As a result, Townsend resolved that every man, woman and child should be able to read God's Word in their own language. Borrowing the name of the pre-Reformation hero, John Wycliffe, who first translated the Bible into English, Townsend founded "Camp Wycliffe" in 1934 as a linguistics training school. By 1942, Camp Wycliffe had expanded to form two organizations, Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics (now SIL International).
The first translation (done by Wycliffe personnel Kenneth Pike and Donald Stark) was completed in 1951 in the San Miguel Mixtec language of Mexico. Twenty-seven years later, in 1978, the 100th was completed - in the Amuesha language of Peru. Just seven years later, the 200th was completed - in the Hanga language of Ghana, Africa. In March 2000, Suriname's Javanese dedicated the 500th New Testament with Wycliffe involvement.
But the remaining task is enormous. It's now estimated that people in more than 2,700 people groups are still waiting for God's Word in their language. Find out how you can be involved.