Wycliffe Australia's Current Projects

Training for African Consultants

Project 8810

Due to a worldwide shortage of translation consultants, SIL is aiming to train more Africans in Africa to fill this role in the Bible translation projects that are being done there. Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia is looking to help by providing part-scholarships so that some of these CiTs (Consultants in Training) can attend their training workshops.

In recent years, there has been a very positive movement towards Bible translation projects relying more on mother tongue (local) translators, and less on foreign translators, who are more likely to be involved as trainers, advisors and consultants. This newer translation project model gives the local language users much greater ownership of their own Bible translation projects, often results in a more natural translation that will be easy for people to understand and can lead to greater community involvement.

This training model can have a big, wide-spread impact. The CiTs that Wycliffe Australia sponsored for the April 2023 Grammar Workshop came from a number for different Bible translation organisations in Africa. This was intentional. They returned to their different organisations and started sharing their new knowledge with their colleagues. The impact of the training was therefore spread across different Bible translation organisations, across colleagues of the sponsored CiTs, and therefore also across many different Bible translation projects.

The final comment should come from one of the Grammar Workshop participants … “With this strategy, there is every reason for us to hope for effective and credible translation in our communities

Partner with us

Our partnership target for 2024 is $15,000

Excess funds will go towards the following year’s target.

Binumarien Old Testament Translation – PNG

Project 8590

Wycliffe and SIL have been working with the Binumarien people in the Eastern Highlands of PNG since 1958! With the committed help of Des and Jenny Oatridge, the Binumarien language was recorded, a writing system was developed, and the people were taught to read and write their language. They were hungry to have the New Testament of the Bible in their language, and so they worked with the Oatridges to achieve this. The New Testament was eventually dedicated in 1983. But this small language group of around 1000 people, want more of God’s word, and so they have been working hard for many years to get the Old Testament translated too! In 2011 SIL PNG’s Mitchell Michie commenced working with the Binumarien translators on the Old Testament. In 2018 five of the Old Testament books, and a revision of the Binumarien New Testament, were published in order to make more scriptures available for distribution. In 2021 a recording of the New Testament was also distributed to the people.

Just recently, a new agreement has been set up between SIL PNG, Tyndale Bible Translators, and the Binumarien translation team to give the project a boost. It has been recognised that the dedicated Binumarien translation team really need to spend more time in Ukarumpa, for face to face advisor checking with a Tyndale Bible Translation checker. It is hoped that this new agreement, and the increased time and resources being put into the Old Testament Translation, will see it completed in the next seven years. With this new structure, however, comes a significant increase in costs associated with the project. Please consider contributing towards this wonderful project to see the entire Bible available in the Binumarien language.

Partner with us

Our partnership target by March 2024 is $ 31,239

If we receive extra funds, this will go towards the following year’s target.

Old Testament Translation in South Asia

Project 8328

The Si* language community is located in South Asia. Like many minority language groups and dialects in the region, they are located in a rural location that is difficult to access. This often makes translating the Bible difficult, as translation consultants need to travel large distances to meet with communities to work on translations. While much of the New Testament has been translated into the Si language, work on the Old Testament is about to begin.

In order to provide an easier, long-term solution for the remaining Scripture to be translated, a Wycliffe Australia member is providing Bible translation training for mother-tongue translators. He is serving as the coordinator and Bible translation advisor for the project, teaching, training and checking the translation work of the mother-tongue translators. The training that local speakers are receiving is already improving their competence in translating. The training is also providing them with a sense of pride and ownership in the translation, helping to ensure longevity of the project.

Along with partner organisations in South Asia, Wycliffe Australia is providing funding for this important work. In addition to the translation training, the project aims to also provide literacy training and gospel materials in the Si language to promote the work of the gospel and build healthy local church communities.

The budget for the first year of this project includes set-up costs (including office and computer supplies), salaries and travel expenses for training two mother-tongue translators. The initial Old Testament passages to be translated include Genesis 1–50, Ruth 1–4 and Jonah 1–4.

*Names changed for security reasons

Partner with us

Budget target for 2023 and 2024 is $28,214. 

