USA (WAS) — There are 348 Bible translation projects currently underway in the Pacific region, with another 402 that still need to begin.
Wycliffe Associates, a global organization that empowers national Bible translators around the world, has launched Operation Pacific Advance, a partnership with Christian leaders in the Pacific region. Operation Pacific Advance provides resources and facilitates training for local Bible translators and church leaders, with the objective of accelerating Bible translation efforts.
A vast number of languages are spoken in the Pacific region, including 706 living languages in Indonesia, 19 living languages in East Timor, and 838 living languages in Papua New Guinea.
In addition, the language groups of the Pacific are among the most isolated. Many of the people in these language groups live in places accessible only by boat, across dangerous ocean waters.
“The islands of the Pacific are some of the most difficult-to-reach regions of the world,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Isolated villages are hidden away in deep jungles or carved into steep mountains.”
Local Christians in the region are leading church planting and discipleship efforts. Wycliffe Associates is helping to train and equip national Bible translators in bringing the Scriptures to their own people in their own language.
“National church leaders are the key to connecting translators with resources and training,” Smith says. “Because they know the language and have such a passion to reach their people, local believers can often accelerate Bible translation projects. I’ve seen them take years off the process.”
As part of Operation Pacific Advance, Wycliffe Associates provides resources and volunteers to build or repair airstrips that provide access to remote areas, facilitates the training of national Bible translators, and renovates buildings at national Bible translation training centers.
“Local translators and church members are in great need of training and equipment to move forward,” says Smith.
Wycliffe Associates has set a goal of raising $248,000 to provide infrastructure, equipment, and technology needed by national church leaders and local Bible translators in the Pacific region to reach their people.
Pray that Operation Pacific Advance will succeed in helping groups in hard-to-reach places.