Hey Albany, Schenectady, and Troy!!!
Come to a Wycliffe Associates banquet to learn more about Bible translation, hear first-hand stories from the front-lines, connect with others who share your passion for Bible translation, and change lives for eternity.
The banquet starts at 7pm 04/28/2017 at the Radisson – Albany 205 Wolf RoadAlbany, NY 12205.
And bring a friend!
My bone marrow biopsy results are inconclusive for diagnosis. On a positive note, there are no signs of cancer. Another positive – I am allowed to remain at home.
My white blood cells remain seriously low and have decreased slightly in the past week. Possible causes of this issue are autoimmune issues or an infection. I have more tests and at some point a consult with a rheumatologist…to help pinpoint the root of the issue. At this point it is a process of elimination. The doctor is puzzled, but he assures us we will find answers and he likes puzzles.
Please keep me on the prayer list: for patience, strength, to keep healthy from illness, and that God will draw near.
To God be all the Glory,
The following article is from Christian by Stoyan Zaimov, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
A pioneering rapid Bible translation method that is offering people the chance to read the Gospel in their mother language for the first time has been growing exponentially around the world, changing lives and leaving many in thankful praise to God.
Wycliffe Associates, which has been translating Bibles around the world since 1967, is planning on opening 1,000 new Bible translation workshops in 2017 using Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation. The MAST method, based on an eight-step strategy, reduces what could be years, even decades of waiting for an accurately translated Bible into a matter of months, or weeks.
“At the end of each workshop, we have translators share their experience. And over and over again, Christian translators have said that it has been the most wonderful experience spending all day, every day for two weeks” translating the Bible, Wycliffe Associates’ Linda Fahnestock, MAST regional coordinator for the Americas and Southern Africa, said in a phone interview with The Christian Post.
Fahnestock said the translators feel that “God speaks to them,” and recounted the story of a female translator in Puerto Rico in one of the workshops who at one point “pushed back the chair, got down on her knees, and with tears in her eyes, she began to pray to God” and talk about “how God had spoken to her about how valuable the Scriptures were.”
“We enjoy those moments, and praise God, and pray that God gives us insight into the translation,” Fahnestock told CP.
The MAST regional coordinator explained the eight steps behind the method, which has been employed in workshops around the world, including a recent one from last year in Francistown, Botswana.
“The workshop concept is what’s unique,” she said, noting that the process gathers groups of bilingual speakers together.
The teams of translators work in parallel, and instead of waiting for each one of the eight steps to be completed, the method accelerates the process so that the Bible can be translated within two weeks.
“Each translator is assigned one chapter of one book. They have a few minutes to read that chapter, and then they discuss what is going on in the chapter, who are the main characters, anything they would like to share,” Fahnestock said of the first two steps, consume and verbalize.
Steps three and four see translators divide or “chunk” the text into smaller portions, and draft a translation of each part.
In order to ensure the accuracy of the translation, participants first self-edit their daft, after which it is also peer-edited. Facilitators reviewing the translation then review key terms in the text to make sure they were used correctly, and check that no verses were omitted, and that the text comes off in a natural and clear manner.
John Luton, who has been a part of numerous translation projects around the world, said in a separate statement that the MAST translators’ work has been verified for accuracy.
“The work produced through MAST methodology is excellent. It compares very favorably with texts produced through other methods,” Luton said.
Bruce Smith, president of Wycliffe Associates, said the rapid translation technique is creating new opportunities that were not possible in the past.
“Our breakthrough MAST strategy is accelerating Bible translation beyond anything we could have imagined, even a couple of years ago,” Smith explained. “It is not Westerners doing the translation work in remote areas — it’s nationals being equipped to translate God’s Word themselves.”
Wycliffe Associates estimates that millions of people around the world belonging to various language groups still do not have the Scriptures in their own tongue, and Fahnestock said that it is difficult to say how many people like that live in Botswana.
“It is unknown, the number of languages in Botswana,” she said, noting that every time she goes to a workshop there, the Bible is being translated into new and additional languages, including in Chisubyia, Chikuhane, Sifwe, and Portuguese.
Fahnestock also stressed that the MAST method is growing “organically,” and that it was adapted from translation workshops in Brazil. She said that the work is “growing exponentially,” and “moving organically from one continent to another.”
As Tebogo Tshengg Chiswana explained in a video highlighting the work in Botswana, “it is one thing to hear the Bible in another people’s language, but when it comes into your mother tongue, then it is another experience.”
Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov
(Photo: Sérgio Seiffert via Wycliffe Associates)Wycliffe Associates’ MAST workshop in November 2016 in Francistown, Botswana.
Nestled amid the hilly rainforest of Papua New Guinea, the small village church was a sight to behold. With every seat taken, it was bursting at the seams. Villagers spilled out of the doorways, surrounding the church. Many craned their necks to get a glimpse through a window, straining so they could hear every word. The reason for the enthusiastic gathering?
Four of their own had just returned from the Alotau Training Center (that you helped build), where they helped translate and learned to tell six Bible stories in their language. And these storytellers were about to share what they had learned.
Storytelling is a big deal for the Pouye people.
Many in the area cannot read, which makes oral communication a cultural must. The villagers waited expectantly as the first storyteller began. With dramatic gestures and facial expressions, he drew the crowd into his story as he shared truths drawn straight out of the Scriptures. When he finished, there was a deafening silence. Then, “Namii naratwarku! Namii naratwarku! [Tell us the story again! Tell us the story again!]”
Instead of moving on to the next presenter, the same storyteller told his story again. After he finished the second time, the crowd again chimed in with “Namii naratwarku!”
Three times the villagers heard the same story, and their excited response came like a flood.
One of the elderly “big men” who did not regularly attend church was so enthusiastic that he said, “If church was like this every Sunday, I would be here every Sunday morning and evening!”
