Archive for the ‘Short-term’ Category

Scripture use and swimming, linguistics and French cheese

Monday, August 1st, 2016 by Josh Oldfield

Where would you send 18 under-thirties to explore how they can be involved in Bible translation? I suspect the South of France might not be top of your list. Surely somewhere more exotic and dangerous – with insects for food and outside toilets? Something out of an old-school biography that more closely resembles a military academy than a family holiday?

TWSBut instead we find ourselves in Charmes-sur-Rhône, near Valence, in 35 degree heat. We swim, buy fresh bread, eat good cheeses – and we learn how the Bible can be translated. In enviable surroundings we learn how we can play a part in helping all language groups access life-changing Scripture.

So we are taught linguistics, literacy and Scripture engagement. We hear first-hand experience of translation projects. We learn about the realities of life in unfamiliar environments and how to work with a culturally diverse team. All of this is done in French and English, amongst a group from six nations, speaking 11 languages.

sword fight 2Every day is framed, morning and evening, by worship, a Bible reading, and prayer. Our singing is a chaotic mix of French and English and we often pray unsure if we are understood by those around us. But as we hear from the Bible in our own languages about our missionary God, we know that he cares for people from every nation and language. We are reminded that the Church has a mission, that our local churches live it out, and that we as individuals all play a part.

Much is said of God’s heart for the nations, of the translation work left to be done and of the sacrifices each of us will make in our own way – but there is never the sense that Wycliffe is for a certain ‘type’ of person. There are no superhero missionaries here, just everyday missionaries – self-professed language geeks, teachers, students and church interns, all exploring how their gifts can help serve God, their local churches, and those yet to hear God’s voice in their language.

Hands on in Paraguay

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 by Hannah

Wycliffe partner LETRA Paraguay don’t mind getting stuck in. Among the communities they serve are the Ache: alongside literacy and Bible translation, they encourage other South Americans to serve the community in practical ways. Two groups have recently returned from doing just that:

bible lesson - cerro moroti February is a full and busy month for LETRA Paraguay, a time when groups of volunteers visit  different Ache communities. This year a team of Chileans visited the village of Cerro Morotï for 3 weeks and another group from Uruguay visited Arroyo Bandera for one.

The Chilean team was made up of 10 young people, between 18 and 26, all from the same church. The Uruguayan group included 15 volunteers and 2 paid drivers, aged between 18 and 64, and from 13 different churches.

medicalDespite these differences, the two groups engaged in similar work. The Uruguayan team built a dining room and kitchen for the school in Arroyo Bandera, while in Cerro Morotï the Chilean volunteers extended the church building. Both groups also did lots of work with children, with Bible lessons, games, snacks and songs in abundance, as well as a day of hair washing, cutting and brushing for all the children. There were also daily Bible studies for the women.

The Ache people received these visits enthusiastically. In Cerro Morotï, 5 Ache men worked on the church extension, while in Arroyo Bandera, 7–10 men came to help with the construction of the kitchen/dining room.

LETRA Paraguay was blessed by the work of both groups, and took advantage of this time in the communities to begin Chäbeta (the Ache word for glasses), a new initiative involving the production and distribution of reading glasses to help the Ache people read the translation of the New Testament, as well as other books.

This report was written by Rocio Gomez, and translated by Ruth Gaved, a UK student in the middle of a Spanish and linguistics degree, who is serving with LETRA for part of her year abroad.

Letra team

Ruth (right) with new team member Megan and LETRA directors Cristina and Victor Gómez

If you, like Ruth, want to use your skills to serve Bibleless people – whether they are in language, IT, writing, teaching or anything else –  the Two Week Stint is the event for you to find out how. It’s two weeks in the South of France immersed in finding out how your skills could fit in mission. Find out more about why it’s the event for you.

Find out more about LETRA on their Facebook page (it’s in Spanish).

The Two Week Stint

Monday, July 29th, 2013 by Jo Johnson

Twenty participants from five European countries gathered over the weekend in the South of France for the Two Week Stint, a holiday with an international impact. During the next two weeks, they will be exploring Bible translation and what it looks like for them to be involved.

There will be specific training for creative people, language-lovers and hands-on educators as well as the chance to worship, draw closer to God and reflect on his mission to the world.

page-8-tws5The staff is headed up by Stewart Johnson, UK church engagement director for Wycliffe, and he explained the purpose of this summer camp;

‘Maybe these two weeks won’t change the world. But we have a chance to be available to God and what he wants to do.’

As this is the first year that the Two Week Stint is being held there is plenty of scope for hiccups.

