Wycliffe Associates Seizes Limited Opportunity to Support Bible Translation in Cameroon’s Terrorist-Plagued Northern Region
(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, a global organization that empowers national Bible translators around the world, has undertaken plans to help build a translation center in Maroua, Cameroon, where two Italian priests and a Canadian nun were kidnapped on April 5 by suspected members of the terrorist group Boko Haram and later released.
“Boko Haram, extremist militants occupying an area just over the border in Nigeria, are becoming bolder every day,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Cameroon is on the front lines in the mission to advance the gospel in Africa. Our local partners say we have an open window of only a few months to establish relationships and resources that will allow local believers to receive the training and encouragement they need to continue Bible translation efforts.”
The translation center will be a resource for local translators and believers over the entire northern region of Cameroon, which Boko Haram has been infiltrating from Nigeria as they cross the 1,243-mile border between the two countries.
While Cameroon’s official languages are English and French, there are 280 living languages spoken in Cameroon, including 24 major African language groups. Currently, there are 130 Bible translation projects underway and 70 translations of the Scriptures have been completed so far.
“Entire communities are asking—begging—to have Scripture in their own heart language,” Smith says. “They desperately want to know God through His Word.”
As part of Wycliffe Associates’ support of development projects and literacy training being conducted by local Bible translation partners, the organization aims to raise $175,000, which will be used to train local translators, form relationships with communities, and help direct translation efforts.
“Right now, we have an unprecedented opportunity to reach the entire region with truth, hope, and peace,” Smith says. “But, we must act quickly because we do not know how long this opportunity will last.”
About Wycliffe Associates
Wycliffe Associates involves people in accelerating the work of Bible translation through their time, talents, and treasure. Because millions of people around the world are still waiting to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to translate every verse of the Bible into every tongue to change every heart. The organization partners with nationals, mother tongue translators, staff, volunteers, and supporters to direct and fund these efforts, as well as provide logistics, networking, and technical support. Through a growing global network, Wycliffe Associates is striving to overcome local limitations of time and resources to achieve the goal of beginning the translation of God’s Word in every remaining language that needs it by 2025.
Last year, the organization mobilized 3,145 volunteers and staff members to accelerate Bible translation in 71 countries. Additional information is available at the organization’s website at www.wycliffeassociates.org or by calling 1-800-THE WORD (1-800-843-9673).
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