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Missionary translator from Nairobi to speak at banquet on work

by Jennifer Biller

STAFF WRITER

Missionary translator Paul Schmidt of Nairobi, Kenya, will be the featured guest speaker on April 7 at a banquet to support Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Schmidt has been working as a Wycliffe missionary for 15 years. At the banquet, he will be discussing his work in the Republic of Congo and the work of Wycliffe Translators.

He and his wife, Kathy, live in Nairobi, and despite the loss of their home and possessions in 1996 during the civil war in Zaire, continue their efforts with the translation project.

"The banquet is to seek support for the Wycliffe organization and to inform the current supporters of the ongoing work," said Jay Wolfe, area coordinator for the event.

Wycliffe translators "have completed or assisted in the completion of New Testaments in almost 500 languages," according to Wycliffe Associates.

Wolfe is impressed with the progress made in translating the Bible. "It used to take 20 years for the translators to go in and learn the language, translate, and print the entire Bible. Now, with the advent of the computer, they have it down to about seven years," said Wolfe.

The work is important for those wanting to spread the Gospel, said Wolfe. "There are approximately 3,000 language groups that do not have even one Bible verse written in their own language," said Wolfe.

"The linguists go in and learn the language, develop the alphabet, and start teaching the language by reading and writing the New Testament," said Wolfe.

Wycliffe has been making progress in worldwide Bible translation work since the early 1940s, said Wolfe.

The banquet will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center in Clarksburg. For tickets to the banquet and reserved seating, call 622-5200 or 622-0770.

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