The world's largest Bible translation organization is joining the fight against AIDS in African communities, the ministry recently reported.
Wycliffe Bible Translators, a ministry with 75 years of history, is currently developing an easily translatable booklet in 11 countries and 80 African communities where AIDS education programs have been set up. Booklets are already in use in some places.
Wycliffe's staff and African translation teams are translating the booklet, "Kande's Story," into each community's native language to provide "heart language" AIDS education for the first time in most of these communities.
"After seeing people I cared about dying from this epidemic I wanted to do something," said Kathie Watters, developer of Wycliffe's AIDS program and co-author of the "Kande's Story" materials.
Watters was living in Cameroon when she witnessed the death of her friend and housekeeper from AIDS. She realized that with the skills she has as a registered nurse and a linguist, she could help fight against a leading cause of death in Africa.
"Being part of a translation team and having a background in nursing, I believed Wycliffe could have an impact on AIDS in communities where language development was underway," she said.
Watters is part of a three-generation Wycliffe family. Watters and her husband, John, worked in Cameroon and Kenya; her daughter and son-in-law serve in Papua New Guinea; and her father-in-law served in Peru and the United States.
Wycliffe Bible Translators was founded in 1942 to make the Bible accessible to all people in the language that is most meaningful to them. The ministry recently launched the Last Languages Campaign – an aggressive effort to bring first-time access to literacy, life-saving health information, and the Bible to the remaining one-third of the world's language groups, or to some 200 million people, over the next 17 years. If this goal is met, Wycliffe would save about 125 years compared to the translating pace of the late 20th century for the same amount of work.