Dordt College News

Wycliffe Bible Translators to visit Dordt to discuss mission work overseas

October 28, 2011

“There are still about 2,500 languages that have no script,” says Leendert van Beek, Dordt College foreign language professor. Herein lies the work of a linguist, where studying the structure of language, its meaning, and the cultural context are all necessary in creating a written language.

Dordt College is holding the 38th annual Hug-a-Linguist Days November 7-9, where guest speakers from Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. will share about their mission work in translating the Bible into the native language of their respective mission fields.

The community is invited to attend the Monday evening lecture featuring both Greg Pearson and Arvid Westfall. The lecture will be held November 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ribbens Academic Complex room CL 1148.

Greg Pearson, along with his wife Mary, began a linguistic mission in Papua New Guinea in 1986. After spending 24 years serving the Lote people of Papua New Guinea, the Lote New Testament was completed and celebrated in January 2010. He has also published The Lote Grammar Sketch with Dr. René van den Berg, a 155-page volume documenting more than 20 years of research in the language.

Arvid Westfall and his wife Nancy have been members of Wycliffe since 1967, when they began working with the K’anjob’al people of Guatemala in 1969. At that time the church there consisted of fewer than 100 Christian believers, but today it has grown beyond 10,000 members. In 1981, the Westfalls completed the New Testament for the K’anjob’al people. Now in retirement, they continue to make trips to Guatemala, where they assist the K’anjob’al church committee that is working on translating the Old Testament.

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