In the days that followed, the four storytellers hiked to surrounding villages to tell their stories for others to hear. Your support is reaching across oceans to impact hearts in some of the most remote parts of the world. That’s another story worth sharing!
Sorcerer. Shaman. Witch doctor. In other parts of the world, these are terms by which Kiung would be identified. But in his village in New Ireland, he was known as the “poison man”—one who uses incantations and potions to cast spells to help, harm, or kill people.
For years, Kiung was regularly called upon to use his poison on others. But under that shroud of darkness, he could not find the answers he sought for life and contentment. That’s when he started dabbling in “religion.” But the local religion is merely a list of laws and regulations: prayers to say, songs to sing, and works to do in order to appease God, gain His blessing, and maybe go to heaven.
“I tried to do all of the good things,” Kiung said. “I did everything the church told me to do. I followed all the laws of the church, because I believed if I did enough of these things, I would get eternal life.”
But it wasn’t until Kiung heard a teaching of God’s Word in Patpatar, his heart language, that his life truly changed. “I began to realize that all of my prior ways and beliefs about the spirit world and the rules and traditions . . . they were not in line with God,” Kiung said. “Now I know that it’s only by the work of Jesus. He died and rose again. I believe in Him.”
Today, Kiung is a pastor in the Patpatar church. He teaches and shepherds others who, like him, are seeking the one true God. And he has a message for Christians in the United States: “There is a huge need for the truth. We have churches. We’ve had them for a long time. However, they are not preaching the truth.”
Thank you for your generous partnership so that others like Kiung will have access to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
As persecution against Christians escalates in many regions of the world, Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, is using technology to protect mother tongue Bible translators in high-risk areas.
Their initiative, called Tablets for National Translators (TNTs), places basic computer tablets loaded with Bible translation tools and other applications into the hands of mother-tongue Bible translators around the world, including those who live in areas where Christians are severely oppressed and persecuted.
“A Bible in their hands is like a target on their backs,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.
Not only do the computer tablets enable mother-tongue Bible translators to work discreetly, but it also enables collaboration with other translators, even in areas where it is difficult or dangerous for the translators to work together.
In addition to facilitating security and efficiency, Tablets for National Translators is accelerating the progress of Bible translation in conjunction with MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation), a pioneering new method for translating books of the Bible in parallel faster than ever before, maintaining the highest levels of accuracy and quality.
“This groundbreaking technology, together with MAST, cuts years off of Bible translation,” says Smith. “Tablets for National Translators turn years into months. As recently as 2012, translators launching a new translation were looking at a decade or more to translate the New Testament. Today, it can be done in only months.”
Computer tablets in the hands of mother-tongue translators also give them access to a vast library of translation resources that ensure the accuracy of their work and provide continuous online backup so their work is preserved.
Wycliffe Associates anticipates that in 2017, more Bible translations will be launched in new languages than ever before. The organization has set a goal of placing 5,000 computer tablets, at a cost of $300 each, in the hands of translators to launch 400 new Bible translations in the coming year.
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Through your support, God has enabled us to develop five powerful tools to aid national translators in translating and disseminating the Scriptures:
- Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation (MAST): This proven method is accelerating Bible translation efforts faster than ever before. In 2016, 315 new Bible translations were started as a result of 135 MAST workshops held for national translators worldwide.
- Bible Translation Acceleration Kit (BTAK): Can include a laptop computer, power supply, satellite communication terminal, solar panel, and battery enabling translators to work and collaborate anywhere in the world. With your help 544 BTAKs have been deployed to date.
- Print On Demand (POD): These cost-effective units quickly print God’s translated Word for distribution to those who are without it. Your support has enabled 43 PODs to be deployed in 20 countries.
n Bible Translation Recording Kit (BTRK): These systems are crucial to translating God’s Word into languages that are only spoken. BTRKs are the best way for these oral cultures to hear God’s truth.
- Tablets for National Translators (TNTs): Loaded in multiple languages, TNTs help translators work together faster and more securely, comparing work instantly online. Each tablet provides access to a huge library of reference materials fostering the translator’s own spiritual growth.
Maricel’s mother was a witch doctor in their village of Palanan in the Philippines. Despite that, she learned about Jesus at an early age and invited Him into her heart.
At 18, a church friend who was a Bible translator asked Maricel to check some translation work. When she read in her own language the story of God calling Samuel, she hoped He would call her for some specific task too. He did.
The next year Maricel joined the Palanan translation team in Bagabag, and she’s been helping translate the Old Testament into her heart language.
Following are some of Maricel’s thoughts about the blessings and challenges of being a Bible translator:
Wycliffe Associates: How has God blessed you through your work as a Bible translator?
Maricel: God has blessed me because I’m able to meditate on His Word every day, and I know my translation will help the Palanan Christians to grow in their walk with the Lord. I am also blessed because I know my work will have eternal dividends.
Wycliffe Associates: What is your greatest challenge as you translate God’s Word?
Maricel: My greatest challenge is how to apply the Bible translation in my life. As a translator, I read the Word of God every day—it is before me daily. Yet I still sin against Him.
Wycliffe Associates: How have MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) workshops helped in your translation work?
Maricel: MAST has helped me learn to “consume the text,” to truly meditate more on God’s Word. It is also getting pastors highly involved in the translation as accuracy checkers, so the church has taken on more ownership.
Wycliffe Associates: What is your favorite portion of Scripture you have translated, and why?
Maricel: Lamentations. The people of God were suffering because of their sins, and in spite of that, God showed them love. It’s a reminder that when I sin, God loves me in spite of what I have done against Him.
Thank you for supporting Maricel with MAST training and technology resources so she can carry out the important work God has put before her.