The Wycliffe Associates will continue work of Bible translation in Middle East, even after four of its employees were murdered at an undisclosed location by Islamist militants, Wycliffe officials said in a statement.
The translators were working for the Florida-based non-profit, when their office was attacked, and two employees were shot down, and the other two brutally murdered when they were beat with empty guns as they were trying to protect their lead translator, who survived the assault.
The perpetrators ransacked the office, burned the books, destroyed the Print On Demand system which was used to print copies of scripture. But, the work of translation in eight different languages was salvaged on the hard drives of the computer.
"The remaining translation team has decided to re-double their efforts to translate, publish, and print God's word for these eight language communities," said Mae Greenleaf, Prayer Coordinator for Wycliffe Associates.
The Wycliffe Associates are trying to raise $50,000 for a new office location and to support the families of the slain, the group stated on its website.
The translators will continue the work in spite of the threat of violent attacks and extreme dangers faced by the gospel workers.
"Even when tragedy strikes, as in this case, the testimony of Christ is loud and clear. Yes, there is a tremendous cost. But as Tertullian, an early Church father, said - the blood of martyrs are the seeds of the church," Wycliffe President Bruce Smith told FoxNews.com.
Smith underscored the importance of working in the midst of people who are being served through the gospel, rather than in US.
"The simple answer is that the Church prefers to do translation where the people are," he told Fox News. Their method of translation "is all about Church engagement from beginning to end," he added. "Dislocated translations delay and dilute the impact to the local communities," he said.
According to Wycliffe, Islamic militants have their presence in the entire Middle East and Central Asia. Last year, 11 of the 28 Bible translators working in the area went missing or died.
The organization has been in operation for the last 70 years, reaching out to the world for gospel, and have translated Bibles in about 2,000 different languages. Their method of translation, called 'Paradigm 3.0,' requires them to set up offices in regions where the translated work is directed, at places such as Africa, South America, Asia, and Middle East. Paradigm 3.0 takes the help of local translators, and aim to reach local communities with the translated versions of Bible.