Excess funds will go towards the following year’s target.

Photograph by Aileen Agoncillo, Unsplash

Scripture use North East Papua New Guinea

Project 8519

The Scripture Use activities in the NE region of PNG aim to come alongside the local churches, language communities, and translation teams to build enthusiasm for and capacity in Scripture use. These activities may include:

  • Meeting with translation teams to assist in developing a strategy to help the language community to engage with the translated Scripture.
  • Providing materials to the translators and or leaders within the language communities/churches. These may include;
    • Materials to assist in preaching
    • Materials for running adult Bible studies
    • Materials for running youth and children’s Sunday and vacation Bible school activities.
  • Facilitating workshops to assist the language communities in applying the translated Scriptures to their lives. These workshops may include:
    • Culture Meets Scripture. This workshop teaches the participants how to search the Scriptures to determine if their traditional customs bring honour and glory to God and if not, options for what could be done to change these customs so that they do.
    • Bible Background / God’s Big Story This workshop teaches the participants about the culture and life during the time of the Old Testament and New Testament. Also, it teaches a timeline of the Old Testament and New Testament and how they are connected. Afterwards, the students take what they learned to other villages in the language group and run Bible studies sharing what they learned.
    • Healing the Wounds of Trauma. This workshop equips local churches to care for people with deep emotional and spiritual injuries caused by war, domestic violence or natural disasters. This workshop combines biblical and mental health resources into an effective intervention that fosters healing and restores relationships with God and others.
    • Using the Bible. This workshop teaches the importance of using the Scriptures and various methods to help people engage with them.
    • Critical Thinking. This workshop trains the participants in critical thinking skills, assisting them in reading the Scriptures and applying it to their lives.
  • Editing SU materials and developing new materials.
  • Spending time in language communities to develop relationships with the communities to further enhance the receptibility of the SU materials and workshops.
  • Training PNG men and women to be Scripture Use workers. This is done through discipleship/mentoring of selected PNG men and women in God’s Word through more individual small group study sessions, training in facilitation of the above-mentioned workshops and mentoring them as they facilitate these workshops.

National Trainee Consultant Study Tour

Project 8395

Translation consultants who have never visited Israel, and never seen first-hand the sites common to the original readers of the Scriptures, are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to checking Bible translation.  The Wycliffe Australia Israel Study Tour gives an opportunity for Bible translation consultants and consultants-in-training to visit many sites in Israel where Old Testament and New Testament events occurred, and to meet other mother-tongue translators studying Hebrew in Jerusalem in preparation to translate the Old Testament into their own languages. The cost for each student will be approximately $7,400 (depending on airfares). Approximately 50% of this funding is provided by the African and South Asian organisations from which the translation trainees are coming. This funding covers all their expenses in Israel: travel, accommodation, food, entry to National Parks and the costs of an experienced tour guide.

South East Asia Church Based Literacy Project

Project 8818

There is a great need for Multilingual Education for members of the Bunong communities in Mondulkiri, Cambodia. Most Bunong people cannot read or write, even in their own language, so the literacy needs are great. Northeast Community Education and Development Organization (NCED) is committed to supporting the communities with these needs.

The Church Based Literacy Program is assisting the Bunong people in two main ways:

  1. The implementation of the Bunong literacy program in the churches is directly addressing the community’s low literacy rates while helping to sustain their language and their customs. Literacy rates need to increase in the country’s official language in order to support dealings with authorities and commercial organisations so that the communities’ interests are protected. Literacy rates also need to improve in the Bunong language so that their language and culture can be preserved for future generations.
  2. Running the literacy program through the local churches means that the Bunong people can be supported to read Scripture in their own language. The program works directly with 12 Bunong churches and the participants in the various programs include children, youth, adults and elderly people.

More recently, the Bunong communities have been affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic and there has been an urgent need to communicate health advice to better protect them from outbreaks and to manage any cases that develop. NCED has been doing this important work with translated written materials and visits to villages (when permitted).

