Jul 30 2012
Bible translation team robbed in Nigeria [Excerpts]
Churches in Nigeria have been under direct attack lately as several bombers have targeted church buildings. But on Friday morning, Bible translation was also threatened when a team of translators was robbed.
A team of IT professionals from Wycliffe Associates was in Nigeria to help with a workshop that mentors Nigerians on how to do Bible translation. En route to a city in northern Nigeria, the team was confronted.
"They were stopped by armed robbers. Everyone was forced to lie on the ground," says David Reeves with Wycliffe Associates. Reeves says money was taken, but he hasn't heard if their equipment was also commandeered.
Reeves could only speculate on whether the robbery was at all related to the string of church attacks over the last month or so in Nigeria. Regardless, he says, tensions against believers are high.
"This is not uncommon in Nigeria or in other parts of Africa to have these sort of events--remote roads, isolated locations and all--although the current environment is one where more of that is happening because of the unrest and the insecurity that's going on in the country," explains Reeves.
The team is safe, but the incident emphasizes the urgency behind the work Wycliffe Associates is doing.
With increasing instability in Nigeria, it's not only vital that translators get their work done as quickly as possible, but that they are also able to move if needed. Computers, internet, and other devices help them to consult faster and to take their work with them should they need to flee the area or even the country.
Just a month after Reeves helped one translation team install their TAK, "500 people had been killed, 21 churches had been burned, and they were sending me e-mails asking me for prayer for their team. They still continued to do Bible translation, sending materials to their consultant, and still moving forward."
(Mission Network News - 7/9/2012)