By Katie Kuykendall
Daniel is a former Wycliffe intern. To the untrained eye, it looks like he spent his summer doing a typical job behind a desk at a computer. But if you ask him, he’ll tell you his internship was so much more than that. He’ll tell you about helping make history for his family and other families all over the world, and about seizing an opportunity to do God’s work through Bible translation. Not bad for a few months of summer vacation.
Daniel first found out about Wycliffe when he joined the throngs of college students at the Urbana missions conference in Missouri. While scanning the exhibits, something at Wycliffe’s booth caught his eye. It was a display about praying for people groups that don’t yet have Scripture in their language. Several groups were represented by cards on a table.
Like countless other students that day, Daniel inquired about praying for Bibleless languages. But there was something different about Daniel—one of those languages is his own. Just two years prior, he had come to the United States from his home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on a student visa.
Daniel recalls reading the Bible with his family in French or Swahili instead of their own unique language, and trying to understand God’s message.
“I remember moments being like, ‘I really wish I lived in France. Maybe I would understand this [passage] even better,’” Daniel said. “You notice the contrast when you sing in your own language and get to express what’s deep within your heart through those songs.”
While talking with staff at the Wycliffe booth, Daniel expressed interest in missions, and specifically Bible translation. But it seemed like the internship opportunities most organizations offered called for future preachers, teachers, church planters, and doctors. He couldn’t help but wonder if there was a place for a computer engineering student in the mission field.
Then he discovered the language software development internship with Wycliffe in Dallas, Texas.
“It turned out to be a lot of fun—very challenging, but also just so fulfilling,” Daniel said. He worked with a team of skilled engineers to develop a program that runs automated tests on other Bible translation programs, allowing translation to get done at the fastest pace in history. He even had to learn a new language, only this one isn’t a human language.
Computer operating systems use programming languages, and not all systems understand the same ones—even they need to use their heart language. Thanks to Daniel’s unique background, that’s a concept he understands all too well.
“I’m so happy to be able to do that [software development],” he said. “It goes beyond just my own people group’s language. This serves pretty much anywhere Bible translation is being done.
“It was encouraging to be able to be part of something that big. The person actually doing Bible translation is one link in a long chain of people. I was able to witness that in Wycliffe, and it just showed me how beautiful the kingdom of God is.”
Interested in a Wycliffe internship? Click here to learn about upcoming opportunities.