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Bible Translation News

Young Team Builder Will Head Wycliffe Canada

The youngest person to ever lead Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada will take the helm later this year. Wycliffe Canada’s board of directors recently unanimously appointed 39-year-old Roy Eyre (left) as the next president of Wycliffe Canada. He takes over the position when Don Hekman completes his term in November. 

“For a young man, Roy Eyre has accumulated a lot of leadership experience and already gained recognition as an emerging leader in Wycliffe,” says Hart Wiens, board chair.

“I’m excited to take on this challenge,” says Eyre. “I think what excites me most is the potential I see in Wycliffe Canada to tap into the vast resources Canada has to offer for cross-cultural work. At the same time, I recognize that this is a big jump in responsibility for me, and there are significant challenges for the organization in the next few years.” 

Born in Toronto, Ont., and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Eyre served as a graphic designer with Wycliffe Canada and Wycliffe U.S.A., before moving into administration. Since 2009, Eyre has directed the work of leadership development for Wycliffe U.S.A. He and his wife Becky are raising three children. 

JESUS Film Prepared for Eight CAR Languages

The "JESUS" film will soon be coming to eight language groups in the Central African Republic (CAR). 

A workshop with the languages’ Bible translation teams has just concluded, during which they prepared the film’s script, based on the Gospel of Luke. Now the film will be audio dubbed into each of the languages—Banda-Linda, Bhogoto, Mpyemo, Nzakara, Gbaya, Kaba, Ngbugu and Yaka—and then distributed to the communities of speakers in the country. 

Together, these language groups total about 900,000 people. Wycliffe personnel are supporting the work of local translation teams in the nation. 

Wycliffe Gets New Name 

Wycliffe International, the umbrella group of 105 partner organizations to which Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada belongs, has a new name: Wycliffe Global Alliance

The change to “Global” was made to better reflect the reality that Wycliffe is no longer primarily “Western” run or based. Its primary office is now in Singapore, while its leadership team, originating from 10 nations, is spread across the globe.

“Alliance” was chosen for the new name because Wycliffe’s partner organizations hold to a common vision to advance the goals and interests of Bible translation and related work worldwide. 

As the worldwide Church and the awareness of the need for translated Scripture grow, so do the opportunities for increasingly more people to participate in this critical part of God’s mission. Wycliffe Global Alliance is helping create an environment for greater and broader involvement around the globe.

40,000 and Counting

Tí fìntimaan! Takaldapeepeekaa 1 is the title of a reading primer for the Ntscham language group in Togo, Africa. The booklet is also a milestone— item number 40,000 in the bibliography of materials authored, edited or published by Wycliffe personnel since 1935. 

The bibliography, much of which is online at www.ethnologue.com/bibliography.asp, lists publications representing 76 years of work by Wycliffe staff in more than 2,700 languages. 

It includes books, journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, and other academic papers about languages and cultures. The bibliography also has references for materials written in the local languages, such as literacy books, instructional books on other basic education topics (health, math, and social studies), story and folk tale books, etc. 

Scriptures for a Digital Age 

SIL, Wycliffe’s key partner in Bible translation, has moved a step closer to making Scripture translations in North Eurasia available in a variety of digital media. 

Scriptures on cellphones, as text, audio and even video, was a focus of a digital media consultation in Moscow earlier this year. The Institute for Bible Translation (IBT) has agreed to make God’s Word downloadable on cellphones and websites. IBT publishes most of the Scripture on which SIL teams work in this region of the world. 

Most people in the region have cellphones and there is clearly an interest in digital Scriptures. In one Central Asian translation project, for example, the Old Testament is nearing completion. The goal will be to first produce digital, rather than printed, versions. Meanwhile, Pidgin speakers in Hawaii can download their New Testament and 16 Old Testament books onto most cellphones.

UBS, SIL Aim for Joint Language Technology Work

Personnel who create computer software for Bible translators with the United Bible Societies (UBS) and SIL have agreed to work more closely. After attending a Dallas conference in February, they are partnering on a UBS-SIL Language Technology Initiative

They plan to combine efforts to develop software, in order to more efficiently use resources, avoid redundancy, and simplify training and support. 

Computer staff for both agencies want their work to: accelerate Bible translation worldwide; enable language communities to produce dictionaries and literacy materials; and aid the publication of God’s Word and other materials, using scripts and media that keep languages strong and people engaged with Scriptures.

British Wycliffe Worker Dies in Bomb Blast

(Photo: Courtesy of Gardner family/Wycliffe UK)

Mary Gardner, a 55-year-old Wycliffe member from Scotland (left), was killed in a March terrorist bomb explosion at a crowded public bus stop in Jerusalem. 

Gardner was in Israel studying Hebrew at Hebrew University, as part of her training to become a consultant for Old Testament translation among Togo’s Ife people. Gardner had worked in the West African nation since 1989, serving with a local team of Ife translators that completed the New Testament two years ago. 

Thirty other people were injured by the bomb. Though no one took responsibility, the blast came hours after Palestinian militants vowed revenge for two deadly Israeli strikes on Gaza. 

“Mary will be sorely missed by her colleagues and the Ife community, in whom she had invested more than 20 years of her life,” said Lee Higdon, who directs work done by the Togo-Benin branch of SIL, Wycliffe’s key partner organization. “She was loved and respected by those who knew and worked with her.” 

Gardner is survived by two elderly parents and several siblings.

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