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The Aru Project Indonesia

‘When I hear them reading the Bible in our language and praying in our language, I feel like the words pierce and cut my heart in two.’ Church leader, Mrs Martha Sintimir

The project

Teams have been travelling around the scattered Aru Islands visiting local Kola and Dobel churches to encourage and train local leaders in how to pray and read the Bible in their own language. They have been seeing the transformational impact of local people having access to the Bible in their own language for the very first time.

Translation teams are working with two Aru language groups: Dobel and Kola. Through Bible translation and working with local churches to increase Scripture engagement, the hope is that more people will be able to hear from God in their own languages and truly take it into their hearts.

A year ahead of... Facilitating further translation of the Bible into Dobel and Kola Encouraging people to use the translated Scriptures at home and in church Training church leaders in how to read and teach the Bible in their own languages Building partnerships with local churches.

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The people Region: 28 Aru islands Population: 15,700 (Dobel and Kola) Language: Working with two of the 17 language groups: Dobel and Kola

The need Education is sparse among the Aru and many struggle to understand the national language. Churches exist but Scripture and teaching is not available in local languages.


The Bagwere Project Uganda

‘Children are re-telling the stories they have seen and heard… fluently in their language.’ Mugala Violet

The project As part of this project the local Lugwere translation team is working hard to make progress with the Old Testament. Alongside this, Scripture engagement activities are being run to encourage local churches in their faith and evangelism, for example, through Sunday school resources. It is with great excitement that local lady Mugala shared, after having been away from the community for a few years, how people have been coming together to read the Lugwere New Testament. Elders and children alike are able to access Lugwere Scripture in all kinds of audio, visual and written formats and apply it to their own lives as well as share it with others.

A year ahead of... Continuing with translation of the Old Testament Increasing Scripture engagement activities Distributing copies of the Lugwere New Testament across the local community Building the capacity of the local translation team, enabling them to fully manage ongoing work.

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The people Region: East Uganda – no large towns or hospitals Population: 620,000 Language: Lugwere

The need Before translation work began almost 50 years ago, there was no agreed Lugwere writing system. Since that time the New Testament has been fully translated and there is now a need to translate the Old Testament, as well as equip more people to share the gospel.


The Banyole Project Uganda

‘This workshop has helped me to value the Nyole New Testament more than before. I used to take it as any other book, but now I know, it is God’s word.’ Mr Hanyonyi Moses

The project The Banyole translation team is working hard to complete the translation of the Lunyole Old Testament. Alongside this, Scripture engagement workshops are being held to help people study Scripture and apply it to their own lives, as well as reach out to others. For Mr Hanyonyi Moses, the Bible is coming to life through Scripture engagement workshops. These are designed to encourage people to engage with Scripture through equipping them with such resources as Bible study skills. Through these workshops, people can gain a deeper understanding of God’s word.

A year ahead of... Translating Psalms, Deuteronomy and Proverbs Increasing Scripture engagement work and church leader training Running workshops that will help communities learn more about how to help those suffering with HIV.

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The people Region: South-east Uganda Population: 530,000 people Language: Lunyole (Nyole)

The need The Lunyole New Testament was launched in 2017 and now the need is to translate the Old Testament, as well as increase understanding through Scripture engagement and literacy tools.


The Bissa Barka Project Burkina Faso

‘Despite the contents being Christian-based, we shall use it to learn because it is our language.’ Muslim learner

The project

Across the Bissa Barka community, people are incredibly enthusiastic about literacy opportunities. Following a first set of literacy workshops, one Muslim man, Issoufrou, was so interested that he enrolled in another workshop at his own expense. Learning to read and write opens the door to people being able to then engage with the Bible.

Since 2011, teams have been working to translate the closely related Bissa Lehir language New Testament. Through adapting this into the Bissa Barka language, the aim is to strengthen churches and equip them to teach in their own language. Literacy classes are also running alongside this.

A year ahead of... Working to complete the Bissa Barka New Testament Equipping national teams to serve even more languages in the region Making steps towards putting in action the vision for children’s ministry Continuing to run literacy classes.

