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One Woman's Personal Achievement in Bible Translation Marks Three Milestones in Black History

'You won't be accepted because you are black. And you are a female.'

Contact: Tracy Clement, 770-813-0000, 770-401-8753 cell, tclement@demossgroup.com.

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- This year, Jacqueline Huggins—through her involvement in translating the New Testament into the Filipino Kagayanen language—will become the:

-- World's first African-American female to ever complete a New Testament translation.

-- First African-American to complete a New Testament translation since the early 1900s (Efrain Alphonse completed the Valiente New Testament).

-- First African-American with Wycliffe bible translators to ever complete a New Testament translation.

In 1986, 36-year-old Huggins, a Philadelphia-born linguistics and Bible translation specialist, headed off to the Philippines on assignment with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She would spend more than 20 years translating the New Testament into the Kagayanen language, which is spoken by some 25,000. Now, with the Kagayanen translation complete, the first copies of the New Testament are expected to be delivered in February 2008.

A Multi-National Team of Translators

According to Huggins the work was accomplished through the combined efforts of a team of three translators and three support staff. It is a diverse team—Asian, African-American and Caucasian—made up of Americans, Malaysian Chinese and Singaporean Chinese.

"I knew God was calling me to Scripture translation. Incredibly, one church leader attempted to discourage me from pursuing that call, saying 'You won't be accepted by Wycliffe because you are black. And you are a female,'" Huggins recounts. "It became clear that divine intervention brought this diverse team together—with our distinct gifts and abilities—to complete the translation project and serve those who speak the Kagayanen language."

To Book an Interview: Jacqueline Huggins is in the United States and available for interviews through Oct. 19 (departure may be delayed—additional opportunities may be possible), when she will return to the Philippines. The dedication ceremony for the Kagayanen New Testament is April 19 in the Philippines.

Language and Translation Facts:

-- Kagayanen is spoken by some 25,000 people

-- 6,912 languages are spoken in the world today (Source: Ethnologue 15th ed., 2005).

-- There are currently 2,286 languages without any portion of the Bible. In fact, the Bible has only been translated in its entirety into 426 languages.

-- Wycliffe has been involved in more than 710 New Testament and Bible translations, which have impacted more than 78 million people.

-- For more information about Wycliffe, click here