Wycliffe Associates has 773 Bible translations in progress and they have received requests from 273 language groups seeking help with launching Bible translations in 2021.
"Instead of slowing down because of COVID-19, translation has actually accelerated," says Tim Neu, Interim President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.
Wycliffe Associates is an international organization that empowers mother-tongue Bible translators and partners with local churches in the advancement of Bible translation.
"I’ve been humbled to see how believers in difficult areas, some in places of intense persecution and real danger, have been absolutely unwavering in their dedication to the cause," says Neu in an interview with Mission Network News.
The organization wants to be sure that things are translated correctly into different languages so last year Wycliffe Associates launched a web-based approach that enables mother-tongue translators to participate remotely in a virtual Bible translation event.
"COVID lockdowns kept Bible translators home," says Neu, "but our online Bible translation system enabled many to continue their work together."
Ryan Rempel is the Director of Give the Word in Winnipeg. They primarily provide English and Spanish Bibles for any and all in need.
"This whole COVID season that we're all in, the entire world is going through it, and I think this is causing a lot of people to stop and ask questions. There are a lot of people who are scared, there's more time to think, more time to ponder 'what's the meaning of life?'" says Rempel.
He has seen more and more individuals call for a Bible this past year than ever before.
"We often provide Bibles to churches and camps, but this past year we haven't seen as much of that because of restrictions. But where we have seen tremendous growth from across the country are people who are contacting us who wouldn't consider themselves believers yet."
The seeking and searching in this worldwide pandemic has created a boldness to know what truth is, according to Rempel.
"We get a lot of calls from Agnostics like we've never seen this before. We're seeing it a lot this past year of people saying 'Hey, do you have a Bible that answers basic questions about your faith? I'm interested.' It's been really cool to see that grow."
Rempel is able to get ahold of Bibles in other languages than English and Spanish if requested.
"I think there's a lot of Christians too who are seeing the urgency of getting the gospel out," says Rempel.