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Streams of Prayer for 19 December 2023

The Streams of Prayer for 19 December 2023, is a circular from Wycliffe Global Alliance. Wycliffe Caribbean makes this available.

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December 17 – December 30, 2023


Christmas is a time of celebration. It’s a time when we celebrate light coming into the world, God’s redemptive plan and Jesus’ immense sacrifice on our behalf. We celebrate that The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5 NIV) As we are so often recipients of bad news about wars, economic challenges, and natural disasters as well as facing our own individual challenges, it’s important to remind ourselves that the darkness cannot overcome the Light of the World. We also can celebrate the many ways God is at work around the world in Bible translation movements bringing his light to many. Celebration is the current theme for Streams of Prayer. Join us as we look back over the year to thank God for the ways he has answered our prayers and to celebrate what he has done in and through Bible translation movements.

Note: Following our usual Christmas and New Year holiday schedule, Streams of Prayer will be sent biweekly instead of weekly, which means you have two weeks to pray for the items in each issue (17-30 December 2023 and 31 December 2023 – 13 January 2024).

Global People Conversation brings new strategies: Global, South Africa

In November, the yearlong Global People Conversation process came to an end with the fifth consultation in Johannesburg: twenty-six participants representing 13 Alliance organisations met for three days to explore the topics from the four previously held regional consultations. It was quickly understood that the aim of this exploration cannot be to find definite answers that will be helpful in each context. The overarching metaphor of the discussions focused on ecosystems. The group understood that the roles of various players in the Bible translation movement are bound together in a bigger context: the church. Participants realised that the best contribution of Bible translation organisations is to help the church embrace, understand and take up its responsibilities in Bible translation. This year, more than 100 participants from 75 different organisations participated in the regional conversations. In each of the five events, participants quickly bonded. The richness of being with people from other regions was particularly appreciated and new opportunities to work together emerged.

Growing role of the church in Bible translation: Caribbean

Streams of Prayer 17 December 2023
Participants at the Wycliffe Caribbean Pastors and Church Leaders Breakfast. Photo: Ruth Smith-Sutherland

Wycliffe Caribbean had its 30th Anniversary Celebrations at the Annual Pastors and Church Leaders Breakfast with guest speaker Russ Hersman from Wycliffe USA who serves as global partnerships field coordinator in Sudan. He shared about the growing role of the church in Bible translation in that region. The event was a joyous time of fellowship and celebration for the over 100 persons, pastors, and church leaders who were in the room as well as for those who joined live online. The event included greetings from former directors and many photos which brought back fond memories. Praise God for the impact that Wycliffe Caribbean has had over the years by sending missionaries around the world and more recently becoming involved with translation in the Caribbean region.

Celebrating God’s abundant faithfulness: Nigeria

Please join Nigeria Bible Translation Trust (NBTT) in celebrating God’s abundant faithfulness this year! They have seen God’s answers to their prayers. For example, several times they have embarked on mission journeys into territories with high risk of kidnapping, among other threats to life. But by God’s grace, they returned safe and sound, all to his glory. Celebrate God for his care. Through his grace, they have achieved significant milestones in oral Bible translation and literacy projects. God has guided them through intricate linguistic journeys, both local and international, allowing them to bridge cultural gaps and bring His Word to diverse communities. They rejoice in the lives transformed through this vital work. Your prayer support has been instrumental, and they thank God for your partnership. They glorify God for the impact made in 2023 and anticipate greater things ahead. Join them in celebrating God’s unwavering hand upon them.

Extraordinary provision: Israel, Europe

Thank the Lord with the team at the Whole Word Institute, for the safe arrival of students and staff in Greece. Their hearts are filled with gratitude for their safety and that they may continue their studies. They still need financial assistance for the evacuation and the care of students making the transition between Jerusalem and Europe. Pray for help to meet their matching fund gift amount. Your continued prayers and support mean the world to them!

Streams of Prayer 17 December 2023
“And the peace of God … will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Photo: Whole Word Institute

So much blessing for online seminars: Japan

Streams of Prayer 17 December 2023
Online seminar advertisement. Photo: Wycliffe Japan

Wycliffe Japan praises God that all four online seminars for 2023 were well-received with so much blessing. Over 120 people, including some high school and university students, participated in the seminars. Topics included: Bible translation, literacy, ethno-arts, Scripture engagement, linguistics, trauma healing, missionary kids’ education and third-culture kids’ care. Pray that God will continue encouraging all the participants to learn about Bible translation and get involved in a meaningful way with Wycliffe Japan and Bible translation as a whole.

State of the Bible: Global

It’s time to rejoice! Progress by the Bible translation movement in the last year has been remarkable:

  • The global Bible translation movement reached a tipping point: for the first time in history, the number of languages with work in progress (3,742) has exceeded the number of remaining languages without work in progress (3,652).
  • New translations began at a rate of more than one a day.
  • Newly completed Bibles are being launched at the rate of one a month.
  • Language communities are receiving the New Testament in their language at an average rate of one per week – 53 New Testaments were completed last year, a record for one year!

These statistics came from Wycliffe UK & Ireland’s State of the Bible 2023 and the 2023 Alliance Global Scripture Access statistics.

New executive director: New Zealand

Praise the Lord for the appointment of Bruce Eirena as the next executive director for Wycliffe New Zealand. He was unanimously appointed by the board on 9 September. Give thanks for the amazing work Rob Lovatt has done as executive director over the past eight years. Pray for both men as they work through the transition period. Pray for Bruce as he prepares to step into the role on 1 January.

Streams of Prayer 17 December 2023
Bruce and Jenny Eirena at Wycliffe NZ’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Photo: Jay Matenga

Celebrating what the Lord has done: Burkina Faso

Please join the Association Nationale pour la Traduction de la Bible et l’Alphabétisation (ANTBA) to celebrate the Lord for the following great deeds in 2023. Despite many challenges, the new leadership has led the organisation well during this year. Four New Testaments were completed and sent to print this year. The Winien NT has just been received in Burkina Faso and its dedication is scheduled for January. The San Mayaa and Sam Matya NTs also have been completed and copies are expected to arrive in the country shortly. Celebrate the Lord for the first complete Bible in Burkina Faso, in the Southern Nuni language, which is currently being typeset. Finally, celebrate the Lord for five oral Bible translation (OBT) programmes, including a programme that has just started in the Bwamu-Dakwi language. Four additional OBT programmes will start on 23 December in the Zaoré, Gbedogo, Komono and Yaana languages.

Streams of Prayer is the prayer bulletin of the Wycliffe Global Alliance.

Valrie McCarthy
Proclaimer Officer
Wycliffe Caribbean
7A South Avenue
Kingston 5
876 754 9334, 908 2970, 582 6592

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