Growth of Bible translation efforts in Zambia is experiencing an explosion of activity due to the partnership between Wycliffe Associates and local churches.
The Wycliffe Associates initiative, Church Owned Bible Translation, began in 2014 to equip and train Bible translators. Now 20 of the more than 70 languages spoken in Zambia have active Bible translation efforts underway.
In May, three languages will dedicate completed translations of the New Testament, and another four will be completed soon. But the pace of Bible translation is quickening as the local churches are recruiting thousands of volunteers to help with the process.
The Zambian efforts have more than 5,000 people involved in this undertaking. Bible translation continued making progress and indeed expanded greatly even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, putting Zambia in a position to impact its people in a tremendous way.
Aaron Brakefield, Regional Director for the Americas, Southern Africa, and Western Europe, says, “We are focused on how to guide the Bible translation projects with more local ownership and less dependence on Wycliffe Associates. The local believers are so enthusiastic about finally having the Word of God in the language of their heart."
In 1900 there were fewer than nine million Christians in Africa, and now there are more than 541 million. Bible translation is a large part of the reason sub-Saharan Africa has seen the church grow in numbers and leadership maturity. Zambia is leading the way for the rest of Southern Africa as more local efforts of Bible translation are started.