Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that empowers mother-tongue Bible translators and partners with local churches in the advancement of Bible translation, is helping protect and advance the work of church-owned Bible translation by providing its translators with crucial technology.
In a statement, Dr Tim Neu, the Interim President/CEO of Wycliffe Associates explained that since most mother-tongue Bible translators live in isolated regions with no Internet connectivity, the organisation has developed Bible Translation Acceleration Kits (BTAKs) that provides access to all the Bible translation software a language group needs, along with a built-in satellite Internet connection.
Each kit goes for $2,500 (about Ush9 million).
Tim urged the new technology strengthens Bible transition even amid escalating Christian persecution. This is because when one language group receives a BTAK and translates the Scriptures into their own heart language, they pass along what they’ve learned to other language groups in their region, Dr Tim Neu explained.
“Even if terrorists find you, even if your equipment is confiscated or destroyed, even if the unimaginable happens, your translation work—weeks or months of translation progress—is protected,” said Neu.
Of all the nations on earth, Wycliffe Associates said Indonesia has the most urgent need for Bible translation.
There are more than 12,000 remote areas without any Internet service, and more than 100 language groups across Indonesia don’t have an Internet connection.
“In remote, underdeveloped areas—jungles, rainforests, mountainous regions—anything handwritten on paper is actually at risk of harsh weather, humidity, flooding, even insects,” says Neu. “BTAKs protect all the work that’s been invested, day by day, in the translation of the Scriptures.”
Indonesia’s Sawi tribe is one example of how BTAKs are helping accelerate Bible translation. The tribe, which is only reachable by plane or boat, received a BTAK from Wycliffe Associates and is almost finished translating the Old Testament in their language.
“This was once a tribe of cannibals. Generations grew up learning only to kill or be killed in tribal warfare. Today, God’s Word is transforming their hearts,” says Neu. “Without a BTAK, they might still be years away from experiencing God’s Word in its fullness.”
Wycliffe Associates has installed 549 BTAKs in 48 countries for 793 language communities.
Organised in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation, Wycliffe Associates is one of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations that empower national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in vernacular languages. They partner 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.