Team Leaders Needed!

The most urgent need in a rapidly expanding team is for Team Leaders.

Just a few weeks ago I sent out an appeal recruiting Bible scholars to become part of a team that is developing notes to assist Bible translators in understanding Scripture passages. The good news is that people have responded in unprecedented numbers and are anxious to get involved!

In fact, so many have responded that we already need additional Team Leaders to coordinate this work.  The Bible in Italian

The people we are looking for should have experience managing decentralized teams, project management experience, excellent computer skills, teaching or training experience, and a solid base of biblical knowledge. Experience working with volunteers would be helpful. This position may be filled from any location with reliable Internet connectivity.

The translation notes developed by these teams will be released under Creative Commons: Attribution/Share-Alike licensing through our mobile translationStudio app. You can download this app to Android devices through the Google Play Store by searching for: translationstudio, and you can download it directly from Google Play by clicking this link.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about this opportunity, just email us or phone Jennifer Cunneen toll-free at 1-800-THE WORD (800-843-9673). Jennifer will connect you with our Training Department Manager and give you more details about the job requirements and qualifications.

Thank you for helping to spread the word about this opportunity to advance Bible translation!

Document Management Specialist Needed

One of our strategic partners in Bible translation has more than 400,000 Christian leaders worldwide enrolled in Christian leadership development training.

We have been invited to include Bible translation training in this curriculum, with the potential to involve thousands of these leaders in advancing Bible translation. As we work toward this goal we are also working to translate this leadership training from English into 36 major languages so that it is within reach of millions of Christian leaders globally.

The specific challenge we need to address immediately is the management of thousands of documents in dozens of languages. This is why we are recruiting for a Document Management Specialist.

This position may be staffed from any location with reliable Internet connection, but definitely requires the ability to work effectively with a decentralized team. Strong communications, project management, and electronic document management skills are essential.

Translation of this leadership training is already well underway in 10 languages, so the document management workload is rapidly increasing.

If you or someone you know is interested to learn more about this position just email us or phone Ruben Garay toll-free at 1-800-THE-WORD (800-843-9673). Ruben will provide more specific details about the qualifications required and put you into direct contact with the team manager.

This position is primarily focused on the complex challenge of managing hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of documents. We expect that these training materials will soon reach more than a million Christian leaders. The opportunity to engage these leaders in advancing Bible translation is one we do not want to miss. YOU could be the person that helps make this possible sooner instead of later.

Give us a call!

A Powerful Story

For many of us, Bible stories made an early impression in our lives. These stories gave us our first glimpses of God at work in history and introduced us to ordinary people whom God inspired and empowered to do extraordinary things. When we later began reading the Scriptures for ourselves, it was like reconnecting with old friends.

In thousands of oral cultures worldwide, stories are the most powerful way to communicate wisdom. For people still without the Scriptures written in their language, Bible stories are often the first introduction they have to biblical truth.

In the current issue of eInvolved!eInvolved - April May you’ll read how Bible stories are impacting individual lives and communities today in both Africa and Asia. Translating and spreading Bible stories enables the truth of God’s Word to reach people quickly and powerfully.

You’ll also see how innovative printing technology complements these oral storying strategies by reducing the time and cost of getting translated Scriptures into print.

Your partnership and support is speeding God’s Word to more people in more places today than ever before. Thank you for your love for God’s Word and for caring about people who are still waiting for His Word in their language. Thank you for praying, for serving, and for including Bible translation in your stewardship priorities.

Together we are assuring that the story of God’s love and redemption is told far and wide. Please read our current issue of eInvolved! to read more of how Christ is changing the world through you.

Mobile App Developer Needed

Mobile app development is a core component of our vision to put Bible translation and revision into the hands of the global Church. As interest and demand increases for tools and content we are expanding our development team. Mobile App Developer Needed

All of our software and content is released under open licenses like the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licensing in order to encourage open collaboration and free distribution for the benefit of the Church. Experience working with open-source and agile software development methods is valuable. The primary app platform is Android OS.

This position includes both the opportunity to develop new apps for publishing and sharing Biblical content as well as refining and supporting existing mobile apps. The content and user interfaces for each of these apps needs to be easily usable or adaptable for multi-lingual users.

