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July 23, 2021

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Wycliffe Associates Hopes to Dramatically Increase Placement of Mobile Printing Systems for Mother-Tongue Translators

3 min read

(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, is working to dramatically increase the number of Print On Demand (POD) systems being distributed to mother-tongue translation teams in some of the world’s most remote regions.

The organization reports that nearly 200 teams need POD systems—compact, high-speed, digital printing equipment—to print Bibles.

Wycliffe Associates began distributing the systems to mother-tongue translators in 2014. To date, 64 POD systems in 20 countries have been placed. The organization trains workers to both operate and maintain the equipment.

The translation process is the first step toward getting the Scriptures into the hands of those who are without them in their own language.

“All the translation work—the long, hard hours of labor—will be in vain if the translation teams can’t print actual Bibles,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Print On Demand is the crucial missing link . . . the final piece of the puzzle.”

POD systems enable translators to print and distribute their work immediately instead of having to wait for Bibles to be printed, bound, and delivered. In addition to saving time, the systems also are less expensive than traditional printing methods, with a low per-page cost.

From a flash drive, translation teams can print entire Bibles or print individual books of the Bible without delay once the translation process is complete. A single POD system is capable of printing thousands of pages per day.

POD systems help ensure the personal safety of mother-tongue translators as well. In regions where Christians have been persecuted and even put to death because of their beliefs, the PODs enable teams to work discreetly. A POD system can be easily hidden in one room of a safe house and transported quickly and inconspicuously from one location to another.

A pastor in Myanmar, who cannot be named for security reasons, expressed profound gratitude to Wycliffe Associates for a POD system, saying, “We . . . will never forget this day on which the New Testament was printed in [our] language for the first time in history. Thank you all for taking part in this historic moment. May God bless you all.”

Mother-tongue Bible translators are asking in secret for POD systems, and Wycliffe Associates hopes to purchase and distribute a minimum of 190 systems as soon as possible, at a cost of $3,000 each.

“I have seen how God moves when His Word touches someone in their own heart language for the very first time,” says Smith. “They’ve been waiting for generations to experience God’s Word in the language of their heart.”

Currently there are 3,703 New Testament translations in progress and 2,758 translations yet to begin. Since 2014, Wycliffe Associates launched 1,000 translations projects using their MAST methodology.


About Wycliffe Associates

One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Associates was organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation. Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.

Because millions of people around the world still wait to have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associates is directly involved with speeding Bible translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Last year, 7,097 Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers worked to speed Bible translations in 76 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.

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