What have been some long-term results of the seminars? Click here to read benefits of BELT. Tell me more about Youth With A Mission.  Click here to learn about YWAM. If we’d like to host a BELT team, how do we proceed? See the  BELT Information Packet and then contact us. How can my YWAM base or school get involved? Join a BELT outreach team. Have BELT organize an exposure outreach for your base. Begin a BELT ministry at your location. Can short-term courses like the BELT courses be effective? BELT only accepts invitations from local entities and national committees. In this way, seminars are more likely to meet a community’s expressed felt needs. In partnering with long-term workers and their efforts, along with their expertise and relationships, short-term teams’ effectiveness is enhanced. Dr. Wayne Dye, International Anthropology Consultant, WBT, shares: “I personally believe that… we (can) normally expect better results with systematic discipling and Bible teaching than without them… The most important personal factor is the full involvement of the translator team themselves.” Can a short-term team learn how to behave cross-culturally and be able to adequately communicate in a cross-cultural situation? Most BELT teachers come with cross-cultural experience and all will receive BELT cross-cultural training beforehand. We rely on our hosts to provide orientation to the host culture, including cultural values, customs, protocols, beliefs, spiritual condition, needs, worldview and language. Can significant relationships with participants of courses be developed through short- term courses? From Peter Evans, Bible translator, WBT: “If the relationships of the SIL team have been good, I believe the BELT team members can “piggy-back” on these relationships. I noticed that the BELT members had a wonderful ability to get close to and develop relationships with participants. I believe this stems from the discipleship training that YWAMers receive in their courses… And then, because the team returned twice more, they were able to build on and cement these relationships even more. Our people just loved them coming each time because of the wonderful relationships formed.” How can the problem of not knowing the language be overcome? From Peter Evans, Bible translator, WBT: “The team presented the material in English and we had interpreters to “turn the talk”. Mostly we used the national translators who had worked through the New Testament, so these men already had a good working knowledge of the material being presented. Some BELT members went over the message with the interpreter ahead of time, to familiarize him with the main points being presented. The team members constantly consulted with me on how the back translation read, so that they could use sentences and phrases in English as they came out in the translation. I sat at the back of the room, monitoring the interpretations, assisting if a point had not been made clearly in the language. I also gave lots of feed-back to the team members after presentations. The team used handouts, with the main points of each session in diglot form, both the VL and English. Discussion groups were used a lot. In some cases, participants gathered in small groups in the afternoons to go over the teaching, clarifying and asking questions. At other times, the teaching was done by means of small groups, with good leaders who could lead discussions of questions given. Drama was often used. A good drama, well scripted, acted by the participants using the language, often made the point being taught without anything further having to be said. In the later courses, the national translators themselves presented some of the topics, especially the revision ones.” SIL is not a Bible teaching organization. What should our role be in Biblical training? From Dr. M. Paul Lewis, Int’l Sociolinguistics Coordinator, WBT: “To address your concern about the role of SIL in biblical teaching, let me say that I recognize that this is an area of tension for us as an organization. We are not a Bible teaching organization. That is not part of our mandate and it is not part of our training. Bible teaching is part of YWAM’s mission and they train their people (particularly the BELT team members) very well indeed in how to present basic Bible teachings clearly. It isn’t that YWAMers are particularly more spiritual (and therefore better suited to teach), but rather that they have that as their mission and as part of their training and therefore it is better for them to do it than for us. There are many places where clear Biblical teaching is the primary need. A good vernacular translation is part of the answer to that need, but merely having the translation isn’t enough. It still needs to be “opened”. Literacy has been touted as what opens the book, and it does, but, particularly for Scripture, a good amount of exposition is also required. Consider how much “exposition” we rely on in English even with our multiple translations, commentaries, devotional materials, etc. One of the reasons we have invested a lot of time in partnering with the BELT project is precisely because it enables us to meet the need for Bible teaching in the vernacular without having to do it ourselves. In my view, one of the primary benefits of BELT is that it provides an intensive experience in vernacular Scripture use, where reading, teaching and understanding the translated Scriptures is modelled and given high value. It doesn’t require the SIL member to step out of his or her normal role as linguist/translator and it requires the local believers to buy in by participating in organizing and hosting the course. These are all principles that we stress over and over in program planning. We very much want SIL personnel to be catalysts in such endeavours without becoming the sole producers and distributors. BELT seems to be one good way to accomplish this.”

Partner Information


  • YWAM: Youth With a Mission
  • Wycliffe
  • BSN