Providing Solutions in Africa That Make Bible Translation Possible
Bounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean, the world’s second-largest continent, Africa, is also divided in half almost equally by the equator. Africa’s population stands at 1.2 billion people—half of which are children.
The African Church has experienced remarkable growth over the years. At the turn of the twentieth century, Christianity was virtually nonexistent in many parts of the continent but it is now the majority faith in many nations.
Much of this growth is the result of Bible translators working to provide the Scriptures in languages that speak to the hearts of the people. Yet, 1,400 people groups are still waiting to hear or read the gospel in a language they understand best. Most of these groups live in remote, off-the-grid locations.
Bible translation on the continent, along with other missions work, is being challenged by the increasing level of religious persecution that has forced millions of Christians to flee their homes for overcrowded refugee camps. The number of martyrs in the African Church has risen dramatically over the past several years.
Yet, this does not deter our translation partners in Africa. At JAARS, we work with them to provide timely, high-impact, and sustainable solutions in the areas of transportation, technology, training, and media to help overcome the geographical, logistical and communication barriers that hinder Bible translation.
In many African countries, transportation infrastructure is poor-to-nonexistent. For translation workers, getting to a location such as a village or church may take days, even weeks—slowing down their work while possibly creating a range of safety issues. Planes, helicopters, boats, 4WD vehicles and motorbikes provided by JAARS help to shorten these long journeys and make them much safer.
In some locations, communication systems may typically be nonexistent, or slow and sometimes unreliable. Often no power grid exists to provide the electricity they need. JAARS technology specialists provide needed assistance to our translation partners with internet access, computers, specialized software, and linguistic consultation to help with difficult translation issues.
Your generous gifts will continue to provide our translation partners in Africa much needed practical solutions for the safety and sustainability of their efforts.