JAARS, The Wycliffe Bible Translators and Cornell Capa

JAARS (Jungle Aviations And Radio Service) Pamphlet, ca. 1970s

Cornell Capa kept a long standing relationship with the Missionary group, The Wycliffe Bible Translators. Cornell traveled with this group while working with author Elisabeth Elliot for the 1961 book Savage My Kinsman, shooting for Cornell and Huxley’s 1964 photo book Farewell to Eden and Who Brought the Word (1963), a book published by the Wycliffe Bible Translators explaining their missionary and linguistic work with tribesmen.


In 1972 Capa resumed his project with the Wycliffe Bible Translators with an updated version of Who Brought the Word titled, Language and Faith. In Language and Faith, the Wycliffe Bible Translators focus on the work they have been doing in Papua New Guinea and the JAARS program.

JAARS pamphlet, Ca. 1970s

“JUNGLE AVIATION AND RADIO SERVICE, a department of the Wycliffe Bible Translators, was formed in 1947 in order to meet more adequately the needs of translators in remote areas of the world.

By 1960 it was apparent that a home base was need to provide adequate training for personnel, dependable preparation of materials and rapid coordination of the total program. A tract of land located south of Waxhaw, NC was chosen as a suitable area for a base. A gift of 256.4 acres by a local business man and the leasing of approximately 200 additional acres provided sufficient land. This has proven to be an excellent choice because of its central eastern location, its proximity to important distribution centers and its excellent radio reception. Center facilities border the 330 ft. runway with accompanying hangar and shops. Other buildings include shipping and purchasing, telephone equipment, administration, communications, maintenance, private homes, duplex and a mobile home park.” — Wings for Wycliffe, pamphlet c. 1970s

While Capa was capturing the images for Language and Faith, he created some amazing shots of a JAARS helicoptor arriving at a villiage located in Papua New Guinea, and the reaction of the pilots and tribes people.

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