  • Four staff members have never worked together before – please pray for good understanding and relationships.
  • Already the spiritual temperature is rising – please pray for protection, both physical and spiritual, for everyone involved.
  • Finally, please also pray that the participants will come away with a greater understanding of God, of mission and how Bible translation changes lives.

Keep an eye on the blog as the participants will be blogging about what’s going on.

A surprising Bible translator

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 by Hannah

Last summer, Stephanie was one of the participants on Wycliffe USA’s internships. Her internship included two weeks in Guatemala, meeting translators and exploring cultures. Can you guess what vital Bible translation role Stephanie was playing?

A photographer! Of course! Bible translation isn’t just about analysing never-before-studied languages, writing down never-before-written languages, or translating for a people group who’ve never-before had God’s word . It involves much, much more.

Stephanie’s weeks in Bible translation included taking the picture of this beautiful woman on the right, who appeared on the cover of our Winter magazine. Stephanie isn’t a translator, but her picture made the needs of Bibleless peoples real. (Read the magazine here.)

From Stephanie:

When my team first arrived in Guatemala City, we spent a few days getting acclimated, learning about the translation process, and meeting current translators. Then we traveled to two other cities before getting to our three-day stop in the village of Chim Ban.

We were split into groups of three or four and charged with learning as much of the language and culture as we could. The first day, my group set out to meet new people and learn new words in Acateco, the Mayan language that was spoken there. I got to practice my favorite phrase from this trip many times, ‘Cheeskay cheweel hapfoto?’ or ‘Can I take your picture?’ Read more of Stephanie’s experiences over on the Wycliffe USA blog.

Bible translation isn’t just for language lovers. There are thousands of roles, as diverse as pilots, teachers or photographers, waiting for someone to fill them. It’s all part of bringing God’s word to the millions of people who still don’t have it. Find out more or view our vacancies.

If you are looking for two weeks to make an impact in Bible translation, have a look at the Two Week Stint.

Two weeks to change your life?

Thursday, May 16th, 2013 by Hannah

‘There are more slaves than there has ever been in history. Approximately 800,000 new slaves are trafficked across borders every year. I prayed “Dear Lord, it would be worth my whole life if you would use me to save just one of them, I want to be in your purpose.”‘

page-8-tws5This was part of Jackie Pullinger’s talk last weekend at Go Festival. The festival was a long and sunny weekend of inspiration for people to get involved in the incredible work God is doing around the world. Another speaker, Andy Hawthorne, reminded us that more people are coming to know Jesus as king now than ever before! Read more about Go Festival.

Are you inspired by news about what God is doing? Do you hear about people like Jackie and Andy, and feel your spirit rise to its feet? Or do you see their work and think, ‘I could never do something like that’?

Whatever your response, whatever your strengths or weaknesses (because God uses those too!), you are called to be part of what God is doing. You could be serving on his team.

twoweekstint-altMaybe that will be through praying from home, by supporting through intercession and finances, by advocating for the people around the world in need. Or maybe that will be hundreds, thousands of miles from where you are now. Maybe that will be on a Bible translation team, studying languages, enabling literacy or communicating in different cultural forms.

How do you know? Come and have a go: this summer, Wycliffe in the UK and Ireland, with partners in France, are running a two week holiday-exploration. Two weeks to enjoy sun and friendship, to explore different roles in Bible translation and mission, and to make a tangible difference. Who knows what God will show you about what you could be doing for him!

The Two Week Stint runs between 27 July and 10 August this summer in English and French. Find out more.

It takes all sorts

Thursday, October 18th, 2012 by Ruth

Thanks to Craig Campbell and Wycliffe Next Generation in Canada, here’s a fabulous video highlighting the vast variety of roles you could take up in serving Bible translation. Watching this today made me immensely humbled and excited about what God is doing worldwide, and proud to be part of the team he has formed in this work – to bring God’s word to the most linguistically marginalised communities of the world.

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Have a look at some more information about some of these roles on our website. Go.

Safe arrivals in Togo

Monday, July 2nd, 2012 by Hannah

Yesterday, five folks from Wycliffe’s Youth Network (WYnet) arrived in Togo, where they are due to visit the Bassar project, which they have been supporting for many, many years. Their latest update:

‘We have made it to Togo! The journey was very good; there were no delays of flights, we made our connection and security checks were not a problem. Our luggage made it too, in Lomé we found it all whilst we waited for our visas to be granted.

‘We are now at the SIL guesthouse in Lomé (SIL is a partner organisation of Wycliffe Bible Translators). Food was waiting for us; couscous and chicken in a green sauce, we then turned in for an early night after thanking God for the day.

