A worldwide Bible translation movement started quietly in 1917—almost a century ago—when William Cameron Townsend, age 21, left college for a year to sell Spanish Bibles in Guatemala.
To his surprise, however, many Guatemalans couldn’t speak or read Spanish. Those Spanish Bibles were useless for them!
So William Cameron Townsend, “Uncle Cam,” decided to do something about that: It took him 14 years, but he translated Scriptures for Cakchiquel speakers in Guatemala.
And that was the humble, obscure beginning of what we now call Wycliffe Bible Translators, and Wycliffe’s primary strategic partner, SIL, around the world.
My husband and I worked in support roles with SIL, in partnership with Wycliffe, during our three years in South America and our eight years in Africa.
Oh, I could tell you so many stories(!) but for now, I have two special treats for you:
First, I want to tell you about A Thousand Trails, Uncle Cam’s journal from 1917-1919, compiled and edited by Hugh Steven. It’s a rare glimpse into the life of an everyday man who served an exceptional God.
Together, God and Uncle Cam accomplished astonishing feats, establishing a world-wide ministry still going strong today: Wycliffe’s mission is to see Bible translation started in every language that needs one by the year 2025.
From the back cover of A Thousand Trails:
“This book is about that year, that year that became two, which ultimately became a lifetime of extraordinary service to God and the world’s ethnic peoples. But this is more than a mere chronicle of daily events. It is rather a warm, intimate, often amusing, always deeply human and frequently highly dramatic look into the early life of one of the world’s greatest mission statesmen.”
Second, here’s a fascinating look at historical photos and a brief history of Wycliffe’s beginnings. Click here on History of Wycliffe in Latin America.
Uncle Cam’s life and words have inspired tens of thousands of people to join the Bible translation movement. How about you? Maybe God is nudging you into this ministry.
Uncle Cam showed—modeled—how to do it. Like Edward Paz said recently:
What they were put on this earth to do
Until they can, for themselves, view
That it can be done by you.
Check out Edward's blog at http://edwardpaz.com/
Think about it.
Pray about it.
Look into the dozens of ways—hundreds of ways!—ordinary people like you can get involved in Bible translation, from at home or overseas.
Here are important links to get you started:
The Seed Company
Think about it.
Pray about it. Of the 7,000 languages spoken today, over 2,000 lack Scriptures.