(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that involves people in the acceleration of Bible translation efforts, is raising funds to accelerate the work of Bible translation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—a Central African nation that has been plagued by civil wars over the past 15 years. The fighting has resulted in the deaths for more than 5 million people and the displacement of more than 2 million.
In addition to a history of civil war and unrest, the DRC faces the challenges of hunger and disease, with excess mortality rates due to AIDS. Life expectancy for men in the DRC is 53.9 years, while women are expected to live an average of 56.8 years.
“I know regions of the DRC continue to suffer senseless violence and death under the heavy burden of its history. It is a place where many don’t want to go or even talk about,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “And, quite frankly, it is one of the most challenging places for Bible translation.”
There are 215 living languages spoken in the DRC, a country with one of the greatest needs for Bible translation. And some 120 languages in the country are still waiting to receive the hope of God’s Word in their own heart language.
The late Dr. Alo, a DRC seminary president whose 8-year-old grandson was kidnapped a few years ago by a rival ethnic group and brutally murdered, says, “If we are going through very difficult times in our country, it is because God’s Word has not been rooted in our people’s hearts. If God’s Word could be closer to them, then things would change.”
That is why Wycliffe Associates is committed to building a permanent national Bible translation training center, at the Shalom (Peace) University, in Bunia, DRC—a place of peace and security. There is faculty ready to train national Bible translators, but no housing and limited space for training. A national Bible translation training center, training Congolese Bible translators will give the people of DRC the hope they need to survive.
Wycliffe Associates involves people in accelerating the work of Bible translation through their time, talents, and treasure. Because millions of people around the world are still waiting to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as they can to translate every verse of the Bible into every tongue to change every heart. The organization partners with nationals, mother tongue translators, staff, volunteers, and supporters to direct and fund these efforts, as well as provide logistics, networking, and technical support. Through a growing global network, Wycliffe Associates is striving to overcome local limitations of time and resources to achieve the goal of beginning the translation of God’s Word in every remaining language that needs it by 2025.
In 2010, the organization mobilized 4,381 volunteer and staff members to accelerate Bible translation in some 59 countries. Additional information is available at www.wycliffeassociates.org or by calling 1-800-THE WORD (1-800-843-9673).