‘Today has been very relaxed, a late-ish breakfast, a nice lunch, a few card games in between. Steve had to go out in the morning to change our Euros into CFA Francs and do a bit of shopping for our time in Bassar. Tonight we are spending some time with a member of Wycliffe called Becky who has been here for five years, helping to produce a dictionary in a local language – this will help standardise the language, aid new speakers of the language and improve the accuracy of Scripture that’s produced. In the last couple of years she’s helped to do personnel work for SIL.

‘Tomorrow at 7am we will start our journey to Bassar in a minibus. The journey normally takes around seven hours.’

Some people, like the translator in the Bassar project, do Bible translation by translating. Some do Bible translation by producing dictionaries and doing personnel work, like Becky. Some, like the WYnet team, do it by supporting projects through prayer, finance and encouragement.

Keep the team in your prayers as they travel. Find out more about how you can be involved with furthering Bible translation around the world.

A Togolese Adventure

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 by Hannah

A couple of months ago, a small group of young people headed off to Togo to visit a Bible translation project that they have been supporting and praying for through WYnet, Wycliffe’s Youth Network. One of the adventurers, Nathan, reflects:

“I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect before I went to Togo. I’d never been that far away from home before or even left Europe, so culture shock was probably unavoidable. Several things immediately hit me when I arrived: the heat, the humidity and the road safety (or lack of it!).

On the first full day in Bassar, when visiting a church, I was captivated byseeing how the church service was conducted. Although the style of sermon and the arrangement of the church were far removed from what I’m used to, the Lord was definitely working.

I enjoyed sampling a new culture, with new customs and practices. Buying from the local market was certainly a new experience! Other activities like farming and cooking traditional meals helped give a better idea of what the culture and everyday life is for people there.

Seeing how the Bible translation happened was a highlight of my time there. I had a vague idea of how Bible translation worked but having the opportunity to get hands on and fabricate some Scripture booklets was great. It made the trip worthwhile to have something to distribute to people.

The Lord has really given me enthusiasm for evangelism and world mission since this trip. I’ve been praying for Bible translation in Togo for about three years now, but this trip gave me a far better picture of the actual situation and the specific things that need prayer.

The final thing that I took away from the trip was a new appreciation for the beauty, grandeur and majesty of the world that God has created. Seeing the stunning hills and landscapes there was just amazing. It became clear to me that God made such a wonderful world because he is such a wonderful God. That was probably one of the last things I thought I would take away from the trip, but for me was actually the biggest thing I learnt and the thing I will remember most.”

WYnet are devoted to supporting Bible translation and encouraging each other in their walks with God. If you’d like to know more, visit You can support Bible translation – even if you’re not quite of WYnet age anymore – through Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Still hunting for an IT Intern

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 by Paul

Although I’ve not yet gone on my summer holidays my mind is thinking ahead to the autumn. We need an IT intern to start then.

The IT setup here at the Wycliffe Centre provides a wide variety of work. We have a number of buildings spread over 3 acres and we are always working on improving the wired and wireless access to our networks and the internet. We provide IT services to on-site staff and residents as well as those working at our remote offices. Many of our staff who normally work abroad pass through call by with interesting problems with their laptops! We also provide a basic IT infrastructure for our conference guests.

On the job advert it lists a number of requirements, but I’d say the most important one was “able to learn new things quickly”. If you know a lot about IT support you’ve probably already got a job. If you know a bit but can learn quickly then you can soon become useful to the work of Bible Translation and get useful experience for the future.

Although there is specialist software for Bible Translation we don’t get involved in that, so the work we’re doing is general IT support. So if you want to get some really broad experience why not apply to be an IT intern?

On the hunt for an IT Intern

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 by Hannah

When writing Romans, Paul is very clear. God’s work is not just for pastor and elders. It’s not just for translators and specialists in Scripture use. It’s not even just for those who want to go abroad.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us…. If your gift is serving, then serve.” Rom 12:6-7

Right here in the UK there are opportunities to serve God’s work through helping in Bible translation. And the opportunities are not always those you’d think.

Right now, the IT department at the Wycliffe Centre (High Wycombe) are looking for someone who can do an internship with them. An internship, normally spread over a year, gives you the chance to spend some time helping the work of Bible translation in practical ways. It is unsalaried, but comes with accommodation, food and an allowance – perfect for a year out.

An IT intern would need to be enthusiastic about IT, with skills in some IT areas. But most importantly, it’s a role for someone who is enthusiastic about what God is doing and takes up the opportunity to serve! Find out more about the role of IT intern.

Not into IT? The Wycliffe Centre is always on the look out for enthusiastic people to be interns – find out about some of the other roles interns play.