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Giving to nonprofits may be down significantly, but one of the world's largest Bible translation organizations recently became an exception to the rule after a $50 million anonymous donation. Wycliffe Bible Translators received the generous gift only two weeks before unveiling a new initiative called the "Last Languages Campaign" that outlines ambitious plans to translate God's Word into the more than 2,200 remaining languages by the year 2025 using a new translation technology.

Though the massive initiative is estimated to cost Wycliffe nearly $1 billion over the next 10 years, the recent unexpected donation, which was earmarked specifically for the campaign, could give the project the kind of kick-start it needs for setting out to achieve its goal.

"People without a written language need one," wrote the anonymous donor. "Literacy is a key to helping people work their way out of poverty and to resist oppression by others. Children who first learn to read in their own language are more likely to become literate and to stay in school than those who first learn in a different language."

Bob Creson, president of Orlando, Fla.-headquartered Wycliffe USA, praised the generous donor for taking what he said was "a bold step of faith" that would help the organization reach "more than 200 million people in Bibleless language communities with the life-changing message of the gospel."

Wycliffe works with thousands worldwide in translating what professionals call "the world's most effective missionary"—the Bible. Aside from learning to speak, write and eventually translate the native tongues of remote villagers worldwide, Bible translators stress the important communal side effects of maintaining a Bible-translation program, such as literacy, water-purifying systems, and AIDS and human rights education. [, 11/26/08]

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