Millions are deprived of Scripture and the ability to read and write in their language. WYCLIFFE offers hope by creating writing systems, teaching literacy, and translating the Bible worldwide.
Why do we exist?
Wycliffe believes that everyone deserves to have the Bible in a language they clearly understand. This belief began over ninety years ago, when Cakchiquel-speaking men in Guatemala expressed concern to William Cameron Townsend that the Bible was not available in their language. Townsend resolved to translate it for them, and ten years later the Cakchiquel had the Bible in their language. He officially formed Wycliffe in 1942 to continue providing Bible translation for other languages around the world that still needed it.
Wycliffe has made great strides since its inception, but more than 209 million people—representing almost two thousand languages—still do not have any Scripture in a language and form they can understand clearly. Additionally, there are over a billion more who have projects that have begun in their language but still may take many years to finish. Wycliffe offers them opportunity, freedom, and hope through Bible translation.
What have you accomplished?
Wycliffe and its partner organizations have played a part in translating full Bibles or New Testaments in nearly eight hundred languages worldwide. Yet, much work remains. Currently Wycliffe is working in more than fifteen hundred language programs.
Wycliffe's work doesn't end with translation. Without literacy or some other provision—such as audio recordings of Scripture—a completed translation may fail to move from the page to the heart. So Wycliffe trains literacy workers and promotes mother tongue literacy programs. People who learn to read the Scriptures often find that their new literacy skills have added benefits such as better jobs to provide for their families, access to a variety of information, and increased participation in the broader culture.
Additionally, Wycliffe often translates health information such as Kande’s Story, the true-life story of an AIDS orphan and how she and her siblings found help and healing through her church community. It is now available in over 190 languages in more than 20 countries.