The Denver Post recently (June 22, 2010) ran an article where they interviewed a local Colorado Wycliffe member, Paul Edwards, who heads up a campaign to get Bibles translated into every language of the world. This campaign dubbed the “$1 billion Last Languages Campaign” is on track to have translations under way or completed in every one of the 6,909 languages in the world.
Edwards credits the proliferation of technology as being a major part of the “greatest period of acceleration in the 20 centuries of Bible translation.” Edwards believes that this task can be accomplished by the year 2025 at the current pace.
According to the article, there are still 2200 languages without a Bible today. Edwards, who is a former fundraiser for Stanford University and Promise Keepers, has helped raise more than $170 million in the past two years to help accomplish this mission.
A colleague of Edwards, Katie Zartman, who is a graphic designer with Wycliffe, recently taught some West African believers how to use an open source software package to layout, design and typeset booklets to help teach the Bible in their native tongue.
“I am excited to put God’s word in all people’s heart language,” Zartman said. “Until people can read the Bible in their own language, God is a foreign concept.”
So far, Wycliffe and its sister organization SIL International have participated in more than 700 Scripture translations.
As exciting as this is for believers and missionaries to far-away foreign lands, it is just as exciting to a number of organizations here in the US. According to the Joshua Project (www.joshuaproject.net), there are more than 77 million people in North America who do not speak (or read) English as their primary language. As I shared in an earlier post, one organization working to supply local ESL believers with Bibles in the US is Virtual Storehouse.
Soon, I hope to announce another initiative that will be bringing resources to those in North America who would also like to get their spiritual nourishment in their heart language. Stay tuned…