(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that involves people in the acceleration of Bible translation, is assisting Bible translators in Timor and the surrounding Indonesian islands by establishing a translation center to training national translators. More than 80 language groups are waiting for translation to even begin in the Timor region, located in Southeast Asia on the edge of the Indian Ocean.
While Portuguese and Tetun are the official languages of Timor, they are not the functional languages for people groups in many areas of the country, where entire generations have grown up speaking local languages.
At present, there are at least 80 languages in Timor and the surrounding areas—including several million people—that are without a single verse of the Bible.
“It is heartbreaking to think these isolated people might believe God doesn’t care enough to speak directly to them,” says Wycliffe Associates President and CEO Bruce Smith.
“What if you heard the gospel in a language you only partly understood? Think about what it would be like to live without your favorite Scripture verse,” says Smith.
And according to Rev. Gabriel Brea, a national Bible translator in West Timor, the people are asking why they don’t have Bibles in their own language. He adds that without Scripture in their own language, “people don’t really understand it. It doesn’t penetrate their hearts.”
Wycliffe Associates provided construction materials and volunteers to complete two building phases of a translation center in West Timor. Missionaries there are currently working with 23 languages groups and are also recording and videotaping recently translated Scriptures in a sound studio built by Wycliffe Associates.
Fundraising efforts are now underway for phase 3, which will consist of a two-story building at the translation center and a guesthouse on a second property. At present, donations toward Wycliffe Associates’ translation efforts in Timor and the surrounding islands of Indonesia will be matched by anonymous donors.
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). # # #