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Cameron Townsend: Good News in Every Language

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During WWI, Cameron Townsend was told, "You'll do more good selling Bibles in Central America than you would shooting Germans in France." Cameron began by translating the Bible into the language of his Guatemalan friends. Then he started Wycliffe Bible Translators with the dream of making the Good News available in every language. Since 1942, Wycliffe has translated Script During WWI, Cameron Townsend was told, "You'll do more good selling Bibles in Central America than you would shooting Germans in France." Cameron began by translating the Bible into the language of his Guatemalan friends. Then he started Wycliffe Bible Translators with the dream of making the Good News available in every language. Since 1942, Wycliffe has translated Scripture into hundreds of languages, spreading God's Word to people everywhere. Ages 10 and up.


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During WWI, Cameron Townsend was told, "You'll do more good selling Bibles in Central America than you would shooting Germans in France." Cameron began by translating the Bible into the language of his Guatemalan friends. Then he started Wycliffe Bible Translators with the dream of making the Good News available in every language. Since 1942, Wycliffe has translated Script During WWI, Cameron Townsend was told, "You'll do more good selling Bibles in Central America than you would shooting Germans in France." Cameron began by translating the Bible into the language of his Guatemalan friends. Then he started Wycliffe Bible Translators with the dream of making the Good News available in every language. Since 1942, Wycliffe has translated Scripture into hundreds of languages, spreading God's Word to people everywhere. Ages 10 and up.

30 review for Cameron Townsend: Good News in Every Language

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    As my family has supported missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators for years, I had heard things about Townsend for a while. However, I really enjoyed getting to read this book about him. One of the things I really appreciated about him was his treatment of his wife, even though she had a mental illness that made her go into rages for no reason. They served together for years, and he seemed very devoted to her. It renewed my love for supporting those translating the scriptures and bringing th As my family has supported missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators for years, I had heard things about Townsend for a while. However, I really enjoyed getting to read this book about him. One of the things I really appreciated about him was his treatment of his wife, even though she had a mental illness that made her go into rages for no reason. They served together for years, and he seemed very devoted to her. It renewed my love for supporting those translating the scriptures and bringing them to the peoples of the world.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Cassada

    I read this as part of our morning time to all my school age kids and we loved it!! What an adventurous and inspiring story of what can be accomplished with the Lord’s help and a lot of determination. We can thank Cameron Townsend for the Bible being available on so many languages.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Carlson

    Read about 3/4...then quit. I had a hard time with the fact that he remarried so quickly after his wife’s death and then married a woman 20 years younger than himself. Still, what he did for language translation and missionary work is profound.

  4. 5 out of 5

    The other John

    Cameron Townsend is the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators and associated organizations. His life seems somewhat easy, compared to some of the other subjects of the Benges' Christian Heroes series. Unlike missionaries of previous centuries, Mr. Townsend got to travel to the field by automobile and plane and had the blessings of 20th Century medicine. (Then again, you could argue that Townsend's predecessors never had to endure a plane crash, as he did.) Still bringing a worldwide organization Cameron Townsend is the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators and associated organizations. His life seems somewhat easy, compared to some of the other subjects of the Benges' Christian Heroes series. Unlike missionaries of previous centuries, Mr. Townsend got to travel to the field by automobile and plane and had the blessings of 20th Century medicine. (Then again, you could argue that Townsend's predecessors never had to endure a plane crash, as he did.) Still bringing a worldwide organization dedicated to literacy and Bible translation into being is nothing to sneeze at. Like many biographies, it gets me feeling like I wasted my life. But that's my problem. Like their other books, the Benges present an interesting and inspiring life in an easy, readable style. I wonder if their stuff has ever been translated...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hank Pharis

    Uncle Cam as he was affectionately called was an amazing man. The things God enabled him to accomplish are amazing. He had this incredible dream that there should be a Bible in every human tongue. And amazingly his Wycliffe Bible translators have done more toward that end in the last half century than did all of Christendom in the 1950 years before him. Very inspiring! (Note: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book. 3 = Very good; 4 = Outstanding {only about 5% of the books I read Uncle Cam as he was affectionately called was an amazing man. The things God enabled him to accomplish are amazing. He had this incredible dream that there should be a Bible in every human tongue. And amazingly his Wycliffe Bible translators have done more toward that end in the last half century than did all of Christendom in the 1950 years before him. Very inspiring!(Note: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book. 3 = Very good; 4 = Outstanding {only about 5% of the books I read merit this}; 5 = All time favorites {one of these may come along every 400-500 books})

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eric Abisror

    I read this book to my son over the period of a month. We both really enjoyed it. It was neat to see how God used a very ordinary man to have a vision to have the bible in all the different languages of the world. Sometimes as an English speaker, I forget just how truly spoiled I am to have so many good theological books, commentaries, and different versions of the bible in my language, when there are so many that don't even have the New Testament in their language.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This series is great for introducing kids to missionary and christian "hero" biographies. With a personal connection to Wycliffe Bible translators, it was very interesting to read how the organization began.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mikayla