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The people Region: Burkina Faso – one of the poorest places in the world Population: 80,000 Language: Bissa Barka

The need The small number of Bissa Barka churches in the region are crying out for Scripture in their own language.


Bydla* Project Kenya

*Name changed for security reasons

‘Without this project, our language was withering; now it is saved.’ Translation team member

The project

When the Bydla project began, people were suspicious of Christians. As time has gone on more people have been able to see Bydla Christians displaying Christ’s character by distributing clothing and food, particularly during times of famine. Having their language in written form has also increased the Bydla people’s self-esteem and many words have been brought back into use. Today, the team is seeing more hearts softened towards God’s word.

This project combines translation of the Bible into the Bydla language with literacy programmes. Through this more people will be able to engage with the word of God. In 2017 the Bydla New Testament was published and now the team is working to complete the Old Testament.

A year ahead of... Making progress with Old Testament translation Running literacy classes with the community Continued growth of women’s groups Distribution of Scripture via audio materials, mobile apps and screening of the JESUS Film.

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The people Region: Kenya Population: 20,000 Religion: Few known Christians

The need Many of the Bydla people cannot read or write and there is a strong belief in traditional gods. There is a huge need to provide Scripture and literacy resources in the Bydla language.


Flame* Project West Africa

* Name changed for security reasons

‘When you have finished translating and when our children read this, then this town will understand the truth and will change.’ local Muslim leader

The project To reach out to the many Muslims in the Flame region, teams are working to translate the whole Bible into the Flame language. This is in addition to providing literacy classes and equipping local churches with Scripture engagement tools, such as Bible study guides. As part of the Bible translation process, local people are called upon to make sure it is easy to understand. On completing the book of Matthew, one of those asked to help with the checking was a local Muslim leader. During the reading the leader was struck powerfully by the Scriptures and through this he heard the truth of God’s word.

A year ahead of... Final checking of the New Testament translation Translating the Old Testament Running literacy classes Barriers being broken down as the gospel is able to spread through audio resources.

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The people Region: West Africa Population: 500,000 Language: Flame Religion: 99% Muslim

The need Among the Flame people literacy remains low; many children do not continue beyond primary school and the official language of the area is French. Churches do exist, but the majority of people are Muslims. There is a huge need, as a result, for God’s word to be heard in the Flame language.


Guera Project Chad

‘I am happy because since I began this work five people have put their faith in Christ. I am also encouraged in my own faith because of the work with the storytelling circles.’ Guera storyteller

The project Teams are working within many of the Guera languages to translate the Bible so more churches and unreached groups can have access to the Scriptures in their own language. Guera missionaries are also being equipped with tools in the local languages to evangelise. There is a strong vision among the Guera churches for unreached people to hear the good news of Jesus. One way this is being done is through storytelling groups. These are run by local Guera Christians who share stories from the Bible in local languages and give people the chance to discuss what they have heard.

A year ahead of... Completing New Testament translations in two languages Producing Bible portions and oral Bible stories in 11 languages for evangelism Raising awareness in churches of the importance of Scriptures.

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The people Region: Central Chad Population: 400,000 Language: 25+ languages Religion: Mixed

The need In the Guera region there is very little access to education or medical facilities. Small churches exist but they lack Scripture in their own languages. Churches also seek to reach the many unreached groups in the region but do not have materials for evangelism.


Ifè Project Togo and Benin

‘Yes, I received pastoral training, but in reading the New Testament in Ifè… I am even more enlightened and instructed.’ Pastor Baboutou

The project

Pastors from near and far have been able to use the translated Ifè New Testament. Even though they have received pastoral training, it is only with the Ifè Bible that they are able to share the true message of the gospel in a way their church families can understand. Some travelled over 100km just to share their gratitude with the translation team.

The ongoing aim of the Ifè project is to complete the translation of the Old Testament. Local churches have a vision to see the whole Bible in the Ifè language. To increase progress, more local translators are being trained and churches are being encouraged to support the project.

A year ahead of... Progressing with the Old Testament translation Distributing more copies of the Ifè New Testament Encouraging the local church to engage with the Scriptures and support the project Communicating the good news of Jesus.