Location is not a consideration for this position, as you are able to work from home. We are also willing to engage Mobile App Developers on a full or part-time basis.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about how Mobile App Developers can share in speeding God’s Word to the nations just email us or phone Tim Coleman toll-free at 1-800-THE WORD (800-843-9673). Tim will give you more details about the qualifications desired and connect you to our mobile development team.

Put your full-time, part-time, or spare-time mobile app development energy toward a cause with eternal impact! Give us a call!

A City on a Hill

It is hard for us to even begin to imagine the despair and difficulty Sudanese refugees experience. For many of us this seems like old news. We’ve been hearing it for 30 years. But it is a cruel, current reality for thousands who have fled the rising tide of persecution in Sudan for the relative peace and freedom of neighboring countries. And within this darkness, God’s Word is shedding light and hope.

Equally difficult for us to grasp is the choking grip of the occult on the lives of those held captive for generations. This is so foreign to our experience. It seems like something from distant history. But, again, it is a present darkness for far too many. And within this darkness, God’s Word is shedding light and hope.eInvolved! Feb/Mar 2015

At a recent Wycliffe Associates gathering, we spent some time reflecting on the portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount that says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14 NIV).

It’s a bold statement: “You are”—not you may be or you should be, or even you can occasionally be, but “you are.”

So, to whom is “you” referring?

Was this a personal message focused only on the 12 apostles? Or, perhaps this was a message meant only for those present on the mountainside that day.

Could “you” be a former African witch doctor or a Sudanese refugee? Could “you” be a volunteer, financial partner, or prayer partner?

In this month’s issue of eInvolved you’ll see how God is shedding the light of His Word into dark places through His people. “You are the light of the world.”

Thank you for letting your light shine!

Bible Translation Specialists Needed

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple way for people with years of experience in Bible translation to share all of that experience with aspiring Bible translators?

For many years the only option for this was through translation training centers. Over the years Wycliffe Associates has built dozens of these training centers around the world, benefitting thousands of translators as they gain experience.

But no matter how many training centers we build, they will still be beyond the reach of too many translators.

Fortunately, the Internet provides a helpful alternative!

The current translationStudio app includes fifty Bible stories, and hundreds of pages of translators’ notes linked to these stories, so that local translators have the resources they need to produce the highest quality translation. Upcoming translationStudio releases will include books of the Bible and eventually the entire Bible, along with translators’ notes linked to each verse and passage.

This is a view of translationStudio's translation notes for the Open Bible Stories. We want to create resources for Bible translation.

This is a view of translationStudio’s notes for the Open Bible Stories. We need Bible translation specialists to create resources for actual Bible translation.

Creating the translators’ notes linked to each verse will put these vital resources within easy reach of every translator using the translationStudio app—all at no cost to the translators!

We need to expand our team developing these notes in order to get these resources into the hands of local Bible translators as soon as possible.

Obviously, not everyone reading this blog has Bible translation experience. But if you do, or if you know someone who does, please have them email us or call Nancy Neu toll-free at 1-800-THE WORD (800-843-9673) to learn more about this opportunity. Location is not a limitation as long as you have workable Internet access.

This is an opportunity for your Bible translation experience to potentially bless thousands of translators, speeding God’s Word to the nations.

Let’s seize this opportunity together!

Bible Scholars Needed… help from home!

Today an unprecedented strategy is underway to provide open-licensed resources in dozens of languages for Bible translators worldwide. Open licensing allows anyone, anywhere, unrestricted access and use of these tools to advance Bible translation in their language.

We are working with existing copyright owners in an effort to release existing resources in a way that serves the global Church more effectively. But in the meantime our team is pressing forward to create new resources that will be available to the global Church immediately. Bible Scholars Needed

We are recruiting Christians with seminary training in Hebrew or Greek, Old or New Testament, theology, or hermeneutics to expand our team and speed these resources to Bible translators. We have a particularly immediate need for Old Testament scholars.

This is not an exclusive offer. We are looking for dozens of people willing to collaborate in this effort as part of a decentralized team. Location is not as important as Internet access – you can help from home! We’d love to have full-time commitments, but also invite and welcome you based on your availability.

The basic task is to create notes that clarify key biblical terms and complexities for translators to reference as they are working. These notes will then be translated into dozens of major languages and integrated into our translationStudio mobile app for free download worldwide. Part of the art in this is to communicate simply, in ways that translate effectively cross culturally, so that the target translation is faithful to the original Scripture text.