    I loved learning more about Cameron Townsend. He was a really cool man. There's really not more to say. =)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joyce Ellis

    Nice easy-read overview biography of Cameron Townsend (Uncle Cam), the founder of Wycliffe Bible translators. Captures his heart, his love for God and people, and the way he was driven to get the Bible into the heart language of everyone in the world. I knew the basic story (and I've often thought I would have loved to have worked in Bible translation myself), but what delighted me was to find that the first language Townsend translated the Bible into was Cakchiquel (as the language is spelled i Nice easy-read overview biography of Cameron Townsend (Uncle Cam), the founder of Wycliffe Bible translators. Captures his heart, his love for God and people, and the way he was driven to get the Bible into the heart language of everyone in the world. I knew the basic story (and I've often thought I would have loved to have worked in Bible translation myself), but what delighted me was to find that the first language Townsend translated the Bible into was Cakchiquel (as the language is spelled in the book; there are various spellings today). During my frequent trips to Guatemala, I've had the privilege of meeting and getting to know many people who speak this language. So that made this an even more interesting read. Suitable for middle-grade readers (and up) although the vocabulary might be a stretch in places for kids, and the book could have profited from a stronger edit.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robert Vincent

    This book is a wonderful short account of the life and legacy of the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators and Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). The book chronicles the absolutely amazing accomplishments of the Lord through William Cameron Townsend. I have read several accounts of the life of Theodore Roosevelt and thought him to have led the fullest life of accomplishment. Well, I have found his rival in Cam Townsend. Cam orchestrated the beginning, development and extension of the organiz This book is a wonderful short account of the life and legacy of the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators and Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). The book chronicles the absolutely amazing accomplishments of the Lord through William Cameron Townsend. I have read several accounts of the life of Theodore Roosevelt and thought him to have led the fullest life of accomplishment. Well, I have found his rival in Cam Townsend. Cam orchestrated the beginning, development and extension of the organization that brings bibles written in the languages of previously illiterate people groups. Cam’s vision was and is today by Wycliffe Bible Translators to make the Good News available in every language in the world. Cam Townsend’s work all started as a missionary in Guatemala among the Cakchiquel people. The question these people had was “if your God is so great, why can’t he speak my language”. So it began and Townsend learned the difficult Cakchiquel language and translated the Gospel of Mark for the people; eventually giving them the whole New Testament. The work opened up new opportunities for Indians to become literate and be seen as more than second class in the country. Besides, many trusted Christ. Cam moved on to Mexico where he provided bibles for Indian tribes in their languages, he employed linguists, built relationships with the government, even with President Lazaro Cardenas who became a close friend. The work extended to countries around the world and Wycliffe has placed the Word of God in the hands of countless people who would not otherwise have been able to hear the gospel. Many have been saved though this work. Cam Townsend had said that “the greatest missionary of all is the bible in a person’s own language. It never needs a furlough, and it is never considered a foreigner.” An additional benefit of the work is that in giving the bible in the language of the people they also receive teaching to be able to read it. Therefore, the people become literate and prosper in their own land. The linguists that bring the gospel also employ the locals in helping with the translations. Schools are established and education is afforded to people who otherwise would be stuck in a gone-by age. Yes Cam Townsend’s vision has gone far beyond what he could have imagined. He once said of reaching Buddhist, Muslim, Communist and other difficult countries with the written Word, “I don’t see how we can fail if we trust God and follow His leadership. ‘All power is given Me in heaven and on earth,’ declared our Lord. ‘Go ye therefore.’”. This commentary is more of a “book report” than a review. I cannot help it. You see my wife and I have the privilege of knowing personally Cameron Townsend’s daughter, Joy and her husband David, a linguist for SIL in Oaxaca, Mexico sent by Church of the Open Door. They are carrying the tradition along with hundreds of others in Cam’s original quest to spread the gospel to all nations. “If we will do the possible, God will do the impossible” – Cameron Townsend

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Roberts

    It's hard to think of another individual who has had a more a dramatic impact on the global advancement of God's kindgdom than Cameron Townsend. From his first days of evangelizing and selling Spanish Bibles in Central America during WWI to his death in the 1980s, Townsend answered God's call to see the Scriptures translated into over 1,000 languages. From a linguistic standpoint alone, Townsend's pioneering work in writing down unwritten native languages, then teaching a few students to do so, It's hard to think of another individual who has had a more a dramatic impact on the global advancement of God's kindgdom than Cameron Townsend. From his first days of evangelizing and selling Spanish Bibles in Central America during WWI to his death in the 1980s, Townsend answered God's call to see the Scriptures translated into over 1,000 languages. From a linguistic standpoint alone, Townsend's pioneering work in writing down unwritten native languages, then teaching a few students to do so, and then creating a huge organization to pursue that goal, is astounding. The doors that were open to him at the highest level of government in several countries, including the Soviet Union of the 1960s, are nothing short of miraculous.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    "If your God is so powerful, why can't he speak my language." That statement from a tribal Indian in Guatumala, led to the life portrayed in this great biography of Cameron Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators. It is an amazing story of being faithful to the call and as a result thousands of people groups who never had a written language of their own now not only have one, but also have the Bible translated in their language.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Tse

