Ah, the holiday season is approaching, which means friends and family come together to spend time with one another and celebrate the holidays to create more lasting memories. Ever wonder how cultures different from yours celebrate holidays? Well, now you can learn thanks to Wycliffe Bible Translators USA! Wycliffe Bible Translators USA is a nonprofit organization with a mission to ensure that the Bible is accessible to all people, in all languages and all forms. Wycliffe USA was founded over 75 years ago by William Cameron Townsend and has been headquartered in Lake Nona for 17 years. Nonahood News spoke with Jesse Stokes, Associate Director of Events Marketing, to learn more about Wycliffe USA.
“Around the world, people are speaking over 7,000 languages, but more than 2,000 of them don’t have Scripture yet. Wycliffe USA’s mission is to see a Bible translation program in progress in every language still needing one by 2025,” stated Stokes.
With a company-wide goal set, Wycliffe is on the fast track to accomplish such an achievement!
“We’re fortunate to work with incredible organizations globally and here at home (like our local neighbors at The Jesus Film Project). Thanks to those partnerships, Bible translation is advancing at a faster rate than ever before in history. Of the 7,000 languages in use today, 3,350 of them have some Scripture translated. We just celebrated the 1,000th translation we’ve had the honor to be involved with,” exclaimed Stokes. “It took us 67 years to complete the first 500, and only 17 years to complete the second 500. Technology plays a big role in that progress. We invite you to come by our Discovery Center museum and learn more about how Bible translation is advancing and transforming lives around the world.”
During a tour of the museum, you’ll experience stories of real people from all around the world who have had their lives changed due to having Scripture in their language for the very first time.
“We’re serving in communities [all] over the world, and we’re also passionate about investing locally through our Discovery Center museum and the events we host, like our upcoming ‘Christmas Around the World’ event,” said Stokes.
“Christmas Around the World” is Wycliffe’s week-long celebration from Dec. 7-14 with events for both adults and children, showcasing cultures that missionaries of Wycliffe have worked in. Those who attend can learn about how other cultures celebrate Christmas and enjoy unique food, activities and live entertainment. Alongside a pajama-party movie night, guests can even buy fair-trade gifts that were inspired by the different cultures.
“We’re looking forward to the second annual ‘Christmas Around the World’ because it’s a chance for us to get to know our community and do something special for them. Most of the events – like our movie night, youth night, and family worship night – are free to attend,” Stokes continued. “We see it as an opportunity to celebrate the giving season and provide a stress-free way for friends and families to spend meaningful time together.”
We asked Stokes to break down the “Christmas Around the World” schedule, so take a look below to see what grabs you and your family’s interest!
“We have something for everyone. Every day will be a different experience:
· Saturday, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14: Christmas Bazaar
o Free admission (food available for purchase).
o Come and go as you please, and experience international food trucks, entertainment, crafts and more. We’ll start a new activity at the top of each hour.
· Monday, Dec. 9: Christmas Movie Night
o Free admission.
o Dress the kids in their Christmas pajamas, grab some pillows and blankets, and join us for a Christmas movie night.
· Tuesday, Dec. 10: Paint Night
o $5 per adult, $3 per child.
o Paint a unique Christmas scene using an Aboriginal dot art technique.
· Wednesday, Dec. 11: Youth Night
o Free admission.
o A concert featuring Christian rap artist Dougie and activities for teens.
· Thursday, Dec. 12: Family Worship Night
o Free admission.
o An evening of worship songs and Christmas carols designed with the whole family in mind.
· Friday, Dec. 13: Eat Around the World
o $15 per person.
o Try unique foods and flavors from around the world.”
Visit wycliffe.org/christmascelebration to learn more about “Christmas Around the World,” or swing by Wycliffe’s Discovery Center and check it out for yourself. If you find yourself interested in Bible translation, the Wycliffe team would love to meet you and encourage you to visit the museum and eat lunch at the café! Wycliffe is located at 11221 John Wycliffe Blvd. and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For several other ways to get involved in Bible translation with Wycliffe USA, visit: wycliffe.org. You can learn how to help fund a translation project through a donation, sign up to pray for a group that doesn’t have their language translation started yet, or learn more about what it’s like to work at Wycliffe Bible Translators USA.
“No matter where we live or what we do, we can use those gifts for His glory.”