Scriptures written on classroom walls spoke to Ni (name changed for security purposes) and began a great work in her heart.
At some level, the actual hands-on act of Bible translation might seem somewhat perfunctory: simply replacing letters, syllables, and words from one language to another. But one of the most exciting things about translating the Scriptures is the constant reminder of the extraordinary power held in these particular words.
Ni witnessed this power firsthand in her early days as a student. Though she grew up in a devout Muslim family in a Muslim country, her parents sent her to a Christian missionary school so she could get a good education and learn English. Ni recalls how the walls of the school were filled with Scripture verses. And the words found thei
“Imagine how frustrating it would be to finally receive the tools, technology, and training to translate the Scriptures and then not be able to print Bibles,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Printing Bibles is the final link in the chain of love.”
When a Bible translation project comes to a close, the Scriptures need to be printed and distributed. With the Wycliffe Associates Print On Demand system, the organization installs high-speed, compact printing systems that enable mother-tongue Bible translators to work discreetly, especially in areas where Christians are the targets of intense persecution. Bibles can be printed in small or large quantities on a system that is easily moved from one location to another.
Print On Demand works in conjunction with the Bible translation strategy known as MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation). MAST is a translation method in which teams of mother-tongue translators work collaboratively to translate Scripture portions into their own languages. The translators use an eight-step process of drafting and checking their work.
There are now 816 Bible translation projects underway using the MAST strategy, with over 20 major MAST workshops planned for Africa and Asia. Wycliffe Associates wants to provide a Print On Demand system for each language project and is currently raising funds for the systems, which cost $25,000 each.
Smith says that when a Bible translation is complete and people are holding printed Bibles in their language, “We witness the explosion of gratitude—the absolute elation—again and again.”
To date, Wycliffe Associates has deployed 83 Print On Demand systems in 26 countries.