Baka_Bafuli MLE & Trauma Heal CAM

Project 8309

The Baka people of Cameroon and Gabon, numbering about 40,000, are one of the oldest forest peoples on the planet. They live by measured exploitation of the forest environment through hunting, fishing, gathering and harvesting of honey. The vast majority of Baka do not attend school. Children learn about the forest from an early age. Evenings are devoted to collective games and participation in songs and dances that bring families together around the campfire.

Due to the increased exploitation of forest resources through logging, mining and poaching of bushmeat, the Baka are facing increasing problems in adequately accessing forest resources. They are having difficulty adapting to a sedentary life, and are marginalised by their neighbours who use them as objects of tourism to earn money.

This project, which supports the Baka Intercultural Multilingual Education Project (BIMLEP), aims to restore dignity to the Baka people. Specifically, it aims to help Baka adults learn to read and write their language, teach them bee-keeping techniques, expose them to the Word of God which is a source of transformation and restoration, and heal them from the traumas caused by marginalisation and exploitation.

Partner with us

Budget target: AU$25,735 for 2024

Excess funds will go towards the following year’s target.

Ambon Scripture Engagement Project

Project 8817

The Ambonese Malay New Testament has been published and was officially launched in September 2022! But publication is not the end of this story. God has brought together an enthusiastic team of local Scripture engagement workers to promote the new translation and help people to use it and apply it in their lives.

The Ambonese Scripture Engagement team is passionate about seeing God’s Word at work among the people of Maluku. The team is highly sought after for their training workshops that are designed to meet the needs of local churches. Topics include trauma healing, parenting, overcoming addiction, using local language in ministry, conflict resolution and more. At each workshop the team teaches, prays and leads worship in Ambonese Malay, enabling participants to experience the impact of God’s Word in their own language.

An important part of their work during 2023 will be running a series of workshops to introduce the newly published Ambonese Malay New Testament to churches and showing how it can be used in teaching and discipleship.

Partner with us

Budget target: AU$16,000 per year

Excess funds will go towards the following year’s target.

Gergiko Translation – Chad

Project 8523

The Gergiko translation project began in Chad in 1992, with Wycliffe Australia members Dave & Elly Sharp being seconded to SIL Chad to work with the local church to accomplish the goal of translating the New Testament. The Gergiko New Testament was completed to type-setting stage in February 2019, with the dedication planned for December 2020.

There are some 50,000 Gergiko speakers who are mainly subsistence farmers living in the savannah region of central Chad. The majority of the Gergiko are animistic. A successful mother-tongue literacy program is in place for adults and pre-schoolers.

Currently Dave and Elly’s main assignments are with Wycliffe Australia, but Dave also continues with a part-time remote assignment helping the Gergiko translation team to revise and publish some Old Testament portions. While some progress can be made remotely, an annual trip to Chad is necessary to help the local team make progress and accomplish consultant checking goals.

The OT books needing revision and publication are: Genesis, Ruth, Jonah and a selection of Psalms.

This project enables Dave to travel to help the team each year.

Partner with us

Our partnership target for 2024 is $5,760

If we receive extra funds, this will go towards the following year’s target.

Jam Ma translation – Cameroon

Project 8311

Until recent years, these three related languages: the Buwal, Mbudum, and Gavar, were only in oral use. With the help of Wycliffe linguists, Michael and Melanie Viljoen, all three now have a written script, with local teams translating Scripture portions to be used for public readings and distribution among their churches.

The Buwal team have been working independently since 2012 and have a rough initial draft of the whole New Testament. They are now involved in consultant checking and revising the drafts for their accuracy and clarity. The gospel of Luke was published in Buwal in 2015.

The Mbudum and Gavar teams both published their Gospel of Luke in November 2020. Now in 2022, all three language committees are celebrating, or expecting to dedicate, the release of the Acts of Apostles within their communities. The Mbudum were the first to publish their book of Acts in March,  the Buwal in April, with the Gavar translation set to be released sometime later this year.

Funds for this project will go towards supporting the income of local members of the translation teams, encouraging literacy efforts, supplying computers and technical help, and assisting in their travel expenses to attend training seminars and consultant checking.

Partner with us

Our partnership target for 2024 is $12,231.

If we receive extra funds, this will go towards the following year’s target.

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...