    This is an amazing book about how God used Cam in founding Wycliff Bible Translators and the people he met who helped him along the way. It was very encouraging reading about how much the Mexican president helped him and so many other people supported his work. Cam has such great vision that more than 500 languages were translated into Bibles. God has gifted him with the wonderful talent of being a linguist even though he wasn't able to finish college due to the war. Wonderful book!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tia

    Cameron Townsend led an inspirational life as he strove to translate the Bible into as many languages as he could during his life. His love of God and other people is truly convicting. However, this book was one of the driest books I've ever read. I feel like a lot could have been condensed here and that would have made his testimony more impactful to the young reader with whom I was sharing this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I read this book with my wife and daughter as part of my daughter's third grade curriculum. This book was geared for young readers, so it was a fairly quick and easy read for an adult. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure of Townsend's life, especially since it had purpose to it. Anybody who had an interest in Christian missions will enjoy and appreciate this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emma Filbrun

    What a satisfying read! I just read Cameron Townsend to my children, and as always when we read one from this series, they wanted me to keep going till we finished. I’m always astounded at how they get into these books. Read my full review here. What a satisfying read! I just read Cameron Townsend to my children, and as always when we read one from this series, they wanted me to keep going till we finished. I’m always astounded at how they get into these books. Read my full review here.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cat *living for the One who breaths life into me*

    eh?! get to the point. the story was good but the writing drowned a bit. if i had read it in a about fiften pages of the sum i might have enjoyed it, but some people LOVE writing insignifcant details.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Craig Dyson

    Very good book about a man who played a vital role in seeing the Bible translated to millions. Fantastic determination and desire were key strengths of Cameron Townsend. I enjoyed the book, although not as much as some of the others I have read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Cameron Townsend founded Wycliffe Bible Translators. He started in Central America, and his goal was to get New Testament Bibles translated into every language. Wycliffe has made great progress toward that goal.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Confusing, but still pretty good. Definitely not as good as their books about George Muller, or Mary Slessor for instance. When I say 'not as good' I mean the story wasn't of the same quality, but the facts are still very interesting!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Cameron Townsend's life is an amazing example of how God works out everything for the good of those who love Him and how He looks after every detail. Amazing!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Trump

    It was very good. I especially enjoyed learning that he knew so many languages

  23. 5 out of 5

    Skye

    Not so great, but had some interesting parts. He did a lot to educate native people in many countries!

  24. 5 out of 5

    AnnaScott

    Loved! A great book about the amazingness of God and how He worked through regular everyday people.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    Wasn't that impressed. The writing was dry and although I appreciate what "Uncle Cam" did, this story of his life wasn't all that interesting.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    It's really cool that this guy was a missionary, and I am happy that God did cool things in his life. Just a BBBOORRIINGG book!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    What a fantastic story. I commend it to anyone who is interested in engaging other cultures. I'm so glad that it was included in our curriculum for this year.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I can't believe Cam's daughter is still alive today!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy Meyers

    I've been looking forward to reading this book, since we named our fifth child for Cameron Townsend. I cried at the end twice at the mention of how many Bibles have been translated by his organization. It was very interestingly written. So surreal how his missionary friend inexplicably drowned and his wife would rage at times. From a missionary's perspective, we would have some concerns about some of Wycliffe's emphases (of course, not Bible translation as an overarching goal). Also, I thought T I've been looking forward to reading this book, since we named our fifth child for Cameron Townsend. I cried at the end twice at the mention of how many Bibles have been translated by his organization. It was very interestingly written. So surreal how his missionary friend inexplicably drowned and his wife would rage at times. From a missionary's perspective, we would have some concerns about some of Wycliffe's emphases (of course, not Bible translation as an overarching goal). Also, I thought Townsend should have finished the Aztec translation, since he was the only one who knew the language. He seemed restless, leaving works half-finished for other people to finish. He did the same thing in Tetelcingo. But God definitely used him as a leader, so that was for the best in the end, I guess. It looks like the Benges misspelled his second wife's maiden name...online it's spelled "Mielke"; the book has "Miekle."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    This book is one for the ages. The story of William Cameron Townsend is inspiring to all people. Cam’s desire to translate the New Testament into all the different languages around the world sounds impossible, but the company he built, Wycliffe Bible Translation, is getting close to that goal he set. Wycliffe is a well known missions organization, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting missionaries that work for the organization. This book is an eye opener to the struggles people not only went thr This book is one for the ages. The story of William Cameron Townsend is inspiring to all people. Cam’s desire to translate the New Testament into all the different languages around the world sounds impossible, but the company he built, Wycliffe Bible Translation, is getting close to that goal he set. Wycliffe is a well known missions organization, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting missionaries that work for the organization. This book is an eye opener to the struggles people not only went through, but are still going through.

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