I have often thought of the thousands of men and women who have seminary training, but who for various reasons are not using this training vocationally. This is a tremendously under-utilized pool of godly men and women that we would love to engage in advancing Bible translation. We also need people with biblical knowledge combined with editorial skills to serve within this team.

If you or someone you know fits this description, just email us or call Jennifer Cunneen toll-free at 1-800-THE WORD (800-843-9673). Jennifer has more information about the qualifications we are seeking and can connect you directly with our team that is already working on this strategy.

At this point, our team is close to completing translation notes for three books of the Bible. Our goal is to complete notes for at least a dozen by the end of September, and to complete notes for the entire Bible as soon as possible. The key is to expand this team sooner instead of later.

Will you help?

Who Am I?

“What is man that you are mindful of him?” Psalm 8:4

As we sat robed on cushions, in a circle on the floor, the air was tense with anticipation. Even with doors locked and windows shrouded we spoke softly and carefully. This was our first meeting. All of us had traveled long distances, some at tremendous personal risk to meet with strangers. This was no small step of faith for anyone present.

We introduced ourselves to one another by telling our personal stories. In just a few moments it was painfully obvious that those from the USA grew up in a very different world than those from the Middle East. Painful because instead of peace there was war, instead of light there was darkness, instead of hope there was hopelessness. My gut wrenched as they described their lives before Christ.

Their conversions were dramatic. Secret conversations and vivid dreams led to bold confessions and personal sacrifice. The Holy Spirit is moving powerfully in their nations, with house churches multiplying beyond our imagination.

Included in their stories were the number of languages each spoke. One spoke five languages. Another spoke six. One spoke nine languages. Another admitted, with some embarrassment, that he spoke only three languages.

As I listened to their stories I was struck by how God changed their anger and pride into courage and deep humility. Each of them wondered aloud, “Who am I to bring God’s Word to my people?”

You will be reading and hearing more from Wycliffe Associates about how mobile technology is not only putting God’s Word within reach of people worldwide, but is enabling them to share in translating His Word into new languages.

Who are you and I to be God’s ambassadors? We are simply His servants. Your prayers, your service, and your stewardship are enabling God’s people to speed His Word to their families, their neighbors, and their nations. Thank you for sharing in making this possible!

A Job to Love

It’s really all about the people.

During my first visit to this team in Nigeria, I noticed that the land between buildings on the center was being cultivated. It turned out that some of the Bible translation team members, including the Executive Director, had planted a garden to feed their families because they had worked for months without salary.

As my heart was breaking from the deplorable conditions of the dormitory, the afternoon training session dismissed and the translators danced and sang their way down the slope to their rooms.

Despite these, and many other obstacles, the Nigeria Bible Translation Trust is making tremendous progress in speeding God’s Word to nearly a hundred Nigerian languages. Nigeria Bible Translation Trust

Since those early days, we’ve helped these dear brothers and sisters in Christ overcome many limitations and increase their resources for ministry. Their humility and sacrifice is inspiring. It makes us want to do everything we can to help them.

Our immediate need is for a Program Manager to give leadership to our local team and support for our strategic partners. A quick survey of the news reveals that life and ministry in Nigeria is challenging—but few things of value are easy. We are looking for an individual, or couple, who is interested in investing their lives in making a difference in eternity for the people of Nigeria.

We need someone who is excited about working as part of an international team, with a commitment to working in partnership, a creative problem solver, with proven leadership experience. But in addition to professional abilities, we need someone who is available.

If you, or someone you know, would like to learn more about this opportunity to serve Bible translation in Nigeria just email us or call Judy Yon toll-free at 1-800-THE WORD (800-843-9673). Judy can give you more details regarding the job, the qualifications required, and connect you with our Nigeria team members.

With nearly 300 languages in Nigeria still without one verse of Scripture, we are praying and trusting that God has prepared someone precisely to respond to this opportunity and serve Him.

Thank you for helping us spread the Word!

The Next Chapter

NOTE: This is an update to my last post, entitled From Death to Life, in which I introduced this new translation project.

