An organization that is well-known for translating the Scriptures into languages around the world is making sure those words can come to life.
“Translation is the crucial first step,” says Interim President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates Tim Neu in a release. “But when this work is finished, there’s one more absolutely crucial step to take: the Scriptures must be printed. This is one of the best and easiest ways for God’s Word to be shared freely and fully within language groups, especially in remote areas of the world.”
Wycliffe Associates provides technology to national Bible translators in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific, where many of them are in danger and persecuted for their faith.
Print On Demand units, high-speed digital printing equipment that can produce small or large quantities of Scripture, operate discreetly and quietly, keeping Bible translators safe. Wycliffe Associates trains workers to maintain and operate the portable equipment.
“In some regions, persecution is so intense, people can’t gather safely for worship or Bible study,” says Neu. “But with the printed Scriptures, they can read, study, memorize, and share God’s Word safely in their own homes.”
For example, Bible translators and local churches in one region are using the equipment to print the Gospel of John. One Christian is smuggling the copies into a city where he has connected with a group of believers who are discreetly leaving them on doorsteps.
Currently, the organization hopes to help local churches in 32 language groups that have organized teams of mother-tongue Bible translators. However, the groups need to print the Scriptures to be able to share them.
A basic Print On Demand unit costs $2,000, while the price of large-scale equipment for producing greater quantities is $25,000 each.
“This will be the first time ever that churches in these areas can read, pray, study, and worship together from printed Scriptures in the language of their heart,” says Neu.
So far Wycliffe Associates has provided 131 Print On Demand units worldwide.
“Right now, Christians in local churches are making wonderful progress in their Bible translation work,” says Neu. “For them, a Print On Demand unit is a great solution.”