(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that involves people in the acceleration of Bible translation, is currently supporting translation teams that are working to complete Bible translations in the last 15 languages of the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea.
A remote island off the coast of Papua New Guinea, New Ireland is home to the New Ireland Translation Institute, where national and international translators are working collaboratively on Bible translation projects, greatly reducing the translation time. It normally takes an average of 15 to 25 years to translate the New Testament into a complex language. With the help and support of Wycliffe Associates, the Bible translators in New Ireland hope to complete the new testament translations in all 15 languages within 8 years.
Bible translators first arrived in New Ireland in 1984 and began working on a translation of Scripture in Patpatar. Upon the completion of the New Testament translation in 1998, the Patpatar people requested a translation of the Old Testament in their language, as well as Scriptures translated into the other dialects and languages of the thousands of people living on New Ireland. Twenty-three languages and dialects are spoken on New Ireland, and, without God’s Word in their heart language, the people of New Ireland fill their hunger with traditional worship of the spirit world, witch doctors, and ancient customs.
In 2007 Wycliffe Associates partners provided funds to construct a new facility for the New Ireland Translation Institute, and in 2009, additional funds were sent to help construct additional housing at the New Ireland Translation Institute, which provided an additional 24 beds for Bible translators and translation consultants. The organization continues to support Bible translation efforts by providing resources for Bible translators, support staff, and their families, from housing and food to technology. “National translators from all over the New Ireland Province regularly trek from their village homes—sometimes sailing across the perilous open sea—to the New Ireland Translation Institute for the work of Bible translation,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “These national Bible translators rely heavily on our support for everything, from food during training to the computers and pens they use to write their translations.” It costs $18,000 to fund an entire language’s Bible translation work for a full year, with a yearly total of $270,000 for all 15 languages in New Ireland.
A donor has established a matching challenge for the organization’s constituents that will double every dollar given to Wycliffe Associates in support of Bible translation in the New Ireland Province.
One translator, commenting on how having the Bible in her language has impacted her life, said, “Now I can understand the Bible more clearly. Now I can eat and sleep good and recognize that it is very true that God is good. I think forward, for what is in front of me is eternal life.”
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 3,703 volunteers and staff members to accelerate Bible translation in 77 countries. Additional information is available at www.wycliffeassociates.org or by calling 1-800-THE WORD (1-800-843-9673). # # #