As I arrived at the retreat center in Asia, I was surprised to see our Wycliffe Associates team standing together talking in the driveway. I didn’t expect them to gather to greet me, and sure enough – they hadn’t! They had two good reasons for gathering there. First, they were standing in the sunshine trying to get warm. Overnight temperatures at that elevation were around 43°F. Second, by the time I arrived, during the second week of this translation strategy, the Ng* were off and running and didn’t need us slowing them down!

“You missed it.” That’s the way my team greeted me.

Forming
We had prayed and planned for 26 Ng translators to work together. For a variety of reasons, seven of those invited were unable to come. Then, at the last minute, six more backed out. That meant the Ng translation team was down to 13 – half the number we had hoped for.

Storming

As I’ve heard the story of the first week of the project, things got off to a rocky start. A few of the assembled attendees knew each other from attending the same Ng church, but most had never met. None of the Ng translators who translated Thessalonians this summer were able to return, so none of the attendees knew anything about the translation strategy our team introduced. So, on day one our team described the process, and the reception by the Ng attendees ranged from cool to cold.

Everyone was open to trying our strategy. They came to the project with humility, convinced of their own inabilities. One Ng person in particular was very concerned about accuracy, and another was worried that his poor memory would make him incapable. Yet when the assembled people heard the plan, they were convinced they were were very willing to give it a try.

Norming

Despite the Ng skepticism, our team encouraged them to step out in faith and give the translation strategy their best efforts. They had nothing to lose! They were open to the strategy and eager to begin. So, after a brief assessment of the Ng team members’ language skills, we divided them into four teams – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The whole translation strategy is based on learning principles that have been tested and proven over a long period of time in a wide range of educational settings. The initial drafting process is deceptively simple. Each team member is assigned a different portion of the book. The translator reads a brief passage from the source language, long enough to include a whole thought but short enough to remember in short-term memory. Then they close their Bible and think about the passage in their own language. After a few moments they write the passage in Ng. After drafting the translation, they reopen their Bible and check to see whether they have unintentionally added, subtracted, or distorted the passage. If so, they revise. If not, they continue drafting. The goal is for each translator to draft and check 34 verses per day. Typically they were drafting during the mornings and then spending the afternoons and evenings in a five-step checking process.

Performing

When I arrived on day 8 the Ng translators had already drafted 75% and checked 47% of all four gospels! Checking for accuracy

They had actually drafted more, but during the checking process the Luke team discovered some problems and decided, appropriately, to correct them sooner instead of later.

There is a lot more I could write about this story, but time and space do not allow today. I’ll look for ways to do this in the coming days.

The bottom line is that with just half of the expected translators, by the end of the two-week strategy they drafted and checked Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and 1 & 2 Timothy! My team tells me this is 48% of the New Testament!

I need to quickly add that there is still a lot of work to do on these drafts. Although they have passed five phases of checking, including checking against the original Greek text, there are several challenges they have to work through to complete the drafts.

Since Ng has never been written until two weeks ago, they have not standardized their spellings. The word processing program they used to type the drafts doesn’t spell-check Ng. Once they reconcile the various spellings they will work through a search and replace function to standardize the spellings. In addition, Ng is a tonal language – but the alphabet they used doesn’t include tonal indicators. So, they need to settle on how they want to indicate tones. Ng also has three dialects, so they need to make a decision about how to address this in their translation.

Winter is coming hard and fast to the Himalayas, so it will be very difficult for them to communicate and collaborate in the coming months. However, at this point they are so exhilarated by the results they have created a plan to resolve the challenges I just described during the winter and then reconvene in April to finish drafting and checking the rest of the New Testament! They could have the first Ng New Testament printed, and recorded in audio, by next summer! The Gospels in Ng

This is not the end of the story for either the Ng or for the parallel translation strategy. We have a rapidly expanding number of partners and languages who want to test this strategy as soon as is practical. Our 2015 calendar is quickly filling up! The great news about this is that it will not only increase the number of languages that have Bible translation in progress, it will also significantly expand the team of trained facilitators – meaning that even more languages can benefit in the years to come!

Who knows what God has in mind? At this point we are, together with the Ng believers, praising God and singing “Glory to God in the Highest”… for this is the very first Christmas they have the Christmas story in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John!

Thank you for caring about the Ng, and for sharing in making all this possible!

 *For security reasons, we are using a pseudonym for the people group and their language.

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