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The people Region: Split between Togo and Benin border Population: 154,300 Language: Ifè

The need Just 35 years ago there were very few Christians among the Ifè people and no Ifè Scripture existed. Today the number of Christians grows daily and in 2009 the New Testament was published, helping churches to grow in faith. The focus now is on completing the whole Bible translation so more lives can be transformed.


The Koma Project Ghana

‘God is producing lasting fruits through our mutual partnership.’ Project manager, Konlan

The project

Local translation teams have been working in the Koma region for decades and are encouraged by the fruit which this is bearing. After learning how to read and write, and finding his faith through the early days of the Koma project, Emmanuel saw the desperate need for a church in his own community. He went on to set one up and now avidly reads the completed Bible portions, as they are translated, to his Konni-speaking church.

This project aims to increase Scripture use through providing, for example, audio and visual versions of the Bible in Konni. This, combined with continued translation work, will enable Koma Christians to disciple and evangelise more local people, as well as mature in their own faith.

A year ahead of... Working to complete the Old Testament translation Encouraging more Koma people to join the translation team Forming Bible story groups in all five Koma villages Equipping local churches to promote the completed New Testament.

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The people Region: North Ghana - highly remote and hard to reach during rainy season Population: 8,000 Language: Konni

The need As well as being geographically isolated, the Koma have been cut off from education and the gospel. Although great strides have been made with Bible translation in recent years, there is now a need to equip local people with skills and tools for evangelism.


Koro Project Nigeria

‘Jesus Christ belongs to every dialect; God is the God of every dialect.’ Church pastor, Macheebi

The project

Having access to Scriptures in their own language has been transformational for the 86,000 Nyankpa speakers. For the first time people are able to hear God talk to them in their own languages and know that a relationship with him is open to all. Pastors and the two Nyankpa translators in the region have been encouraged to see local people engaging with Scriptures more and more.

To reach the hearts of the Koro people, teams are working to translate the New Testament alongside running literacy programmes. This will open the door for the community to engage with Scripture and ensure their languages are not lost.

Region: Koro Cluster Population: 359,000 Language: Four different languages Religion: Mixed religions

A year ahead of...

There is a strong Christian church within the Koro community but the Bible is only available in the national language, limiting the depth of teaching. Alongside this there is a low level of literacy, making it even harder for people to understand Scripture.

Developing audio and written resources to improve literacy Continuing with translation of the New Testament into all four languages Encouraging use of Scripture in local churches Further equipping of local translators.

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The people

The need


The Leafa* Project Kenya

*Name changed for security reasons

‘We thank God for this big wave of change that is moving in the Leafa land.’ Translation team member

The project

When the Leafa project began it was too dangerous for team members to admit they were involved. Recruiting team members was difficult and people were reluctant to help with community testing. The team are praising God that the prevailing attitude has changed significantly. Although it is still dangerous to be too public about the work, they now have people contacting the project to offer their services as translators.

In the last few years a language centre has been established and links have been built with the Leafa community. There is, however, still progress to be made. This project aims to enable spiritual, social and economic transformation through literacy work and further Bible translation.

A year ahead of... Continuing with the translation of the New Testament Reinstating of literacy classes put on hold due to instability in the region Expanding the local team of translators and teaching staff Encouraging Leafa Christians in their faith.

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The people Region: Kenya – one of the last huntergatherer communities in the world Population: 9,000 Religion: Christians persecuted

The need Life for the Leafa is hard. They live with a lack of water, have little access to education and few Scriptures in their own language. Alongside this they believe they are cursed.


Leoma* Project South Asia

* Name changed for security reasons

Each translator lives with the threat of persecution, excommunication and death in order to continue. In the face of this, over 80% of the Leoma New Testament now exists!

The project

Leoma translators live without the support of believing families, friends or partners. In such a sensitive context it is difficult to find ways to distribute Scripture without compromising security and endangering the lives of those involved. The team are praying for wisdom about how they can make resources available online so more people can hear the good news.

Since the 1990s teams have been working on translating the Bible into the Leoma language and training local translation teams. This is alongside equipping local churches with the resources to reach out to more people. Despite severe hostility, these local churches are growing.

