“After generations of waiting, generations of hoping, and praying for a translation of the Scriptures into the language of their hearts, they’ve heard about this Bible translation opportunity,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “They’ve caught a glimpse of hope. For the first time, they see the miraculous potential.”
Mother-tongue translators use MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) workshops to launch new Bible translations. MAST is a method that enables national Bible translators to work collaboratively on assigned Scripture passages and then use a multi-step quality checking process.
In addition to MAST training, Wycliffe Associates provides translators with computer tablets loaded with translation software—a vital tool that empowers the translators to work more efficiently.
“Tablets are absolutely essential. They’re packed with Bible translation software, and a library of resources,” said Smith. “Without tablets, Bible translation is slow and awkward; national translators are reduced to working with paper and pencils.”
Tablets also contribute to the translators’ safety in places where the Bible is banned, and Christians suffer intense persecution. Translators can work discreetly and back up copies of their valuable work.
“National Bible translators face the challenges of keeping handwritten Bible translations safe and secure,” said Smith. “But with a computer tablet, every completed line of translation is secure.”
In areas where Bibles and churches are illegal, Christians have formed underground churches. One group that met secretly with a Wycliffe Associates team leader is now working on Bible translations in three languages.
Wycliffe Associates wants to provide 2,760 computer tablets to equip mother-tongue translators in the MAST workshops.
Currently there are 1,200 MAST translations in progress. Wycliffe Associates has distributed more than 6,000 tablets to Bible translators in 67 countries to date.