This year is a special one for Wycliffe Canada. We are celebrating our 50th anniversary as a registered charitable organization.
Over the past five decades, our Lord has enabled Wycliffe Canada to engage Canadians in three key ways: recruiting people to serve, mobilizing people to uphold the work through prayer, and encouraging donors to fund Bible translation and related ministries worldwide.
What has been achieved? As I did research for this issue, some statistics stood out for me:
- Our Canadian Wycliffe workforce serving around the globe has more than tripled.
- In 1968, three-quarters of Canadians doing language work served in languages located closer to home—in the Americas. Today, nearly half are working in languages of Asia and Africa.
- Women have been the bedrock of our workforce. For example, among personnel doing actual language work these past 50 years, about 60 per cent have been female—a good number of them single.
- Today, about two-thirds of our total personnel serving in Canada and around the world are doing less-exotic, but still vital, behind-the-scenes support work—from human resources and finance, to IT and communications—so Bible translation keeps advancing.
- In terms of finances, our budget now is 2,100 times higher than in 1968, thanks to generous partners like you.
- Many thousands more Canadians are praying for Bible translation to advance than there were a half-century ago.
- In 1968, Canadians had been directly involved in completing Scripture translations in just two languages. That running total is now closing in on 80 languages.
But enough statistics. On the following pages, you will find an overview history article about Wycliffe Canada. Check out the historical timeline piece*, and note each Scripture translation completed with major, direct involvement by Canadian Wycliffe personnel. Speaking of historic changes, read the story about Wycliffe staff in Eastern Canada making a strategic move out of our former Toronto-area office.
We include an article about a Wycliffe translator who started her service a half-century ago. What changes she has seen in how Bible translation work is done! There is also an infographic that compares Canadian Wycliffe language workers in 1968 with those of today.
In his article, Kirk Franklin, Wycliffe Global Alliance president, challenges us to ponder Wycliffe Canada’s heritage of ministry while getting ready for a changing future of service. And Wycliffe Canada President Roy Eyre (see the “Last Word” column) shares his “moonshot” vision to end Bible poverty worldwide.
We trust this issue will help you join us at Wycliffe Canada to celebrate five decades of service. God is on the move through your and Wycliffe’s efforts of partnership to expand His kingdom.
Imagine what He will do with and through us during the next 50 years—to finish the task!
As Wycliffe Canada marks its 50th anniversary, I am marking my final issue as editor of Word Alive. After 31 years of giving oversight to this periodical and serving with great teammates, I am stepping down to pursue other things. It has been a blessing to inform and inspire readers like you to further the Bible translation effort worldwide.
Word Alive will be taking a bit of a hiatus. One calendar issue will be published in the fall of 2018 and Wycliffe Canada hopes to produce one regular issue in the spring of 2019, while decisions are made about the magazine’s future.
*We apologize that we are unable to replicate the overview article and historical timeline in our web edition of this issue, due to software limitations. However, an earlier version of the historical timeline is available for viewing on our website.