A year ahead of... Continuing to translate the complete Bible into Leoma Distributing the translated Scriptures in both audio and written form Running training workshops for translators Producing literacy materials.

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The people Region: South Asia – small but growing church Population: 19 million Religion: Folk Islam, Christians persecuted

The need The Leoma people live trapped in a world of fear and poverty due to few educational opportunities, extreme temperatures, and a low economic level. The small church which does exist is in desperate need of Scripture so they can share the good news of Jesus Christ.


Ngbugu Translation and Literacy Central African Republic

‘So [even] if the war does not end quickly, we will not lose this language and the children will inherit the language of their fathers.’ Church deacon

The project

For those living in the Central African Republic, life is riddled with violence and instability. In the midst of this, translation work continues and strong links with local churches remain. One of these is with the Elim Mandjambe Church family, who have been preaching, singing and praying in Ngbugu. Through translation, languages are being kept alive even in the face of communities being torn apart by conflict.

Despite ongoing violence, teams are working hard to translate the Bible into the Ngbugu language. This is alongside running literacy workshops and community engagement activities. Often instability leads to the project being paused but encouraging progress has been made.

A year ahead of... Completing Ngbugu textbooks to enable literacy classes to resume Continuing to work on the New Testament translation – the first draft is almost complete Encouraging the local churches and community to engage with the Scriptures.

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The people Region: Central African Republic Population: 150,000 Language: Ngbugu Religion: 94% Christian

The need Although the majority of people are Christian, there has been a lack of discipleship, due to low literacy rates and Scriptures not being available in the Ngbugu language. Alongside this, traditional beliefs are still very popular.


The Weh Project Cameroon

‘There has been a big change in the community and in the church. Commitment has increased because they have received the Word in their mother tongue.’ Team member, Christopher

The project

The growing Weh translation team has been encouraged to see the Church becoming a more and more important part of the community. Having Scripture available in their own language has helped local people recognise the importance of gaining a deeper and more personal understanding of God’s word.

Inspired by witnessing translation work in a neighbouring community, many Weh people share a vision for having the Bible in their own language too. In response to this, since 2007 a local translation team has been established and good progress has been made on drafting the New Testament.

A year ahead of... Working to complete the Weh New Testament Reinstating literacy classes put on hold due to increasing instability Putting together Sunday school resources Continuing spiritual growth of churches whose members know Jesus personally.

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The people Region: Northwest Cameroon Population: 13,000 Language: Weh Religion: Mixed

The need Among the Weh people many practise a mixture of religions including Christianity. The many that do attend church struggle to understand the message of the Bible due to low literacy levels and no teaching in Weh.


The Aldor* Project Southeast Asia

* Name changed for security reasons

‘…with the Bible stories, I can understand everything. I can tell them to my friends. I want to tell the stories more.’ Tina*, workshop participant

The people Region: Southeast Asia Language: one majority and a few minority languages

The need The majority of people in this area practise animism or Buddhism, and the few who consider themselves Christians practise traditional rituals. The small number of faithful Christians long for the Church to grow. Literacy levels are also low, so it is essential to share the word of God through oral stories.

The project To break down barriers to faith, teams are working to share life-changing Bible stories through oral storying. To increase the reach of these stories, local people are also being trained to share them, they are being recorded on mobile phones, and storying workshops are being run.

A year ahead of... For Tina, taking part in an oral-storying workshop helped to connect stories she had heard before, but not understood, to her own situation. Through these workshops, people are taught how to craft oral Bible stories and apply them to their own lives. They then go on to share them with their local communities.

Training and supporting local storying facilitators Running workshops on how to craft stories Translating stories into different language groups Sharing stories with local communities.

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The Ceren* Project Asia

* Name changed for security reasons

‘Where many do not care about us and do not see us, you have cared, you have seen.’ Local Ceren leader

The people Region: Asia Population: 1 million+ Language: Ceren*

The need Almost all of the Ceren people follow a different faith and Christians are frequently persecuted. Very few know how to read or write. This situation creates many barriers to coming to faith in Jesus.

