Harnessing Technology Catapults Translation

The Seed Company produces a quarterly newsletter that is totally worth your while: SeedLinks.

Here’s a story from the latest edition to whet your appetite…

Dela never went to school, but he taught himself to read. Living on the humid Sepik River in Papua New Guinea, his lifestyle requires only a basic wardrobe: just a few pair of short pants. He and his neighbors live off their small gardens and what they catch from the river. Their simple lifestyle doesn’t include a telephone, the internet, or even electricity.

For years, an eight-person team for two Sepik languages had been plodding along in Bible translation, trying to complete the New Testament. When they hit a snag, they would stop and wait — sometimes for months — until a consultant could make a trip to this remote locale to help.

But last fall, a Seed Company information technology (IT) team brought a creative solution to help alleviate delays in translation. They found the best computer for the circumstances, created specially configured software, added a satellite modem and constructed a communications workstation that used solar panels for power. In less than two weeks of installation and training, Dela and others who had never before touched a computer were able to send e-mail with attachments, bringing distant consultants into almost instant contact with the translation team.

By the grace of God, The Seed Company is more capable than ever, and uniquely positioned to respond to worldwide needs for technology and training. Last year, IT staff provided more than 50 solar-powered laptops and 15 netbooks, and more such systems will be made available in remote areas this year. The Seed Company anticipates a 30 to 40 percent increase in efficiency for translators who use this equipment, which will further accelerate translation efforts and Scripture impact.

The Seed Company is now seeing unprecedented acceleration of Bible translation. Our vision statement declares, “God’s Word transforming lives in every language in this generation.” Its fulfillment requires creativity and innovation; but even more important, it depends on courage, perseverance, trust in God’s leadership and partnership with national translators, like-minded organizations and people who support Bible translation. Together we are seeing this vision become a reality.

You can subscribe to SeedLinks via snailmail or view PDFs online. Also note that our website offers additional extra stories. Visit our website to see how today!

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