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Loren's testament

Until the end Loren will have preached his ultimate dream to thousands of people around the world via zoom: to see the Word of God translated into every language in the world by 2033. In fact, nearly 8,000 mother tongues and 14,000 dialects still need the Bible translated. In this way, everyone will be able to hear the Word of God in their mother tongue, the language of the heart.

YWAM is not generally known for Bible translation, which is usually the preserve of more specialized missions such as Wycliffe and SIL. However, over the last twenty years or so, more intentionally, YWAMers have been involved in all kinds of translation projects. Loren was especially keen on translating the Bible into oral languages (which lack alphabets and writing) as a first step, recording portions of Scripture by native speakers of those languages.

Several years ago, as the leaders of many of the larger missions pondered how to speed up Bible translation, each mission presented the strengths and know-how it could bring to the table. Arriving at YWAM, there was a moment of silence.

"And YWAM...well...YWAM...YWAM has people."

At first, the others smiled. It didn't sound like a specific skill. But come to think of it, 46 countries still had at least 5 languages requiring Bible translation, for a total of 1'142 languages. And YWAM had workers in every one of those countries, including people with 200 of those languages as their mother tongue. "We realized that our people were our greatest asset," concludes David Hamilton of the University of the Nations.

In December 2020, YWAM set itself an ambitious goal: by the end of 2025, at least 1,000 of these languages will have at least 30 Bible passages and a one-voice narration of Campus for Christ's Jesus film, based on the Gospel of Luke. YWAM has already contributed to 64 new translations of this film over the past five years in Melanesia (mainly in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu). In Nigeria, the Bible is now being translated and recorded orally in almost 30 new languages.

YWAM then launched OBT (Oral Bible Translation) schools, including one in Lausanne, to train a new generation of Bible translators and catalyze the acceleration needed in this field.

YWAM has received Loren's testament. We pray that it will become reality, his dearest wish being to see it fulfilled for the 2000th anniversary of Jesus' resurrection.

Guy Zeller


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