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MAST Program

The MAST Program of Bible translation is being requested by national church leaders around the world.

The Setting

Christians in many countries today suffer ongoing persecution by members of majority religions. Jesus followers are often disowned by their families, beaten, and left for dead. They leave their home areas just to survive. And most of the churches in these countries have no Scripture in their languages. How then can believers and persecuted Christians grow strong in their faith when God’s Word is unavailable to them in their own language?

The Crisis

Thousands of language communities with no Scripture are in countries that forbid traditional missionaries. Other language communities live in the hardest to reach locations—high in mountain ranges, low in tropical jungles. We cannot overlook these communities just because they are nearly impossible to reach.

The Need

During their last MAST workshop in Southeast Asia, Pastor Sam said, “We know that every believer should learn and understand the Word of God. But without having one in our own language it was really difficult.”

Wycliffe Associates’ MAST strategy is accelerating Bible translation.  It is not Westerners doing the translation work in remote areas—it’s nationals being equipped to translate God’s Word themselves.

And in times of a pandemic or persecution, national Bible translators need to be equipped with technology so they can hold Bible translation workshops for their people—even when we can’t gather in person.

The Opportunity

In late 2014, Wycliffe Associates piloted a MAST workshop with national translators in just such a nation where Christians suffer ongoing persecution. Yet thirteen translators attended MAST, were divided into teams of three or four, and each team was assigned one of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.

Every team member was then assigned a portion of that book to translate. Working 12-hour days, each translator completed approximately 34 verses each day, drafting during the mornings and using a multi-step process to quality check the verses in the afternoons and evenings.

Dr. John Luton, who has participated in checking the work of numerous translation projects around the world, says, “The work produced through MAST methodology is excellent. It compares very favorably with texts produced through other methods.”

With this new collaborative translation method called MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation), the entire Bible can be translated efficiently and accurately. Now more groups are seeing the results—and they want to launch workshops for their own people.

“Now that we have the whole New Testament in our hand,” said Pastor Saw, “we will be able to read it in our own language, understand it, and will even be able to share it with others. We are so very happy, and we thank the Lord for what he has done for us using Wycliffe Associates.”

The Cost

The MAST translation method is being requested by national church leaders around the world. Launching a Bible translation using MAST takes only $19,500. Will you help get the Bible to an unreached language group sooner rather than later? How about supporting a team of national Bible translators using the MAST method to translate the Bible into their heart language?

The Results

In the heart of a country that cannot be named, a language we will call Dbyr* has  been spoken for generations. It’s a language that holds the culture and stories of thousands of people. Despite being so widely spoken, the Dbyr language did not have a Bible until a team of translators stepped in to change that. The team consisted of eight translators with good educational backgrounds. Over four days of intense training, the translators poured their hearts into the work. With each passing day, they grew more confident in their abilities, learning the intricacies of the MAST translation method and how to use the equipment needed to bring their vision to life. Their dedication paid off when they managed to draft 13 books of the Bible and typed and uploaded nine of them [to a safe storage location online.] It was an enormous accomplishment that filled them with a sense of purpose and pride. During the training, they invited a representative from the ministry of religion to give a speech at the opening ceremony.

He was moved by the team’s dedication, and shared that his own language did not yet have a Bible of its own. He asked the translation team to train his language group for Bible translation. It was a moment that filled everyone’s hearts with hope, knowing that their work had touched others in a way they could never have imagined. And as they parted ways,  they knew that they would always be united in their mission to bring the Bible to all who needed it, no matter the language.

*Language name has been changed for security reasons

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