Wycliffe's Current Priority Projects

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

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Budget target: AU$12,054 for 2023

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.

Ubuo Training Centre & Dorm, PNG

Project 8520

The delta area of Gulf Province in Papua New Guinea is an area with a variety of local languages which are used strongly by all generations. Most of these people have almost no access to God’s Word in a language that they can really understand. It is an area with low literacy rates, little infrastructure and few training opportunities.

Phase one: Training Centre
In 2020, Hanna Schulz, the Bible translation advisor to the Kope people, was able through the generous support of donors, to build and open the Orioi’io Madei (Living Word) Training Centre in her village, Ubuo. This building has already been a blessing to the Kope translation team, as they completed Luke, and started work on Acts and Genesis using this work space. In late 2021 the classroom hosted 62 literacy teachers for two weeks of Vernacular Creative Phonics training, as well as hosting a two week workshop on Christian Marriage and Family Life. Further literacy and Scripture Use workshops are already being planned.

From September 2022 the classroom will be used to support a project that is responding to the requests of neighbouring language communities for Bible translation, through a multi-language project teaching Oral Bible Storytelling (OBS). OBS trains people to internalise Bible stories so that they can clearly, accurately and naturally retell them in their own language.

Phase two: Dormitory
While workshops in translation, literacy and Scripture Use are exciting, the challenge is accommodation. While the community has been able to host participants for the occasional workshop, the increasing number of workshops makes for an immediate need for a dormitory to be built. Without a dorm, the accommodation falls to the families in the village. Hanna says that there are approximately 60 homes but most of them already house 6-10 people. We are planning to build the dorm in January 2023, but need the funds well before then, as the logistics of building in a remote area with limited infrastructure mean that materials need to be purchased well in advance. The challenging context also makes it expensive. Please prayerfully consider supporting this vital second phase of the project so that the Training Centre can be a blessing to many people from neighbouring areas.

Funds for this project are being raised in collaboration with SIL USA’s GRO initiative. The combined target is represented on this website, and the barometer indicating progress towards the target represents the combined donations received by both GRO and Wycliffe Australia

Baka Pygmy Multilingual Education Project

Project 8309

The Baka pygmies 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.

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Budget target: AU$22,930 for 2023

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.

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Budget target: AU$16,000 per year

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

Audio Bibles

Project 8160

Audio Bibles are handheld devices that have had the Bible recorded onto them in audio format. That is, someone is recorded reading the Bible in the targeted language and this can then be played back by the listener/s over and over. Audio Bibles (or Megavoice units) are a relatively cheap and very effective means of making the Bible available to people, particularly to those who cannot read or are vision impaired.

Wycliffe has helped to provide audio Bibles to a diverse range of  language communities in places such as Mexico, Russia, PNG, Australia, and very recently Madagascar and Mozambique. Sometimes our own Wycliffe Australia personnel initiate efforts to make audio Bibles available for the languages they are working with, and sometimes we receive requests for assistance from other Christian organisations trying to provide audio Bibles to (often minority) language groups. Either way, we are keen to support these efforts as they can give marginalised people access to God’s Word. This project has been set up to raise funds to support audio Bible recording and distribution, wherever that need may be.

Target: $15,000/year

Anmatyerr Ethnoarts Scripture Engagement

Project 8338

Local artists creating using their own artistic forms is a powerful way for indigenous people to connect with Scripture in a culturally meaningful and relevant way, through artistic pursuits such as painting, music, drama and dance.

God has given our Australian Aboriginal friends incredible artistic talents, especially in music and painting. While having the Bible translated into their heart language helps them to understand God’s Word, culturally meaningful artistic expressions are another way of sharing God’s Word and their faith in him. Paintings are a natural way for Aboriginal people to interact with each other, and to share their stories. When artists sit down together painting, they talk about the Bible story and it draws them to God. Additionally, the paintings may be used to tell the Bible story to different generations so that kids, young people, and older people may all understand God’s Word, even if they can’t read it.

The funds raised will be used to cover painting materials, transportation and food costs for events and workshops where local artists create paintings of Scripture in forms they know best.

Jam Ma Training – Cameroon

Project 8308

With so many language groups in the Central African basin now engaged in translation and language development, there is a need for more advanced, formal training of staff in the region. This would enable project workers to deepen their knowledge, and acquire new skills in their fields of specialisation.

The i-DELTA Francophone program provides academic courses at Bachelors level in various streams, such as: Media, Bible Translation, Literacy Training, and Community Scripture Engagement.

One strength of the i-DELTA program (Institut pour le Développement des Langues et de la Traduction en Afrique) is that participants are trained within a two-month cycle, which repeats over three years. This means that workers are not separated from their language program long-term, but remain largely within their assignment area, to put the skills they are learning into practice.

This project aims to raise funds for tuition for one (or more) workers from the Jam Ma group of languages (Gavar, Buwal, Mbudum) to attend i-DELTA, which begins its first year cycle in May 2021. This is an opportunity to develop the capacity and skills of local Bible translators and literacy workers in a region where there are few with formal qualifications.

(Scroll down for latest updates.)

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The target is $6670 per year for 2021 – 2023

If we receive extra funds, this 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 & 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 2023 is $5,000

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...