Angola (WAS) — Wycliffe Associates, a global organization that involves people in the acceleration of Bible translation around the world, has announced plans to help launch Bible translation efforts in Angola, a Southern Africa nation that has been devastated by decades of civil war.
“These people have been ravaged by brutality and poverty,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “They live in daily danger of stumbling onto hidden land mines. But worst of all, many have never even heard a word of Scripture in their own language.”
Following a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002, Angola has 10 million land mines buried across the nation. More than 80,000 people in Angola have been maimed by land mines, according to the United Nations Development Program, and one in eight Angolans live in a community affected by land mines.
These hidden land mines make travel extremely dangerous and slow for Bible translation workers. But even so, they have identified 40 language groups that need Bible translations started.
“Until recently, violence has closed the region to large-scale mission efforts,” says Smith.
Without written words in the language groups that need Bible translation, language workers have begun training mother-tongue Bible translators in telling Bible stories. The translators in training hear the stories of the Bible in a common tongue and are then asked to retell them in their own language.
The language workers have reported witnessing a very positive change in the mother-tongue translators as a result of this training, as members of tribes that were once at odds with one another have laid aside their suspicions and embraced a new unity through their common faith.
Wycliffe Associates is currently raising $120,000 for the support of Bible translation efforts in Angola and has plans to build a translation center, support audio recordings of the Scriptures, and provide technology and other resources.