Posts Tagged ‘Vision 2025’


For years now, in fact since 1999 / 2000, I’ve been showing this image in churches, in youth groups, in day events like First Steps – in almost every situation where I have been talking about Wycliffe and Bible translation.

And every so often someone might ask:

How’s the progress with Vision 2025?

Or even as 2025 gets closer with each passing year:

Will Wycliffe’s job be done in 2025?

Now I have a pretty good answer thanks to our colleagues at Wycliffe USA blog.

If you’ve been following Wycliffe’s work for a while now, you’re probably familiar with our mission to see a Bible translation program in progress in every language still needing one by 2025. As that date rapidly approaches, some people have asked, “Once you reach that goal, will your work be done?” Definitely not!

You see, our ultimate goal is for everyone on earth to have access to God’s Word in the languages they understand best. That means we’ll have to finish every Bible translation we start. And even after every translation is complete, many will need to be revised. Because of the way languages change over time, Bible translation will continue to be a need until the day Christ returns!

So while starting a Bible translation for every language that needs one by 2025 is a critical goal, it’s definitely not the end goal.

Mind you, since Wycliffe Bible Translators is now working with so many partner organisations and churches around the world… perhaps, maybe, churches in every country may take on the task – and Wycliffe Bible Translators can take early retirement.

This post is inspired by part of the Wycliffe USA 101 series. Click here to read the previous post, or here to start at the beginning.

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Not too long ago I was sorting out over a decade’s worth  of paperwork in our study at home. Some got re-filed; loads got shredded  – but this image was salvaged.

Unity killed the elephant

Found in the magazine of CABTAL

CABTAL (or the Cameroon Association of Bible Translation and Literacy) is essentially Wycliffe Bible Translators in Cameroon. I have happy memories of visiting their centre in Yaoundé and travelling upcountry with CABTAL colleagues to visit the Oku project.

The elephant drawing is brilliant, but the text may be hard to read. It says:

When hunters unite, they plan on how to kill the elephant. This traditional wisdom reminds us that together we stand, divided we fall; just as it is not possible for one hand to tie up a bundle.

and then the article starts…

What is true for the elephant and the bundle also holds for Bible translation.

Unity or partnership obviously led to the downfall of the elephant at the hands of  traditional Cameroonian hunters, but it is vital if the Bible translation task is to be completed. Thus our Wycliffe Vision…

Vision 2025

A partnership of organisations, churches, individuals, skills, experience… under God’s guidance.

WordleSo let’s get together and evict the elephant in the Bible translation room!

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Title slide of Vision Lunch presentation back in 2002

“No language group should be considered reached until they have the Scriptures available in their mother tongue as the foundation for building sustainable Christian thought, life and community.”
—Rev. Dr. Kwame Bediako, Ghana

I remember this so well. We were not long home from eight years with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Ivory Coast teaching missionary children. I was learning how to represent Wycliffe at home in N. Ireland when our international conference came up with Vision 2025!

Vision 2025 is a vision for this generation.  Prior to 1999, the rate of Bible translation meant that it would be 150 years before translation had even started in every language that needed it.  150 years – that’s about 4 generations of people who would pass into eternity before having access to God’s Word in their own language.  Bible translation was simply going too slowly, and our desire was that in this generation – by the year 2025, God’s word would start to become available to everyone who needed it in their language.  But how?

Facing these harsh facts, on 1 October, 1999, the Wycliffe International organisations and key partners adopted the following Vision 2025 resolution:

Motivated by the pressing need for all peoples to have access to the Word of God in a language that speaks to their hearts, and reaffirming our historic values and our trust in God to accomplish the impossible, We embrace the vision that by the year 2025 a Bible translation project will be in progress for every people group that needs it.  We acknowledge that this cannot be accomplished simply by our working harder or doing more of what we are now doing. It will require us to make significant changes in our attitudes and ways of working… To this end we commit ourselves to pray for the fulfillment of this vision, seeking God’s guidance and obeying Him in whatever new directions He may lead.

We began holding Vision Lunches around Ireland [see image above] to spread the message. Some people were shocked at the 150 years projection; others somewhat apathetic. Some invited us to come and tell more at their churches; some slipped away for more urgent appointments. Many took away a Wycliffe folder and the Power of the Word video which was current at that time. In early December I am speaking again at a Presbyterian church whose minister I first met at a Vision Lunch.

But Vision 2025 is still in process. Read more about it on the Wycliffe Blog. You can read more quotes like the Kwame Bediako one and watch our latest Vision 2025 video.

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Yes, here it is! A possible recipe for progressing Vision 2025


  • A Bible translator whose love of Ivorian grammar has just earned him a PhD
  • An electronics engineer who was language programmes manager in Uganda
  • A 25 year old girl who helped 10 Eastern Congo languages to produce picture dictionaries
  • A girl who helped make a hymnbook in a Cameroon language and now coordinates Wycliffe UK summer teams to Africa and Asia
  • A Belfast student who fairly bubbled while sharing her summer team experience in Burkina Faso
  • A former History teacher with a passion that everyone should hear the Bible in their heart language

Mix together on a Saturday in Belfast… or anywhere in the UK for that matter. Then add:

  • An IT software guy wanting to explore how he can use his skills
  • A German speaking tourist board worker
  • A dentist with a growing interest in Bible translation
  • A Maths student
  • A student teacher
  • A Polish ESL teacher / translator / interpreter / dancer
  • A classroom assistant / Christian Aid volunteer
  • A guy with a love for the Ulster Scots language
  • A worker in a women’s aid refuge who wants to help Wycliffe
  • A languages and linguistics student with a love for Africa
  • A girl with a Masters in Banking who made the tea & coffee

Let them all share their stories… have some fun… pray!

Leave to settle… and then be stirred by the Holy Spirit – and who knows how many will get involved with Wycliffe UK – praying, giving, going, telling God’s Story that everyone needs to hear in their heart language!

Jesus said to his disciples:

“As the father has sent me so am I sending you.” John 20:21

“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:38

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