The Task The Team The Need

Wycliffe Hungary News - Summer 2006

Wycliffe and the Church
– together in world-mission


“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

(Matthew 28:19-20)
 

Jesus gave the great commission to the Church, yet in recent centuries it’s as if the Church has forgotten about its responsibility, while at the same time it has become more and more institutionalized as a result of the various social and historical changes. From the eighteenth century, as commitment towards mission was aroused in the believers, more and more mission organizations and societies were formed within Protestant Christianity. KézfogásToday it is almost impossible to count – even in Hungary – how many organizations carry out mission work both at home and abroad, often without the involvement and knowledge of the national and local churches and congregations. It’s no wonder that distrust towards these new initiatives can occasionally be felt amongst the local Christians.

Naturally, practical considerations often contributed to the formation of mission-organizations, and the fact that local or national Christian communities were not always involved in the work can also be traced to practical reasons. After all, there are certain specific areas of service where an individual local congregation cannot provide all the conditions required for its completion. Bible translation and the work of Wycliffe is one such example. In vain does the fire burn in the hearts of certain members of congregations, and in vain do they have the joint aim that the Word of God might reach those people-groups where it is not yet present, if their own communities cannot provide the required prerequisites – for example, the maintenance of a linguistics school where the future Bible translators will be trained. However, the question remains: how can the congregational members get involved in the work nonetheless?

For Wycliffe it was important right from the beginning that the sending congregations from where the Wycliffe members come should be as familiar as possible with the work, and this is true with respect to the Hungarian congregations too. We are glad to accept invitations to give presentations from congregations here in Hungary, since we want as many Christians as possible to know about the importance of Bible translation and about the work of our members serving in mission work abroad. In the course of the application procedure, we always endeavour to involve the leader of the would-be member’s congregation in the decision-making process, and once a member is accepted we remain in contact with the leader on a continuous basis. The responses show that the congregations really appreciate our endeavours in this regard.

As is declared in Vision 2025, Wycliffe International would like a Bible translation to begin by 2025 in every language where a translation is still required. Today this still implies thousands of languages. We are fully aware that this is impossible to achieve relying on our own strength alone. As well as the grace of God, we also require a much closer partnership with the churches and the congregations, since we can only succeed together. However, we need to establish partnerships not only with those European congregations from where our members come; in addition to other mission-organizations, we need to partner with those congregational movements which began in Africa and Asia, where the majority of our Bible translation projects are underway. Missiological literature tends to refer to these national churches under the term ‘The Southern Church’. More and more they too are recognizing the importance of the translation of the Holy Scriptures, and they are requesting help for their work from Wycliffe as one of the oldest and most trustworthy organizations. It’s Wycliffe’s aim to see Bible translation in progress in every language group that needs it by 2025. In order to so, we will work together and build partnerships with congregations, church-denominations and other missionary organizations around the world.
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Therefore Wycliffe does not carry out its mission work in opposition to or in place of the Church, but rather together with the Church, as its outstretched arm. We believe that through the Hungarian Wycliffe members it is not only our organization but also our members’ own local congregations who are carrying out the work in countries all around the world. What a blessing it is to recognize that Reformed, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and other congregations in Hungary are also actively involved in carrying out world mission through their prayers and financial support. Pray that as many people as possible here in Hungary would recognize this, and as the fruit of our efforts more and more people-groups would come to know His Word!

Attila Kovács

 

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