Wycliffe Bible Translators has taken the unprecedented step of cancelling its main summer events this summer, as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Although the events – the 10-day Experience summer camps in Austria and Switzerland, and the Vision Trip to Thailand – will not take place, Wycliffe is hoping to provide some online inspiration, teaching and community to replace them.
Neil Graham, Wycliffe’s Director for Church Engagement, says: ‘Like all organisations, we have had to respond to what is happening. With all the travel and living restrictions that are being introduced worldwide, we had to take clear decisions about these events. It is possible that the Experience camps will be reinstated later in the year or next year, but that will depend on how the coronavirus situation develops.’
The Experience camps were to take place in July, and already had 11 people signed up. Neil says: ‘While it is disappointing for these 11 – and anyone else who was considering attending – we are looking to partially fill the gap through a webinar series. Although nothing can replace the environment created by 10 days in a 24-hour community setting, these webinars will provide opportunities to give the teaching, discussions and support group that the participants would have received, as well as creating a small but focused online community in the midst of the isolation.’
The Vision Trip was earmarked to start in late June. Neil comments: ‘For the participants, this would have been an incredible, life-changing trip that shows the impact of Bible translation. However, travel to Thailand and then within the country is clearly impossible at this time. We will, however, be looking to run the trip next year.’
Neil continues: ‘Although we are sad to have had to cancel these events, we know that God is still working through Bible translation around the world. Despite the restrictions, Bible translation teams are still meeting or working alone, getting on with the vital work of translating God’s word into the languages that speak to people best. Let’s pray for the spread of the gospel, which continues to impact lives for eternity no matter where we are or what the situation is.’
People interested in participating in the webinar series can register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
People interested in attending future Experience and Vision Trips events can find out more at wycliffe.org.uk/events
Notes to Editors
1. For further information, call Jeremy Weightman on the Wycliffe Communications Team on 0300 303 1111.
2. Wycliffe Bible Translators seeks to enable all peoples to engage with the Bible in a language that speaks to them best. It does this through a range of activities, including Bible translation, literacy and Scripture use initiatives. Currently, Wycliffe has 363 people from the UK and Ireland serving 486 million people who speak 368 languages in 71 countries. Of the 7,300 or so languages spoken worldwide today, only about 700 have the Bible. Around 1.5 billion people (1 in every 5 people) do not have the Bible in their language. As a result, translation of the Bible into people’s languages is one of the critical needs in world mission, to enable the growth of evangelism and discipleship ministries.
3. Images. You can download the following images to accompany the press release, by clicking on the ‘Image’ link: