Imagine the anticipation! You love digital Scripture, but you long to hold a physical copy of God’s Word in your hands. Wrapped in its pages are not only the promises of faith, but a renewed sense of pride in your culture and hope for the future of your community.
For many, heart language Scripture only becomes real when they see it in print, but what happens when that reality is backlogged for six months or more?
Where Seed Company’s Publication Program Comes In
To close the gap between final translation quality checks with a consultant and the publication and distribution of printed Scriptures, Seed Company launched its Publication Program on October 31, 2022.
This program has two goals:
- Accelerate the rate at which printed Scripture makes it into waiting communities.
- Alleviate the financial burden our partners have shouldered.
“In our working relationships, Wycliffe and other organizations have been so incredibly generous. Now we’re entering the picture with open hands, wanting to help where needed. We’re now able to finish the task alongside the community, being part of their celebration all the way through to completion.” — Tonia Berthiaume, Seed Company’s Manager of Field Operations Programs
Because the generosity of Seed Company investors is enabling us to cover more of the publishing costs for our translation projects, Wycliffe Bible Translators and other partner agencies can allocate more funds to other projects around the globe that need their help. This global impact opportunity is both significant and historic in the Bible translation movement.
How Does the Publication Program Help People Get Scripture Sooner?
According to Tonia, the Publication Program is part of a larger focus on removing points of congestion in the overall translation process.
What points of congestion prevent people from getting usable Scripture as quickly as possible?
- Lack of translation consultants. We are addressing this issue through Seed Company’s Internship Program and our Translation Consultant Residency Program.
- Funding for printing Scripture—a highly specialized task only handled by a few printing services worldwide.
Tonia points out:
“Because we want to see every language community start a translation by 2025, we are now seeing a huge growth curve in projects. The volume we and other partners are now handling is huge. We now need more help in funding printed Scripture.”
Seed Company has always encouraged partners in national Bible translation organizations to raise some of the funds needed for printing. This is good practice and increases their ownership in the overall process. Nevertheless, even with their best efforts, most can only come up with a fraction of what is needed.
When our partners are ready to publish consultant-approved translations, and we are ready with funding and technical expertise, we help them cross the finish line that much sooner.
Why We Celebrate the Printing of God’s Word
The pilot of the Publication Program began on January 14, 2022.
Tonia remembers how, in nine short months, the team diligently finalized internal processes. All the while, they collaborated with partner organizations to determine “where the real needs are and how we can meet them.”
The First People Group to Receive Publication Funding
Long accustomed to low status and ill treatment, the Dakon* in Asia—a small people group of roughly 210,000 speakers—are beginning to see their worth in the eyes of God. At the dedication of the Dakon New Testament on June 29, 2022, one pastor marveled:
“When I attend pastors’ meetings conducted in the state language, I feel out of place and alienated, like the least among the people participating. But when I attend a Dakon program and read Dakon Scriptures, I feel like a raju (a king). I am proud of my clan, and my tribe, and I am proud of my God-given language.”
When people open a Bible in their heart language, something very special happens. Turning the pages, experiencing a renewed sense of pride in their culture, seeing their language in print: these are all tangible reminders of a very present Creator!
Currently, 118 Seed Company language projects are in the publication pipeline. 82 are set to publish New Testaments, 3 to publish Old Testaments, and 14 to print complete Bibles for their communities.**
To God be the glory!
* Pseudonym and general location are used to protect Bible translators and those they serve in sensitive regions.
**Data as of 11/16/22
Want to Support the Publication Program?
Thank you to our Global Impact investors, who help make initiatives like the Publication Program possible. If you would like to speak with someone about becoming a Global Impact investor and supporting initiatives like the Publication Program that are reducing bottlenecks in Bible translation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to speaking with you!
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