Reaching the Bibleless
Wycliffe’s mission and vision
Consider this: There are 6,837 languages known to be in use in the world today. And of those 6,837 languages, an estimated 2,040* are in need of a Bible translation.
We know from Scripture that God’s plan for eternity is a wonderful mosaic of people—“a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9, NLT). Therefore, every language has value and one day God will be worshipped and praised in all of them. That is the day Wycliffe is working toward.
Wycliffe exists because Bibleless peoples exist. Wycliffe’s founder, Cameron Townsend, believed that every person on earth deserves to have access to God’s Word in their own language. We honor this core belief and God’s plan for His Kingdom when we follow Jesus’ example of moving across cultural boundaries.
Currently, Wycliffe is working in more than 90 countries. There are Bibleless people groups everywhere–Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Pacific region. While the number of Bibleless people groups is large, make no mistake, Wycliffe is committed to serving even the smallest of people groups, like the Blafe of Papua New Guinea, a people group of 670, where a Bible translation project has just begun.
The good news is that Bible translation is happening faster today than ever before. In 1999, Wycliffe and key partners adopted Vision 2025, the mission to see a Bible translation project started for every language that needs one by the year 2025. With a renewed sense of urgency, advances in technology, and a growing community of partners, the pace of Bible translation has quickened. Since the start of Vision 2025 more than 250 New Testaments have been published with Wycliffe involvement and new work has begun in almost 700 languages.
- The number of languages still waiting for Scripture is dropping. Pray that this momentum will not slow down and ask God to continue to grow the resources needed to accomplish this work.
- To reach the Bibleless and in response to Vision 2025, Wycliffe USA launched The Last Languages Campaign in 2008. Through the campaign, Wycliffe endeavors to accelerate the work of Bible translation by engaging an ever-increasing audience of Christians, and inviting them to contribute their talents, prayers, and gifts to reach the last languages with the words of eternal life. Pray for Wycliffe leaders and promoters as they seek to clearly communicate Wycliffe’s story, Vision 2025, and the worldwide mission of Bible translation to a wide variety of audiences. Pray for favorable responses to this message, and that many will be motivated to partner with Wycliffe to speed God’s Word to those still waiting.
*As calculated by Wycliffe Global Alliance in fall 2011. Scripture access statistics are updated annually.