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School partnership bearing fruit

Jeremy Dover

By Jeremy Dover, Head of Biblical Studies at Waverley Christian College

Wycliffe Today Spring 2022

Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia has partnered with Waverley Christian College in Melbourne since 2019 to support staff and students in understanding the Bible in a deeper way. Our Biblical Studies program, like that of many churches, has a strong biblical theology based on the central gospel message of sin and salvation. There is often a gap in students’ understanding of biblical truth and its application in everyday life.

We want to help students understand that the Bible can be trusted, that its words are inspired by God, and that they can trust in God’s plan of salvation for their lives. Wycliffe Australia is helping us to teach students to read the Bible in greater depth and find richer meaning because they trust the words and the reliability of their translations.

Wycliffe Australia is helping to train Year 7 students to use their Study Bibles to read, engage with and understand God’s Word. As part of their training, students explore the introduction of Bible books to give context, the cross-references that point to other Bible verses explaining that section and the commentary notes that give richer insight into Bible themes. Over 200 Year 7 students completed the program this year.

Ewa McMaster and Helen Sahl teaching one of the Biblical Studies units.

Helen Sahl attended the graduation and presented certificates, encouraging the students about the work of Wycliffe and the importance of having the Bible in the languages that speak to our hearts. We pray that this will help them experience the true character of God as he reveals himself in the Scriptures.

Please pray:

  • for Waverley Christian College’s Biblical Studies program – that students will engage with God’s Word and respond to God’s plan of salvation 
  • for the Biblical Studies teachers in this ministry
  • that the student cohort will inspire young people to rise up and be trained for the harvest field.

Training future gospel workers

Wycliffe Today 2019

Alan Rogers is a storyteller. As the Director of the Australia Timor Group (formerly the Australian Society for Indigenous Languages or AuSIL), he connects with a range of different language groups in the Northern Territory and throughout the Top End. Aside from meeting with translation teams, providing guidance and support, Alan has a passion for seeing Indigenous people connect with Jesus’ story through God’s Word. As many First Nations people are from cultures that pass on stories orally, Alan and his wife Lucy have been helping them to record Scripture and worship songs in their own languages. Over 650 albums have been created so far. Some of the albums Alan has recorded have some incredible stories behind them. 

Something that Alan and his team are passionate about is encouraging the use of Indigenous language in churches to help raise a new generation of gospel workers. There are 21 different translation programs in progress throughout Australia with ATG. Alan says that the best way to move forward with these projects is to train Indigenous translators in biblical studies:

We need to have more Aboriginal people trained in how to look for parallels in a Bible passage to help make explicit that which is implied—otherwise, the people are just listening to a story. Nungalinya College currently has 15 Indigenous students studying the new Diploma in Translation this year. I think this course will be instrumental in training Bible translators who can connect with Scripture on a level that non-Indigenous people would not be able to. 

Greg Anderson, Anglican Bishop of the Northern Territory, agrees that ‘the best clergy we can have here are people who used to be Bible translators’. The full revised Kriol Bible (2019) involved Indigenous people with a heart for keeping their language, culture and faith alive for future generations. Alan shares, ‘If we can inspire a new generation of translators, we can achieve similar results in other languages.’

To help train more Aboriginal translators, go to https://wycliffe.org.au/projects/training-indigenous-translators-nt-australia/

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...