The project Due to the closed-off nature of the area to Christians, translation of the Bible has not begun. Instead the focus is on documenting the language, teaching people to read and write, and building trust with members of the community. The hope is that this will provide the stepping stones to hearing the good news of Jesus Christ.

A year ahead of...

The team have been working hard on developing resources to enable young and old Ceren people alike to learn to read and write. These resources have been welcomed with great joy by the local community as people are finally able to see that their language is valued. As trust builds, so too do the bridges to sharing the word of God.

Building on the positive links made with the local community Finding locations for mother-tongue preschools to be established Running language workshops Equipping more local people to teach literacy.

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Director of Partnerships for Africa Africa-wide

‘In spite of the hardship they are going through, the churches in the refugee camps are thriving and more people are coming to know Christ.’ Alemayehu Hailu

The people Role: Director of Partnerships for Africa Region: Africa-wide Language: many different languages across Africa

The need Christ calls us to work together as one body with a shared vision. To ensure all people across Africa can one day have access to the Bible in their own language, it is therefore essential for churches, organisations and communities to partner with one another.

The project To help facilitate partnership, over the last three years Alemayehu Hailu has been working to improve and build new partnerships with churches, organisations, governments and universities across Africa in his role as Director of Partnerships. The hope is that this will lead to more effective Bible translation programmes.

A year ahead of... Even in the most desperate of situations, churches in Africa are growing. Alemayehu saw this first hand on a recent follow-up visit to Eritrean refugee camps in Ethiopia. It was a joy to hear how many more people were coming to know the love of Christ as the local church worked to share Scripture and provide trauma-healing workshops.

Facilitating training for leaders across Africa Seeking God’s wisdom in where to build new partnerships Encouraging and sharing in fellowship with churches Working with international leaders to promote Bible translation.

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The Onirnan* Project Asia

* Name changed for security reasons

‘Students who didn’t attend preschool don’t really start learning until third grade, but the students who did attend your preschools start learning right from the beginning!’ A school principal

The people Region: Asia Population: 50,000+ Language: Onirnan

The need There are currently no Onirnan Christian believers or Scriptures in the Onirnan language. Education levels are also very low, with adult literacy rates at just 10%. Despite school attendance rising, many children do not become literate because lessons are taught in the national language.

The project The need to improve education has been recognised by the local government. As a result, since 2009, teams have been able to begin developing Onirnan language materials. In 2013, this expanded to include providing children’s literacy classes in a preschool setting. As links with the community grow, the door is opening to Bible translation.

A year ahead of... During a recent trip to an Onirnan village, the local school principal enthusiastically shared with a team member her delight at how children were able to access education at an earlier age thanks to the project. Teams are working hard amongst the Onirnan community to provide even more children with the chance to learn in their own language.

Increasing the number of preschool and literacy classes for children Publishing a book and audio version of Onirnan traditional stories and proverbs Continuing grammar research Trialling the printing of Scripture portions.

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Support and Consulting Central African Republic (CAR)

‘We know that there is a long way to go with this work. We hope to see the production of a Ngando dictionary, the JESUS Film and the Bible’ Matthieu and Jetron, Ngando Alphabet Creators

The people Region: Central African Republic (CAR) Population: almost 1.5 million Language: working across 14 languages

The need Civil unrest forced most expatriate staff to leave the country in 2012, so translation work in CAR has been hampered by a lack of consultants and trainers. Several New Testament translations are nearing completion but have been delayed due to a backlog of books needing to be checked by consultants.

The project The aims of this project are to reduce the backlog of translations needing to be checked, to improve the quality of translation and to train more people to become consultants. This is being achieved through running workshops to equip translation teams with new skills, such as discourse analysis and Scripture app development, as well as helping to cover the cost of consultants travelling to the country to check translations and give advice.

A year ahead of... The Ngando community were calling for Bible translation, but their language had never been written down. Last year two Ngando speakers, Matthieu and Jetron, took the first step in laying the linguistic groundwork for translating the Bible. With the help of a consultant, they recorded 1,700 words in order to distinguish all the different sounds of the language and create a Ngando alphabet for the very first time!

