Wycliffe to Launch Bible Translation Efforts in Land Mine-Riddled Angola

An organization focused on translating the Gospel into every language, plans to take Bible translation efforts to the Southern African nation of Angola despite dangerous conditions that could impede translators from reaching remote areas.

Hidden land mines cover a vast area of the country making travel extremely dangerous.  However, Wycliffe Associates is currently working with linguistic experts to launch their initiative after discovering that 50 groups in the country do not have Bibles.

"These people have been ravaged by brutality and poverty," Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates said in statement. "They live in daily danger of stumbling onto hidden land mines. But worst of all, many have never even heard a word of scripture in their own language." 

Smith calls Angola "a place that is ripe for the gospel" since the nation has suffered for years following a 27-year brutal civil war that ended in 2002.

Ever since then, over 80,000 residents have been reportedly injured due to land mines, according to the United Nations Development Program, and an estimated 10 million more are still buried.

However, the need for the Gospel is greater than the danger residents and Bible translators face, according to Donn Hallman, a spokesman for the organization.

To jumpstart their efforts, Hallman says Wycliffe translators partnered with language experts who survey which languages are being spoken in various regions. They then categorize them by family, tribe and geographic area to identify what languages need to be studied further.

"(Local) churches are involved but more than that, entire communities are aware and participate in the project," Hallman told The Christian Post. "Many times as the Bible is being translated and the language is being written for the first time, great excitement is the result and stories of redemption, old wounds being healed, conflicts with neighbors coming to light and resolving themselves are typical stories."

Furthermore, Hallman notes that Wycliffe language workers begin translation of the Gospel by teaching native speaking translators Bible stories and then they are asked to retell those stories to other members of their communities.

Currently, Wycliffe Associates is fundraising $120,000 for their efforts and has plans to build a translation center, support audio recordings of the Scriptures, and provide technology and other resources. 

Known for working as quickly as they can to translate every verse of the Bible into various languages, Wycliffe Associates 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.

The organization also hopes to translate the Bible in every remaining language by 2025 with the help of their growing global network.

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