It being the last day of the year and the anniversary of the death of our namesake John Wycliffe, it seems appropriate to think back. The things that God has done through Wycliffe and through Bible translation are so numerous, we felt a overwhelmed just at the thought!
So instead we’ll take just 13 highlights from 2013:
1. The Oku New Testament in Cameroon was launched. s it was read to one of the translator’s widows outside a morgue less that two weeks later, she said ‘Reading this took away my tears.‘
2. We were encouraged by prayer as people all over the country met for Frontline Prayer, to intercede for the Bibleless around the world.
3. We learnt new things about Bible translation: 180 million people still need a Bible translation project to begin if they will ever have the Bible in their heart language.
If you wanted to count to 180 million (and remember, some of those numbers take a lot of saying out loud, like 154,763,972), it would take you just short of a decade.
4. But in other big numbers, we heard that there have been 110 million dowloads of the YouVersion Bible app, and not all in English. Ngiemboon language speaker Moise thought his app was ‘Wonderful!’
6. In late September, sign language specialists, partners DOOR International, launched Scripture in 5 languages simultaneously.
7. Wycliffe said goodbye to the old homestead of 40 years, but learnt that home really is where the heart is:
The heart of Wycliffe is in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, the savannahs of Africa and among the nomads’ tents on the steppes of Asia.
8. Surprised by Maher-salal-hash-baz? We learnt that surprising Bible names are not as surprising as you might have thought.
9. We rejoiced when the entire Kaiwá Bible was launched. Translator Dorival said this:
‘And so when I think then that all of a sudden there’s going to be Genesis to Revelation, I feel really happy inside. It’s very good. It tastes good to see this happen. So I am jumping up and down with happiness because it is really beautiful, it is almost ready.’
10. Our director compared the Bible to Harry Potter, but is still convinced the Bible’s a better read.
11. Another whole Bible launch: the Sango Bible in Central African Republic. Although there was joy in the celebration, not all the distribution happened as the organisers had planned – the office was looted before the launch, and many Bibles turned up on market stalls.
12. On the rare topic of English Bible translations, we wondered about using the word ‘cripple’ in modern Bible translations, and Barbara (from the Scottish Churches Disability Agenda Group) shared her thoughts.
13. Three decades hasn’t dented the message of The JESUS Film – 40 people in Cheeia’s family have come to know Jesus through it only recently.
There is so much to celebrated – bring on 2014!