I spent the last week at Wycliffe Associate’s headquarters meeting my team colleagues and becoming oriented to the task we’re involved in. And now I’m stoked! I’m working with a great bunch of guys that are dedicated to accelerating the Bible translation task by leveraging the “4th Wave”.
The 4th Wave in Bible translation builds largely upon the use and leveraging of internet and web technology to connect mother-tongue translators (MTTs) in living in very remote locations with their translator consultants through email, live chat, and a growing number of web applications. Of the 20 countries where 90% of the remaining need for Bible translation exists, a major Asian country has the most languages (488) with translation needed in more than 50 – representing over 27 million people without Scripture in their heart language. One of my colleagues was on site in this country where he’s helping to deploy Bible Translation Acceleration Kits (B-TAKs) for those MTTs. He has also participated in workshop, providing computer training for MTTs, consultants, and area staff, and a local IT support person.
Here in the US and in the rest of the ‘wired’ world, we have taken our online lives so much for granted that email and live chat seem quite routine and even mundane, as familiar and ubiquitous as low-cost uninterrupted power, modern plumbing, and 24x7x365 avatar presence on Facebook, twitter, and personal blogs if we’re so inclined – on a growing variety of smarter, more mobile, and easier to use devices (e.g., iPhone 4, iPad 2). What we take so easily as given in our daily lives can be a profound blessing in the 21st century of Bible translation, however. For years, 2 or 3 times each month, one of our national friends has traveled 3 hours by public transport from his home on an Asian island to another island and then another hour by boat on to a third location – just to exchange email with his translation consultant!
Thanks to the B-TAK (Bible Translation Acceleration Kits) they now have realtime live-chat and email access – praise God! I wish you could see the photos of this man rejoicing the first time he successfully uploaded his recently translated Scripture portion to the consultant. I suspect it would give you the chills just as it did me.
Please join us in praying for our national mother tongue translators and for our colleagues that travel to far away, remote places to install the sat phones and train the MTTs. And don’t forget to praise God for the 4th Wave in Bible translation!