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the acceleration of Bible translation, wants to launch Bible translation into 69 new languages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The central African nation, which is suffering the devastating effects of decades of tribal violence and civil war, is home to more than 200 African ethnic groups.

Excessive mortality rates due to AIDs also have taken a toll on the DRC, where the median age is 18.6 years for the nation’s population of 83.3 million.

“It grabs at my throat to think about what the people have gone through in the DRC,” said Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Generations of tribal violence . . . people hunted like animals . . . torture, mutilation, kidnapping, executions . . . fear and anger and utter, total despair that anything can ever be different.”

But recently, five tribes that had been at war with each other for decades gathered at a two-week Bible translation training workshop.

“Many doubted it could work,” said Smith. “But as they encountered God’s Word in the language of their hearts for the very first time, the reality of God’s love overwhelmed them. The wars between them—and the wars within them—were over.”

Since 2014, Wycliffe Associates has been using a breakthrough Bible translation strategy known as MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation), which trains local mother-tongue translators in a rapid translation method designed to make the Scriptures more readily available to language groups still without any of the Bible. At the pilot workshop in an Asian nation, 13 mother-tongue translators were able to draft and check approximately half of the New Testament in two weeks.

“Pastors [in the DRC] are actually pleading for us to train them to conduct training themselves,” said Smith. “This, in fact, is the only safe, sustainable way forward—because this region is so dangerous and unpredictable to outsiders.”

There are over 200 languages in the DRC. Wycliffe Associate is currently raising funds to launch new translation projects for 69 languages in the DRC, at a cost of $19,500 each.

“Once the translators begin, our MAST strategy will enable Bible translators to accomplish in months what used to take decades,” said Smith.

Last year, Wycliffe Associates launched 346 new language projects worldwide.

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About Wycliffe Associates

One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Associates was organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation. Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.

Because millions of people around the world still wait to have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associates is directly involved with speeding Bible translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Last year, 7,402 Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers worked to speed Bible translations in 72 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.

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