Uncle Cam

“We have advanced on our knees” – Uncle Cam

William Cameron Townsend, affectionately known as “Uncle Cam”, took some time off from college in 1917 to go to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. During his journey he discovered that not many Indians were interested in purchasing a Bible they either could not read or did not fully understand and he felt the challenge that they should have a Bible in their own native language. He responded to the challenge by spending the next 10 years living amongst the Cakchiquel Indians learning their language and translating the Bible. Through this experience he resolved that every man, woman, and child should be able to read God’s Word in their own heart language.

Concerned about all the other language groups without a Bible, Uncle Cam opened Camp Wycliffe in 1934 to train additional linguists to do the work. In 1942 the camp grew into two organizations, Wycliffe Bible Translators and Summer Institute of Linguistics. Today, through these organizations and their international partners, Wycliffe is involved in 1,500 translation projects and is starting a new one almost every week. In fact, right now the rate at which Bible translation is happening is faster than at any point in history and we are in the first generation that has a chance of seeing the entire task of Bible translation completed.

Wycliffe’s goal today is to have a translation project started in every language still needing one by 2025. How do you want to be involved?

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