While the truth of God’s Word remains the same, people relate to God through Scripture in vastly different ways—because people, communities, and cultures differ.
Although literacy programs are a vital component of many Bible translation projects, reading is just one of many ways people engage with God’s Word. That’s why translation teams use a variety of methods to help people everywhere understand the Word, interact with it, and integrate it into their daily lives. They include:
Oral communities are accustomed to learning and communicating through stories that are passed down through generations. In collaborative projects like OneStory, specialists help storytellers learn how to share the gospel by retelling key biblical stories. Community members gather to hear these stories and then retell them, resulting in spiritual growth and new believers for the Kingdom of God.
Sometimes listening groups will gather around a radio or an audio player to listen to God's Word and then discuss the Scripture they've heard. Tools like these can reach many people who may never hold a Bible in their hands.
In addition to movies like the “JESUS” film or the Genesis video, specialists can also help local speakers create Scripture-based videos that address issues facing their particular culture. A video using local actors facing a common situation can be an effective way to explain biblical truths that apply to the situation in a culturally relevant way.
The Global Bible App initiative makes the Word of God available to the worldwide community of Android smartphone users. The major focus is on people who are not connected to the Internet. Global Bible Apps contain the Bible text and audio in the language of preference.
ETHNOMUSICOLOGY & ARTS
Each culture uses its own rhythms, melodies, and instruments to convey meaning through music. Ethnomusicologists work with local artists to help them create meaningful Scripture songs for their community. Wycliffe is also expanding its work to include ethno-arts. Arts consultants work alongside local musicians, dancers, actors, and storytellers to spark the creation of new songs, dances, dramas, and stories that communicate God's message in powerful ways.
Bible-based materials and workshops help people apply Scripture to the issues and challenges they face in their daily lives. For example, trauma healing workshops are helping many traumatized people. For communities affected by HIV-AIDS, a booklet called Kande's Story has been translated into more than 200 languages, mostly in Africa. It teaches a biblical approach to HIV-AIDS prevention and care through a true-to-life story about a young girl named Kande.
Around the world, innovative methods are helping specific audiences engage with God’s Word in ways that are effective and meaningful. These audiences include children, youth, and the Deaf. In Deaf communities around the globe, God’s Word is being translated into local sign languages and shared through video presentations.
Several of Wycliffe Canada’s global projects and partnerships include Scripture engagement initiatives. Learn more at wycliffe.ca/projects
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