An anonymous donor gave a huge sum of $50 million to Wycliffe Bible Translators this week making it possible to translate Scripture for the last people groups still without the Bible in their native tongue more quickly.
The gift, the largest in the ministry's 75-year history, will be used towards Wycliffe's Last Languages Campaign. The campaign seeks to bring language development and, in most cases, first-time literacy alongside the Bible translation program to more than 200 million people by 2025.
Interestingly, the gift comes in advance of the campaign's official launch on Nov. 22 at the Wycliffe USA headquarters in Orlando, Fla.
"Literacy is key to helping people work their way out of poverty and resist oppression by others," said the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, in a statement released Wednesday. "Children who first learn to read in their own language are more likely to become literate and to stay in school than those who first learn in a different language."
Today, there are 6,912 language groups in the world, with one third of the world's language groups having no Bible translation program in place.
The Last Languages Campaign will use cutting-edge translation techniques to accelerate the pace of language development and Bible translation for the world's remaining language groups from 125 years to 17 years.
Wycliffe USA President Bob Creason is very thankful for the donation.
"A gift towards Bible translation and language development is perhaps the surest investment anyone can make in these uncertain financial times," Creason said.
Last year, another large donation was made to Wycliffe when the deputy chairman of the New York Stock Exchange holding company, Marshall N. Carter, donated his personal million-dollar aircraft to Wycliffe Last Languages partner JAARS for the effort.
Besides Bible translation, Wycliffe also contributes to community development by establishing water purification systems, AIDS education, human rights and community empowerment programs.