Wycliffe Seeks $1.5 Million in Indonesia Bible Translation Efforts

Jesus once said that the sower sows the Word. But in Wycliffe's case, the translator is looking to reap a financial harvest for the Word's sake.

Bible translator Wycliffe is working to raise $1.5 million so it can buy a plane to operate in Indonesia, which Wycliffe Associates President and CEO Bruce Smith calls "one of the most challenging mission fields on earth."

One of the most challenging, in part, because the people of Indonesia speak more than 700 separate languages. Indonesia is also one of the least explored places on earth and one of the hardest to travel. Spiritual strongholds there include animism and spiritism and impoverished people are struggling just to survive.

"It takes specialized airplanes to keep Bible translators at work, planes designed specifically to get in and out of the incredibly complicated terrain: steep cliffs, narrow gorges, short runways carved out of thick jungles," says Smith. "I've been in some pretty difficult situations as a missionary pilot, and I can tell you that a dependable airplane is not optional. An airplane is a lifeline."

The $1.5 million is to help replace 40-year-old airplanes that use a rare and expensive fuel. Wycliffe Associates says the new planes will be a critical component of Bible translation efforts in the region. There are 340 languages left in Indonesia that translators are targeting.

"This is not really about machinery—it's about eternity," says Smith. "A single plane, over the course of its projected lifetime, will serve hundreds of thousands of people."

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