Building work with five new languages where Bible translation projects could begin Creating a solid linguistic base for emerging translation projects Facilitating more workshops to support local translation teams.

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The Truly Fruitful Project Ethiopia

‘Now their eyes have been opened, they can’t wait to share it with others. We praise God for what he is doing in Gamo churches and church leaders.’ Gamo workshop

The people Region: Ethiopia Population: 20,000 Language: 85+ languages

The need Amazing progress has been made, with 63 Ethiopian languages now having access to at least some Scripture. However, pastors and evangelists have been trained to approach Scripture in a language that is not their own. In order to be ‘Truly Fruitful’ in reaching their communities, there is a need to equip church leaders to read, preach and teach the Bible in their own languages.

The project The aim of the project is to increase the use and impact of translated Scriptures in churches throughout Ethiopia by increasing the skills and confidence of church leaders. Pastors and evangelists are invited to workshops twice a year to learn how to read, understand and teach Scripture in their own languages.

A year ahead of... Gamo is one of the 85+ languages of Ethiopia. The Gamo Bible was dedicated five years ago, but little was done with it. This all changed after 30 church leaders gathered together to participate in a Truly Fruitful workshop. All the church leaders committed afresh to studying the Bible in Gamo. Over 1,600 Gamo Bibles were purchased, and these have been put to great use in the different communities through preaching, Bible study groups and training others.

Providing workshops for speakers of three different languages Following up via phone or email in between sessions to encourage people as they progress Increasing the use of local languages and translated Scriptures in churches Supporting churches as they teach their congregations to use these materials.

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Translation Degree Programme Coordinator Cameroon

‘We have refused to shut down and are determined to keep the light of the gospel burning here.’ Wilfred Fon, Translation Degree Coordinator

The people Region: Northwest Cameroon Language: 41 represented across the seminary

The need To ensure Bible translation can continue, it is vital to train local staff. In Cameroon there are many language communities still in need of Scripture in their own language.

The project For over 10 years, students from different language groups have studied for a BA in Bible Translation at the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary. Through this they are equipped with the skills to lead Bible translation and literacy projects. This is led by local academic Wilfred Fon, who this projects supports.

A year ahead of...

In the face of growing instability in the region, seminary staff have been determined to keep courses running. Over 41 language groups are represented at the seminary, and seven students are currently working hard to complete their studies in Bible translation. These men and women will become lights in their communities.

Sending out graduates to serve their own language groups in translation Equipping students to lead Bible translation programmes and share Scripture with others Running spiritual retreats each semester for staff Building capacity by training local people to run courses.

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Wycliffe Training Scholarships Togo

‘The second session of i-DELTA is the year of deliverance! We saw chains broken and falling off; our eyes lit up for God, and our love for his word increased.’ Rosine, Scripture engagement student

The people Region: Togo Population: 7.6 million Language: 40 different languages

The need In order to meet the Bible translation needs of the 40 different languages in Togo, Wycliffe Togo is keen to increase its capacity. Local churches have been identifying staff and volunteers who are committed to serving in this area. Training these new recruits is of vital importance.

The project This project funds the training of Wycliffe Togo staff members on the i-DELTA programme taught in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This three-year programme combines two months of residential lectures per year with distance-learning modules taught throughout the year, and covers Bible translation, literacy and Scripture use.

A year ahead of... Rosine felt challenged to support the work of Bible translation after hearing someone from Wycliffe Togo speak. Years later she felt God calling her to help the language groups in her country to access God’s word. Her husband Jérémie shared her calling and together they trained on the i-DELTA programme. They will use their passion and skills to help with Bible translation in Togo.

Training Wycliffe Togo staff members in Bible translation and Scripture use Partnering with language communities and churches to develop more ministries related to Bible translation Increasing the capacity of translation teams.

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Profile for Wycliffe Bible Translators

Church Partnerships Pack (A4 Version)  

Imagine a world where the only chance you have to read the Bible is in a language which isn't your own. This is a reality for 1.5 billion pe...

Church Partnerships Pack (A4 Version)  

Imagine a world where the only chance you have to read the Bible is in a language which isn't your own. This is a reality for 1.5 billion pe...