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Bruce Smith's Language of the Heart

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14February, 2017 Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith

God's Word for Every Person

Dear Friends,

I was sitting on the floor, cross-legged, shoulder to shoulder, in a tight circle of house church leaders in the Middle East. Each of them had risked his life to get to this gathering. Each of them had risked his life multiple times by following Christ and leading others to follow Him. They invited me into their circle to discuss their vision for Bible translation in the Middle East—and beyond.

The one I call Silas was already leading Bible translation in three languages. He had recruited more than two dozen translators to complete Luke, Acts, and Genesis. In the prior year, more than half of these translators had been killed or kidnapped. 

Silas and the others were undeterred in their vision and commitment. He was ready to publish and distribute these books—the first Scripture ever translated into these languages.

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31January, 2017 Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith

Refugees and Oil Stains

Back in the 1990s, I became friends with a man named Bruce Kennedy. I met him because he was the chairman of the board for Mission Aviation Fellowship, the ministry in which I served at that time. I had known of Bruce for some time before I met him. He was well-known in aviation circles as the president and chairman of Alaska Airlines and Alaska Air Group. After retiring from the airline, Bruce decided he wanted to learn to fly as a pilot. Soon after he got his pilot’s license, he phoned me to ask if I would help him find an airplane to purchase. I located a pristine Cessna 182 in Anoka, Minnesota. He and I flew to Anoka to complete the purchase, then flew the airplane together from Minnesota to Washington State where he lived. During that flight he and I bonded deeply—but that’s another story. Fifteen years later, Bruce died in that airplane—but that is also another story.

As I got to know Bruce and his wife Karleen, I was drawn to them by their down-to-earth practicality. As a corporate titan, they could have chosen to live in seclusion and high society—but they didn’t. I remember a conversation I had with Bruce about wealthy people. I remember it because of one specific comment he made. I can’t pretend to quote him, so I’ll just paraphrase. He said—my friends are the kind of people who leave oil stains on my driveway.

You see, Bruce and Karleen had a personal ministry to refugees.

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27January, 2017 Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith

Thank You!

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.

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26January, 2017 Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith

100 Tablets in 1 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.

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As President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates, Dr. Bruce A. Smith has made it his life-long goal to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel through the ministry of Bible translation—affecting hundreds of language groups who still need the Bible translated into their heart language. Bruce and his wife Jan have two daughters, two sons-in-love, and are the proud grandparents of four grandsons.

200 Bible Translators Are Waiting For the Right Tools, Send Help Now!

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