'MAF has given us wings' - Bible translator

'MAF has given us wings' - Bible translator

Wycliffe Bible Translators have ten teams based in far-flung locations around Madagascar. A large island with limited infrastructure, MAF has been a vital partner in enabling this work to move forward. Wycliffe's Dr Leoni Bouwer tells us why

This last year MAF has given us wings again!

Dr Leoni Bouwer, Wycliffe/SIL

Thank you for flying Bible translation teams for us and helping transport some very sick people.

Thank you for always being ready to accommodate our unorthodox requests, ready to make a plan.

All the translators involved are volunteers, doing the work in their own time. We have roughly five per team in every location and through them we interact with the different community and church leaders there.

They are very committed to the task and appreciate the help MAF has given them to shorten their travel time to attend workshops, such as a recent one on Colossians. Every trip they consider as being blessed with a gift.

Several times in 2013 for example you flew the Bible translation teams in Betsimisaraka. The teams from Mananara and Marolambo in particular have very tiring and time-consuming journeys to make if they do it by road and on foot, it’s even dangerous at certain periods of the year.

Eight of the ten Jesus film translations have now been recorded – two remain to be done in 2014.

MAF has been helping with these recordings since the beginning, once again flying the translators to workshops.

In 2013 you flew the Atesaka team from Vangaindrano to the capital Antananarivo so that we could spend the maximum time with them preparing their Jesus film script.

You also flew some of our team from Ambilobe when they came to a workshop.

We’ll be having more Bible translation workshops again during 2014 and will be doing some language research and visits to the areas for future translations across the island.

You helped evacuate Henriette, a very sick lady and retired co-worker, from Tulear to Antananarivo and definitely saved her life.

She received treatment from a lung specialist and was released from hospital before the end of 2013. Her treatment will continue at home before she returns to see the doctor for an evaluation.

She was totally dependent on oxygen when you flew her to the capital – she is now breathing independently. We trust that she is on her way to complete health and a good quality of life.

You have also helped the family of the team leader from Marolambo bring his wife’s body home from the capital Antananarivo.

You in MAF are helping us build relationships with communities. That is part of preparing the ground for the Gospel. Thank you.

The distances covered are enormous, so a huge heartfelt thanks on behalf of all 50 plus SIL team members doing Bible translation work in Madagascar.


- From Dr Leoni Bouwer, Wycliffe/SIL Associate & coordinator of several translation teams