Jaars Center

Africa

No continent on earth has more translation projects underway—or more
projects needed but yet to begin—than Africa.

Over 1,400 people groups are still waiting to hear and read the full gospel in the language they understand best. Nearly 400 of these languages now have some Scripture but less than a complete New Testament. Scholars estimate that another 600 or more languages still need Bible translation efforts to begin. Most of these people groups live in remote, off-the-grid locations.

We serve our translation partners there with a single vision: to bring the number of language groups without the gospel to zero. Through our Africa Initiative, we are working to provide timely, high-impact, and sustainable solutions to overcome the geographical and logistical barriers that hinder Bible translation—for the glory of God and the good of his creation.

Why is JAARS needed?

In many sub-Saharan countries, transportation infrastructure is poor-to-nonexistent. For translation workers, the simple act of getting from Point A to Point B can slow down their work by days, hours, even weeks at a time—and create a wide range of safety issues.

Communications technology can address some of those barriers, but communications systems and networks are also typically non-existent, slow, and/or unreliable. And they often require electricity where no power grid exists.

Plus, most partners need training to implement these solutions and to ensure the safety and sustainability of their efforts.

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What solutions are we currently providing in Africa?

Where else are we serving?

How You Can Help

GIVE


Africa Initiative Needs
 

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PRAY


Ask God to protect Bible translators and language workers in Africa and grant them strength and
stamina to complete their work.

What is JAARS doing?

Our role is to enable translation workers to translate, while we go about solving the logistical problems that slow them down and even put their work and lives at risk.

Some of our support is transactional—a one-time provision of equipment or funding, for example. Increasingly, though, we are providing ongoing operational solutions: multi-year commitments, support services rather than simply equipment, our “boots on the ground,” or a partnership arranged with a local provider that we oversee.

Transportation

Our safe, affordable transportation solutions enable critical mobility: typically motorbikes, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and mission aviation services (aircraft, pilots, and/or operational support). In many places, the same pilots and aircraft that support mission efforts also make it possible for hospitals and clinics to serve the most remote people groups—to share God’s love in real-time, practical ways.

Technology

These include mobile laptops, remote power systems, and reliable Internet connectivity. The ability to work remotely among language communities—to save and back up work, to share and consult with others to refine work-in-progress—is simply the backbone of modern translation.

Training

We provide training solutions wherever they’re needed: preparing pilots and mechanics for the unique equipment and conditions they’ll encounter in Africa; training national and field staff to drive and maintain land vehicles; helping local IT professionals build and deliver Internet access and network security; supplying water-safety training and equipment to translation workers who often face dangerous and unpredictable travel conditions on interior lakes and rivers.

Who benefits from our work?

We currently provide logistical support for Bible translation and language development partners in 19 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Togo.

In these countries, we support more than 120 language projects that will provide millions of people with the gospel in a language they can comprehend best. And many more projects are needed.

Our partner organizations include both global translation organizations—like Wycliffe Bible Translators, SIL International, and The Seed Company—and national translation organizations ranging from Wycliffe Global Alliance affiliates like CABTAL in Cameroon to the ECC, a trans-denominational protestant church alliance now assuming leadership for Bible translation efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As we go forward, our Africa Initiative will help us identify and deploy solutions for the greatest immediate and long-term impact. And it will help our translation partners there plan more confidently, based on the support we can commit to provide.

Most important, though, our work in Africa will share the transformative power of the gospel with individuals, families, communities, and entire people groups who are beloved by our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Africa Initiative
How You Can Help

We invite you to participate with us in the Africa Initiative … in prayer, with advocacy, and as “gospel patrons” who can help fund this eternal work. And we thank you in advance for responding to God’s leading in this critical part of his mission for the world.

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