Impact Report 2023

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A word from our CEO

Partnership lies at the heart of everything we do at Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia. Just as the Apostle Paul appreciated the church in Philippi being partners with him in the gospel (Phil 1:3-6), we are grateful for the many partnerships that allow us to support the work of Bible translation. The updates in this Impact Report demonstrate the variety of partnerships that were established in 2023 that are helping language projects and the communities they support. You will read about the growth of connections among Chinese churches, associations with prayer spaces, short-term trips enabling Aussies to experience Bible translation projects, fundraising and recruiting initiatives, and new education and training resources for national translators.
Max Sahl

NTE 2023: Kriol Audio Recording

Wycliffe Australia was represented at the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) annual conference ‘National Training Event’ (NTE) in Canberra last December. The Wycliffe stand included a life-sized recording studio and a footy competition to raise funds for the Old Testament in the Kriol language and an interactive Kahoot quiz that included information about Indigenous languages in Australia. There were 16 volunteers helping out at the Wycliffe stand, including four workers from the Australian Society for Indigenous Languages (AuSIL) in Darwin. There were also two Indigenous Kriol translators, Sandra and Caroline, who shared with students throughout the week about the joy of having God’s Word available in the language that they understand best. A number of students showed interest in discovering more about upcoming training opportunities and events Wycliffe Australia is hosting in 2024.

Celebration of Bible Translation Dinners

In July 2023, three Celebration of Bible Translation Dinners were held in Brisbane, Gympie and Bendigo. Across the three events, around 200 people gathered to hear Wycliffe Australia’s CEO Max Sahl share about our mission and vision and explain areas of engagement with Bible translation. He also gave an update on the progress of Bible translation projects in the Moluccas, Indonesia. Translation consultant Donna shared about planning and measuring translation progress with national partners in South Asia, what it looks like to train and consult with multiple translation teams, and how to integrate creation care into the translation process.

The value of short-term trips

PNG in 23

There were four short-term exposure trips held in 2023 to give participants a taste of the work Wycliffe Australia supports and explore a range of roles relating to Bible translation and language development projects. These included a Ministry, Adventure, Discovery (go MAD) trip to Indigenous Australian communities, Scripture engagement training in Kenya, a tour of the Holy Land and an inaugural trip to Papua New Guinea.

A team of 12 Aussies participated in the trip to PNG. Based at the SIL International guest house in Ukarumpa, they visited a training centre and medical ministry, and also had the opportunity to visit local villages. This experience exposed them to the need for more people to help with finance, information technology, teaching, maintenance, literacy, Scripture engagement and much more. Ianthe was a participant on the trip who shared, ‘What a valuable investment of two weeks! I am pretty sure something wonderful will come of it.’

Prayer partnerships: Praying in agreement

In 2023, we saw the impact of what it means to gather in agreement for targeted prayer. One great example of this is a small group of Papua New Guineans praying for language groups in PNG without any Scripture. They prayed, by name, for two or three specific groups each week (Matt. 18:19-20).
Between June 2021 and June 2023, translation projects commenced for 83 of these language groups that previously had no Scripture translated! It
is no coincidence that new work has focused on the specific groups that have been prayed for by name by the small, united prayer group, as well as by our faithful Prayer Words intercessors. Contact Lola and Lindsay Fairhead on to join us in prayer, or find a prayer group on our website or in the Unceasing Prayer Zoom room. Your prayers are changing the world!

Moodle Training

The online training platform Moodle was first developed 25 years ago by an Australian who did his early schooling remotely with ‘School of the Air.’ He experienced the need for better resources for on-the-go training and applied himself to a solution. The Moodle platform has now spread across the world to 242 countries, allowing organisations and individuals to offer formal and informal training. For Wycliffe Australia and our partners in Asia, it is now being used to support ‘just-in-time’ informal learning. Courses are providing new members with basic orientation to Wycliffe. Subjects such as project management, team building, dictionary making, Scripture engagement, basic translation principles, and even bushfire orientation at our National Centre are in development. All this comes in response to a felt need, and at negligible cost to the learners, while overcoming the tyranny of distance. It is about seeing the need and finding a solution.

– Barry Borneman

Language development and Bible translation with refugees

Bruce Cox and Kathy Cummins have been involved in linguistic research, literacy and training projects among the Iceve language group in areas of Cameroon since 2008. Worsening tensions amid civil unrest forced thousands of people into refugee camps in neighbouring Nigeria. This created difficulties for language work to continue but also an opportunity for written Bible translation to begin. From 2013, the orthography has been under development. This includes a training manual, which was created to help Iceve speakers transfer their literacy skills in English (which is taught in schools) to reading and writing in their own Iceve language. Finally, the Gospel of Luke was also finalised, printed and audiorecorded. Bruce says with joy, ‘Our prayer is that the dedication will happen soon and that [the Iceve] will start using it, resulting in a deeper understanding of God’s Word.’

New doors opening for Chinese speaking churches

Wycliffe Australia has teams that promote Bible translation and recruit Australians to join the work but there are also representatives who focus on diaspora language groups. Chul-Hwa and Kyung-Ja Chung connect with Korean communities and church leaders, while Jessie Wei represents Wycliffe among Chinese speaking communities living in Australia.

In May 2023, 15 Chinese church and organisation leaders were invited to visit Wycliffe Australia’s National Centre in Kangaroo Ground to hear about opportunities to partner with the work of Bible translation. As a result of their visit, three people applied to Wycliffe’s volunteer program and are now helping in advocacy and translation roles. Another 35 Chinese Christians attended a one-day workshop in October, resulting in one new volunteer for SIL Australia.

Jessie shares her excitement about the new doors opening up to work with Chinese communities in Australia:

God has prepared people’s hearts to join Wycliffe Australia and serve him together. What a comfort and encouragement!



  • Rachel Kopke (QLD) has taken on a role with The Red Sea Counselling Centre and member care for Queensland.
  • Chris & Kelly (QLD) are involved in projects in a sensitive location.
  • C & B (VIC) are preparing for medical work in Papua New Guinea.
  • Lachlan Webb (NSW) is working with AuSIL, teaching translation to First Nations people from remote communities.


Highest reach: Auslan Easter Story • Reach 3,789 • Post Impressions 4,204
Second highest: Bible Translation Progress • Reach 2,216 • Post Impressions 2,518



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Thanks for your patience...

Waiting is hard, isn't it. But imagine waiting 2000 years for Scripture in your language! Thanks for your patience. And thanks for your generous support which will help bring the long wait to an end...