The primary reason for this Asia trip is the opportunity to meet with colleagues from Wycliffe Bible Translators.
A little bit of history. During the Forum of Bible Agencies meetings in April I had two very good conversations with Kirk Franklin, the head of Wycliffe Global Alliance. We talked about the historical relationship that Wycliffe and Bible League have had over decades. Over time Bible League has published dozens of Wycliffe translations and made them available for local language speakers through our combined networks. This partnership came to an end at a time when there was less focus on it from both organizations. During the April meeting we both became interested in refreshing the relationship between the two organizations. We decided to meet in Asia because both organizations have growing ministry in the region.
We met in Singapore. Wycliffe was represented by their Asia Pacific leader for Singapore, their strategic initiatives director from South Korea and area directors from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG). Bible League is represented by Joshua Tan, Hamilton Smith, Lee Carter and me. It is so exciting to meet with so many different people from different cultures, we have eight people in the room from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, PNG, USA and Netherlands.
Our meetings included devotions, introductions, presenting organizations and areas, and prayer. The atmosphere was one of Kingdom perspective. I sensed a great appreciation of each other’s ministry as part of the Lord’s ministry in this world. By presenting our visions, philosophies and strategies we learned a lot from each other.
It was good to see how Bible Translation and Scripture Engagement are linked together as crucial pieces in reaching people for Christ. Wycliffe is focused on minority languages and while scripture engagement plays a part in their ministry it is not their primary focus. Bible League brings the vision to engage everyone in God’s Word.
We talked about options and opportunities for both organizations to strengthen each other. This meeting was not to obtain any concrete results about projects but there was excitement about some of the possibilities.
An important take away is that we have some follow up touch points on local levels in Indonesia, PNG and Vietnam. I emphasize local here because a future collaboration needs to be planted on the field, supported by local teams and churches. That is the best way to talk about how partnership could be fruitful for the local church.
We finished each day with prayer together. I highly appreciate that the relationship between our two organizations is refreshed and ask you to pray for guidance and discernment as we continue to talk about Scripture engagement and engaging more people in God’s Word.