Praise God! Faithful partners just helped do something bold—raise enough money to bring 153 computer tablets to Bible translators in the field—in one day.
It’s amazing to think how far God has brought Bible translation in a short time.
Six centuries ago, John Wycliffe—our organization’s namesake—sat by candlelight writing his English translation of the Scriptures by hand. The thought of doing that for every language in the world would have seemed crazy.
Fast forward to the 21st century. I’m sitting in a circle with a team of national Bible translators in the Middle East. Most of them are middle-aged men, dressed in traditional garb. And each of them has just received a computer tablet with custom-designed translation software.
They’re not sure what to make of the little devices they hold in their hands. “Is this real?” one of them asks.
“Is it a toy?” another one queries.
Meanwhile, the youngest member of the group has already opened his tablet, accessed the translation app, and is eagerly scrolling through it. He understands intuitively how to use it. It’s just like the smartphone in his pocket, which he uses all day every day.
Before long, he’s showing his fellow translators how it works. Soon they catch on and see the tablet’s power to help them translate the Bible swiftly and discreetly. I’ve decided to call him “Barnabas” (Son of Encouragement)—because he’s such an encouraging presence in the group.
Not long ago, Barnabas was a terrorist. Then he heard the gospel—and everything changed. Now he’s working with a team of translators to bring the Bible to his people in their own language.
This is how Bible translation gets done in the 21st century!
And it’s accelerating—like never before.
Now, imagine this scenario multiplying dozens of times. That’s the idea behind our #100Tablets1Day project. Each tablet we supply will equip another team, enabling them to translate, collaborate, and store their work for later revisions.
This year, both Wycliffe Associates and I will celebrate significant birthdays. One of us turns fifty. The other turns sixty. You can probably guess who is celebrating which milestone.
Seventeen years ago when I joined Wycliffe Associates, people often greeted me by saying, “You are much younger than I expected!” A few years ago, I noticed that no one was greeting me this way any longer. Apparently, I’m now as old as they expect.
I suppose this has been the wish of mankind since the fall of man. But history shows our human inability to forge lasting peace. Peace occasionally breaks out amid the relentless tumults of war. It is confined and temporary, with war often waging just beyond our horizon—or within our own hearts.
During the American Civil War, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow reflected, “ ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said. 'For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men.'” As he looked at the toll that war took on his family, his community, and his nation, he concluded that on earth, peace is not found. But he concluded his poem “I Heard the Bells” in faith, saying, “God is not dead: nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, goodwill to men!”