In the book of John, Jesus prayed for his followers by asking God, “May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me ...” (John 17:23, NLT). In our world and even among the body of Christ, we often focus on our differences. But Jesus’ prayer reminds us that unity is a hallmark of the Christian faith. You and I are united in Christ even in our differences, and God’s love knits us together. And I believe that, because you’re reading this letter, it is love for God’s Word that also unites us.
Wycliffe Bible Translators USA remains committed to ensuring that every person has access to Scripture in a language and format they can clearly understand. This past year we experienced remarkable levels of partnership, collaboration and openhandedness. In the next several pages you’ll read about how believers from around the world worked together, persevered through challenging times and translated Scripture so that every person has the opportunity to encounter God through his Word.
As you read these stories of our brothers and sisters around the globe, I pray you’re encouraged by how God continues to work through Bible translation. You are a vital part of this ongoing work! Your faithful prayers and extraordinary generosity make Bible translation possible. I look forward to the day when every nation, people and language will worship God together.
Until all the nations worship,
Dr. John Chesnut
Wycliffe Bible Translators, USA
Serve with the global body of Christ to advance Bible translation and work together so people can encounter God through his Word.
Bible translation work is being done in more than
Wycliffe USA is currently helping fund
of these languages.
prayer partners worldwide.
Wycliffe USA missionaries serving in 56 countries.
Today there are more than 350 sign languages around the world, and last year a historic milestone was reached — the completion of the first full sign language Bible*! But many Deaf are still waiting for Scripture in a language and format they can clearly understand.
Your partnership helps communities come together to make God’s Word accessible to the Deaf around the world.
As the Indonesian Sign Language team has translated Scripture, they’ve discovered that partnership is critical. To help ensure their drafts are clear and accurate, they rely on input from translation experts and community members. As team members consider the larger scope of their Bible translation work, they also collaborate with organizations that help them plan Scripture engagement work. The team also works with local church leaders to determine which portions of the Bible should be prioritized to meet needs in the community.
The challenges of the past year have further underscored the importance of partnership. Local COVID-19 restrictions often hindered the team from meeting together and complicated the process of checking Scripture with others. Yet in the midst of this difficult time, God was faithful!
Team members used video conferencing to meet with a consultant and go over a number of drafts. Now, all 34 foundational Scripture narratives have been reviewed and approved. With the project nearing the finish line, everyone involved is excited to see the fruit of their collective labor. “The Bible encourages us to build partnerships just as the early disciples of Jesus did,” a staff member said. “May God lead us all in his wisdom and strength to complete our work [together].”
Bible translation can be very challenging. But in the midst of opposition, translation teams continue to rely on God and work to ensure their communities can have access to Scripture in their language.
Your partnership helps Bible translation teams persevere, and together we’re working with the global body of Christ to translate God’s Word.
Unity has been a hallmark of the Eastern Nuer project. The team has been delighted to witness such accord among the different Christian communities.
They’ve also been encouraged to see how Bible translation is making an impact among believers. Some Christians are so inspired that they’re finding ways to get involved with the project — like the five new translators who recently joined the team! Other community members are helping in different ways. Regardless of the role they play, every person is eager to make God’s Word accessible to Eastern Nuer in a language they can clearly understand!
It’s that higher calling that allows the team to persevere in spite of obstacles — like when a translator’s computer was stolen and the team had to deal with the loss of several drafted portions of Scripture. Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have also proved challenging since translation consultants have been prevented from traveling to Ethiopia to review Scripture drafts.
But the team continues to push forward and diligently translate God’s Word into Eastern Nuer. Now that travel is resuming, consultants are making plans to check the translated material in person.
Thank the Lord for providing a way through difficulties!
Tom Mallon and Margaret love Bible translation and have supported Wycliffe Bible Translators for many years. Tom also serves as the chairman of Wycliffe’s National Advancement Council, a group of men and women who champion the cause of Bible translation. During an interview, Tom shared why Bible translation is so close to his and Margaret’s hearts, and how working together with Wycliffe Foundation helped them provide more to support the ministry than they imagined possible.
Q: Tom, of all the charities that you and Margaret support, why is Wycliffe Bible Translators one of the top three?
A: My love for the Bible … has changed my life. I worked as a college kid, selling [Bibles] door to door. … I became a Christian through that. I had heard about [Bible translation] and wanted to support it, even though I was broke as a student. In 1981 I took a bus from Boston to the InterVarsity Urbana missions conference to find out how to support Wycliffe. My sister Mary came with me, and she became a Christian. Mary became a Wycliffe missionary and served for 20 years. She was called to the field, and I was called to support.
Q: You have worked with Wycliffe Foundation to plan both simple and complex gifts. How did working together help you with your charitable giving?
A: I’ve worked with Wycliffe Foundation to make donations through our family foundation, our donor-advised fund and with stock. When I donated through the donor-advised fund at the Wycliffe Foundation, a few things happened. First, it sheltered two years of my ordinary income because of tax deductions. And the value of the donation was much greater than we expected, so Wycliffe and the other two organizations on our A-list got more money than we anticipated. We never paid capital gains tax and it was a great outcome for us.
Q: Having gone through the process of prayer and seeking God’s direction, what would you say to friends of Wycliffe about hearing from God on planning their giving?
A: We’ve done some real soul-searching to see where God is uniquely leading us [so] we can make an impact. We each have to listen to what the Spirit will tell us, and it will be apparent. I know how the Bible has impacted my life, my family and my community. It’s our handbook for living out [God’s] will for us. It’s got to be out there to change the culture and to change our world. I don’t see anything more important.
Wycliffe Foundation has helped many families organize their giving to support ministries they’re passionate about. We invite you to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877‑493‑3600. They would be delighted to talk with you, answer any questions you may have or schedule a time for you to talk with one of their senior gift planning advisors. Working with Wycliffe Foundation is a complimentary service for donors and friends of Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Wycliffe USA recognizes that the need for Bible translation is so great we can’t do it alone. One of our core values is collaborating with humility and interdependence, and we seek to partner in a spirit of humility and mutuality so that every person can have access to God’s Word in a language and format they clearly understand.
Collaborating with the global church also accelerates the Bible translation process with excellence. One of our key partnerships is the illumiNations impact alliance — a collective of Bible translation agencies who are working together to provide God’s Word in every language. While our full partner list is too long to include every name, we are incredibly grateful for everyone working in unity to spread God’s Word.
I want to help people meet Christ through translated Scripture.