One thing that’s happening in the Wycliffe world is a push to get scripture into people’s hands as books are translated, rather than waiting years until an entire New Testament is published to see the results.
When Allison recently heard that there were apps for some of the languages in Tanzania, she immediately pulled her phone out of her pocket and opened the Google Play Store. She did a quick search and found an app for the Jita language, which she had worked with in Tanzania! She downloaded it (for free) and found 12 books of the Bible now available in Jita, as well as an audio version of one of the books!
This was all made possible by software called Scripture App Builder, which allows people doing Bible translation work to easily create apps for mobile phones so that people can freely and easily access Scripture, both in written and audio forms. The app even highlights the sentence that’s being read as you listen to the audio!
The book of Ruth in Jita on Allison’s phone. The audio playback highlights the sentence being read.
More about software…
In March, Eric received good news from a translation consultants’ workshop in Antalya, Turkey that the downloadable resources feature that he has been working on for several months "worked well with no hitches." The meeting hosted about 50 consultants, and it was their first exposure to some upcoming features in Paratext 8, which is scheduled for its first "Beta" release later this year. This feature should allow Bible translators to have quicker access to more translation resources they can use on a daily basis as they labor to make their translations accurate and more understandable.
Eric's next Digital Bible Library (DBL) task will be to fully support Study Bible content. In addition to the books, a Study Bible typically includes extra material like introductions, glossary, and indexes. He will also be working on a different way to specify the organization of the books when they are published. For instance, we typically think of the Bible as divided into "Old Testament" and "New Testament". In other parts of the world, it may be more helpful to publish the Bible's divisions as "Torah", "Prophets", "Psalms", and "Gospel".
In January, Eric and Allison attended a Wycliffe Refresh workshop to learn about the latest Wycliffe news and prepare for engaging Christians in the U.S. in the work of bringing God’s Word to the world.
Allison would appreciate continued prayer that someone would be found to take over the role of Alumni Relations Coordinator for the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, where she was serving before Caleb was born. It was great to be involved in the work of keeping in touch with people who have trained to serve all over the world, but it’s hard to manage two children and other responsibilities she has even without adding that role back to her commitments. Right now, the work-study student that she trained is doing a great job taking care of the majority of the alumni responsibilities. However, she plans to graduate in the fall, so Allison would really appreciate prayer for someone to take over the role.
Budget Update and Prayer Requests
Thank you to all of you who faithfully partner with us in prayer, encouragement, and giving! Our Wycliffe ministry budget increased this year to reflect increases in expenses that have taken place over the past several years. We’re very thankful that God has continued to provide for our needs over the years, even while regular giving is below what we need in the long run to continue serving people groups around the world. Please join us in prayer that God would provide additional partners to join our Wycliffe team or to increase giving so that we can continue to serve.
We believe that Eric’s work in software development is critical for people around the world to have access to God’s word in their heart language, and we still believe that this is where God has called us to serve at this stage of our lives. Please join us in prayer as we look to increase our team of Wycliffe partners over the coming months to meet the remaining 43% of our budget. Pray for wisdom that we would best know how to reach out to churches and Christians in the U.S. to share how they can be a part of the Great Commission worldwide. We believe that having a written language and a Bible in the local language is foundational for other ministry and humanitarian work to begin in an area. Pray also that we would seek to honor God with our lives and to live in humble service to Him.
Caleb turned8 months old on April 3rd, and he seems to take after his sister. Both were ready to be on the move, crawling by 6 months of age. Not long after that, Caleb decided that his favorite thing is pulling himself to standing and reaching for someone’s hands so he can try to walk. He enjoys making “mama” and “dada” sounds, though Sarah gets frustrated when he seems to be calling her “mama”.
Sarah turned 3 in late February, and she is turning into quite the little lady. She does and says lots of things that make us laugh or smile. She can act out significant portions of the movie Frozen from memory, and she recently took in a pet ladybug for a couple of weeks. Here’s one of her recent insights: “Dogs and cats and squirrels and daddies and mommies all have legs—so they can all jump!”
Please pray for efforts to enhance an important computer industry technology - OpenType - to better support complex scripts. Because of SIL's success in developing a similar technology - Graphite - and our overall expertise in minority writing systems, SIL has been invited to participate at the ground level in this effort. SIL staff are working closely with those from Google, Microsoft and other tech companies. Please pray that key proposals are accepted and that the work would be a high priority for those companies. The resulting improvements could have a major impact in enabling many languages that need Bible translation.
Serving together in Him, Eric, Allison, Sarah & Caleb Pyle
Eric & Allison Pyle are serving over 2000 translation projects worldwide from Dallas, TX, advancing Bible translation for Bibleless peoples through software development
Write gifts out to:
Wycliffe Bible Translators, P.O. Box 628200, Orlando, Florida 32862-8200 (1-800-992-5433) Please include this note: "preference for the Wycliffe ministry of Eric & Allison Pyle #226983"